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Sr. R&D Staff Scientist Nondestructive Assay (NDA)

Date: Sep 13, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 5167 



Overview: We are currently seeking qualified applicants for a Sr. Nondestructive Assay (NDA) Scientist in the Non-Destructive Measurement Science and Technology Group within the Safeguards and Treaty Verification Section in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division. The Safeguards and Treaty Verification Section focuses on enhancing scientific concepts, strategies, and technologies that will strengthen the capabilities of USG and international regimes (e.g., the IAEA and partner countries) to safeguard and secure nuclear material, commodities, and technologies from proliferation, improve nuclear safety systems, and enhance treaty verification. The Nondestructive Measurement Science and Technology Group focuses on research, development, and application of nondestructive assay systems, data acquisition technologies and analysis methods that support material control and accounting, operational safety for material processing, and nuclear material security protocols.




Provide NDA Research and Development (R&D) leadership to the Non-Destructive Measurement Science and Technology Group thereby strategically advancing science and technology consistent with ORNL’s aspiration to be the world’s premier R&D institution and ORNL’s science culture.


The Sr. R&D Staff member brings together a group of peers with the primary goals of pursuing global scientific leadership in their field, developing a strategy to develop a world class capability, nurturing ORNL’s culture among group members, and continuing to build and scale up individual excellence and impact in R&D. This position reports to the Group Leader and works closely with the Safeguards and Treaty Verification Section Head to implement the scientific vision; establishes capabilities that enable programs to excel at the forefront of science and technology; performs R&D to advance the field of knowledge and/or technology in one’s respective specialty; sets, implements, and models standards for performance of work consistent with Environment, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality (ESH&Q) requirements and business rules; and ensures a diverse and inclusive work environment where every employee feels safe, heard, and appreciated—a workplace that sets an example for the broader community.


The National Security Sciences Directorate conducts research and development to confront some of the nation’s most difficult security challenges and adversaries.  In addition to  nuclear nonproliferation, our directorate also houses science and technology (S&T) leadership in cybersecurity and cyber-physical resiliency, data analytics, geospatial science and technology, and high-performance computing for sensitive national security missions. We draw on the Laboratory’s exceptional facilities and work closely with leading researchers in other S&T areas at the lab such as nuclear and chemical sciences and engineering, nuclear fuel cycle and reactor systems, modern nuclear instrumentation and controls, applied materials, advanced manufacturing and intelligent systems, biosecurity, transportation, modeling and simulation, and computing.  Our multi-disciplinary research teams are passionate about discovery and innovation as we create science-based solutions to complex security threats that put public safety, national defense, energy infrastructure, and the economy at risk.



Our commitment to diversity:  As we strive to become the world’s premier research institution in the science and technologies that underpin critical national security missions, we are committed to creating an inclusive environment that highly values a diverse workforce.  We recognize that a breadth of perspectives, insights, and experiences are necessary to drive the level of innovation and discovery that is mission critical to national security sciences.  Our commitment extends beyond our workforce to the next generation of researchers with STEM education outreach that seeks to engage a diverse range of students.



Major Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Develop, manage and execute projects that deliver high value and impact for nuclear nonproliferation and safeguards missions.
  • Initiate, lead and perform independent and impactful R&D; for example, innovative S&T delivered to sponsors, successful proposals, S&T presentations, professional community engagement, inventions/patents/copyrights, publications as appropriate.
  • Lead program development activities through sponsor engagements, preparation of proposals and white papers, chairing and participation in workshops, as well as other program development activities.
  • Develop a vision and implement a cohesive research strategy to ensure the success of new and ongoing research projects.
  • Develop and implement plans to leverage new opportunities and/or expand existing efforts.
  • Lead by example by exercising scientific integrity in proposing, performing, publishing, and communicating research.
  • Lead by example to ensure all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures.
  • Exemplify a commitment to excellence in research, operations, and community engagement, and work cooperatively to leverage scientific capabilities across ORNL. Routinely work across Groups, Divisions, and Directorates.
  • Grow multi-laboratory and university collaborations.
  • Advance the reputation and standing of the group through collaborations, professional society leadership and involvement including sub-committees and working groups, standards committees, and journals.
  • Mentor other staff members.
  • Provide scientific consultancy to projects outside one’s own project portfolio, as required.
  • Engage in scientific peer review of the Group’s work products.



Basic Requirements:

  • Requires a Ph.D. in an engineering or scientific discipline with a minimum of 6 years relevant experience, a M.S. in an engineering or scientific discipline with a minimum of 12 years experiences, or a B.S. in an engineering or scientific discipline with a minimum of 15 years relevant experience.
  • Qualified candidates should have a focus on nuclear nonproliferation and safeguards measurements. 
  • An R&D track record in NDA and/or other areas relevant to the nondestructive analysis measurement science and technology group.
  • Extensive knowledge of S&T issues associated with nonproliferation and nuclear material measurements.
  • Demonstrated experience in program development and customer engagement, preferably with relevant offices within DOE and NNSA. 
  • Demonstrated experience in project management and delivery from a technical standpoint.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a demonstrated leadership ability and a strong commitment to a teaming environment. 
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally.



Preferred Qualifications:

  • Extensive knowledge of the traditional and advanced nuclear fuel cycles and associated technologies and operations.
  • Experience working for or collaborating with DOE National Laboratories (or similar R&D organizations).
  • Engagement in professional societies and/or standards committees at the leadership level.



Special Requirement:

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a clearance from the Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.


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.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville