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Software Engineer, Data Acquisition (DAQ) Integration

Date: Oct 19, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 6594 


The Data Acquisition Integration Group within the Neutron Technologies Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is looking for a skilled Software Engineer.  The Neutron Technologies Division’s mission is to develop and deploy critical technologies for neutron scattering instruments and target systems, to support their operation, and to execute projects in support of neutron sciences. 


The DAQ Integration Group develops and supports hardware and software solutions for controlling and monitoring beamline equipment including motion control, sample environment and detector interfaces.  The group also provides and maintains the corresponding computing, networking and data storage resources. The group develops, supports and improves the control system environments for the neutron scattering instruments, at both the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) production experimental facilities, in three broad areas: designing, building and maintaining beamline motion control systems; developing, testing and supporting software for beamline motion control, and sample environments such as cryogenically cooled superconducting magnets, high pressure cells, high and low temperature environments, electrostatic and RF fields etc.; supporting the networking and computing infrastructure for beamlines, long term data storage and the analysis cluster.  The data acquisition systems of most neutron scattering instruments at ORNL are built on EPICS in Linux.  We are looking for a skilled software engineer with initiative, and the interest in gaining experience in these areas, to join our team.


This position reports to the Data Acquisition Integration Group Leader.  You will work closely with other group members and interface with external scientific users, instrument scientists, and scientific associates at HFIR and SNS.  You will also work with other technical groups including sample environment, information systems, detector group, data reduction and data analysis software developers.  You will have the opportunity to collaborate with software developers at other international facilities and from the scientific user community.


Major Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Design and develop control software and user interfaces for instrument motion control and sample environment systems, based on EPICS, in a Linux environment.
  • Support the scientific mission of HFIR and SNS by designing, developing, testing, supporting, maintaining and troubleshooting a variety of new and existing software for reliable neutron instrument data acquisition and control systems.
  • Collaborate with group members and scientific staff toward the design, development, testing, deployment and maintenance of new or upgraded EPICS-based instrument data acquisition and control systems.
  • Develop software applications to interface with embedded hardware electronics systems in a Linux environment.  Support and maintain existing control software and related applications including troubleshooting and bug fixes.
  • Provide documentation and training for software operation.  Maintain software code in a central repository utilizing a version control system. Develop and utilize software quality assurance procedures.
  • Provide operational support for the production science instrument data acquisition and control systems.  The position is typical office hours, but some off-hours/weekend support is required to support the 24/7 operational needs of the user facility.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of laboratory values and ethics.
  • Ensure and monitor compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.  Promptly identify ESH and QA issues and communicate them to project and division management, ESH and QA contacts, and/or subcontractor contacts as appropriate.
  • As a member of the ORNL scientific community, you will be expected to commit to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct.  Our full code of conduct, and a statement by the Lab Director's office can be found here:


Basic Qualifications:

  • BS degree in engineering, science or physics
  • 2 or more years of relevant experience
  • 2 or more years of low-level programming experience in one or more programming languages,

e.g. C++/C or Python

  • Demonstrated success in working with a multi-disciplinary team in a dynamic research environment
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with teams of scientists, engineers, and technicians


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in engineering, science or physics and 1 or more years of relevant experience
  • PhD in engineering, science or physics
  • Demonstrated expertise in any of the following: data acquisition systems for scientific research, large-scale distributed control systems, software and computing for scientific user facilities
  • Experience with software development in a Linux environment, and/or 2+ years of device driver development and integration experience with the Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System (EPICS) framework
  • Experience with collaborative software development tools (version control, issue tracking, task-based workflow, documentation)
  • Engagement in open-source software collaboration, with examples of work on GitHub or other software sharing platform.
  • Working or research experience at a neutron user facility, synchrotron light source or other experimental physics project or user facility is beneficial


About Neutron Sciences Directorate:

The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the United States’ highest flux reactor-based neutron source, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world’s most intense pulsed accelerator-based neutron source.  Together these facilities operate 30 instruments for neutron scattering research, each year carrying out in excess of 1,000 experiments in the physical, chemical, materials, biological and medical sciences for more than 3,000 visiting scientists.  HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation.  To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL go to


Benefits at ORNL:

UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options.  Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, coffee stands, and fitness facilities.



Moving can be overwhelming and expensive.  UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process.  Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions.  If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.


For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at



This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

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ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

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