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Pellet Injection & Diagnostics, Associate Technician

Date: Dec 30, 2021

Location: San Diego, CA, US, 92121

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 7147 


Fusion energy is a safe, environmentally friendly, and sustainable energy source that has tremendous potential to dramatically change how we power the world. The Fusion Energy Division (FED) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is developing the science and technology required to deploy economical fusion energy systems. We are tackling some of the most challenging aspects of fusion energy development in order to make fusion energy an electricity source for this generation.

We are seeking a technician to join our ambitious team. The technician will be responsible for operating and maintaining pellet injector systems that are used in fusion experiments at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego.  This position will involve working with cryogenic pellet formation, vacuum hardware, pneumatic control, and computer systems. Collaboration with other engineers, physicists, and technicians in the operation and of hardware, as well as participating in the planning and execution of experiments will be a regular function of the position.  The technician will also support instrumentation and control system hardware and software used for plasma diagnostic systems. They will work with other engineers, physicists, and technicians to support critical research and development needed to resolve issues for a U.S. fusion pilot plant and ITER. 


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead operation of cryogenic pellet injector systems
  • Perform troubleshooting and upgrades of instrumentation, including controls and gas handling systems for pellet injectors
  • Troubleshoot programmable logic controller (PLC) based systems 
  • Apply problem solving skills to technically complex systems in a fast-paced, dynamic environment
  • Evaluate designs for reliability, availability, maintainability, and safety
  • Assist team with spectroscopic diagnostic system maintenance and calibrations
  • Assist team with procurement and acquisition of equipment
  • Manage and organize lab space
  • Accurately and reliably communicate technical status and performance to ORNL team and collaborators
  • Comply with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of ORNL values and ethics

Basic Qualifications:

  • Associates of science degree in engineering, physics, or a related field and a minimum of 2 years relevant experience
  • Background working with sensitive electronic or high vacuum equipment in a lab, industrial, or scientific environment


Preferred Qualifications:

Our ideal candidate will have or more of the following:

  • 5 or more years of relevant experience
  • Good dexterity, attention to detail, and care when working with precision assembly and delicate hardware
  • Ability to safely handle cryogenic systems and high pressure gas cylinders
  • Demonstrated ability to quickly adapt and learn complex systems
  • Must have the ability to function as part of a team consisting of scientific specialists, engineers, and technicians to meet project schedule and team research goals
  • Be a self-starter and able to work independently to solve technical problems
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills to document work and effectively communicate with program managers and collaborators
  • Basic knowledge of PC software
  • Ability to work occasional odd or long hours in order to support scheduled experiments 
  • Experience working with electronic instrumentation, programmable logic controllers, vacuum technology, and cryogenic technology
  • A working knowledge or willingness to learn PLC architectures, LabView software and programming
  • Proficiency with vacuum and high-pressure fittings installation (ConFlat flange, compression fittings, ultra torr, and VCR fittings)
  • Basic knowledge of turbo mechanical pumps, scroll pumps, gate valves, and other UHV components and their respective start-up operation
  • Experience at a fusion research facility or other large-scale experimental physics project or scientific user facility
  • Understanding of CAD models
  • Experience machining (lathe, mill) and assembling


Special Requirements:

This position is based in San Diego, CA at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility.



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: San Diego