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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Radiation Detection

Oak Ridge, TN

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The Nuclear Material Detection and Characterization (NMDC) group within the Nuclear Security and Isotope Technology Division (NSITD) of **MEMBERS ONLY**SIGN UP NOW***. (ORNL) seeks a physicist/engineer to fill a postdoctoral research position focused on novel and advanced methods and instrumentation for radiation detection and characterization of nuclear materials.

The Nuclear Security and Isotope Technology Division at ORNL is involved with improving the protection of nuclear materials and fuel cycle technology from theft, diversion, and illicit use, while at the same time allowing for the peaceful use of these materials and technologies. NSITD contributes world-class research and technology development and deployment that play a vital role in the implementation of global nuclear security and nonproliferation agreements. We have a range of expertise, facilities, and programs that focus on nuclear security challenges, and it is the combination of these activities that assist in meeting the overall mission needs in this area.

The Nuclear Material Detection and Characterization group focuses on the development and evaluation of novel and advanced radiation detector and non-destructive evaluation concepts for nonproliferation, national security, and intelligence organizations. The NMDC group performs the research and technology development for evolving advanced concepts, including development of advanced instrumentation and techniques for such concepts. The group utilizes the appropriate codes to both analyze and model these concepts and systems with particular emphasis on sensitivity and specificity in actual field operations. The function of this position is to assist the group to perform the needed research and development that will yield novel and advanced detector systems, instrumentation, measurement techniques, and algorithms in support of applications from a broad user base.

Major Duties / Responsibilities

The successful candidate will be working with research staff within NMDC and throughout NSITD to conceive, plan, direct, simulate, and execute novel processes and instrumentation for nuclear measurements at government facilities (both domestic and foreign) and in the field. These research programs will involve collaboration with scientists from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds and interactions with sponsors from a broad user base. As such, the ability to interact effectively is essential. Analysis and interpretation of the data from measurements will require the ability to perform Monte Carlo simulations of experimental systems using existing or specially developed codes. The measurements will generally be performed using novel techniques and instrumentation developed by the NMDC group. These measurements will often include but are not limited to those that employ active and passive radiation imaging techniques. The successful candidate will be expected to advance the theory and practice of these techniques, to develop new ones, and to participate in the preparation of proposals and the planning and development of new projects with existing and new sponsors.


This research position requires a Ph.D. in Physics, Nuclear Engineering, or equivalent with a background in experimental research involving the detection and characterization of ionizing radiation. Required is familiarity with, as well as a theoretical understanding of, gamma-ray, neutron, and charged particle detectors, including detector materials, analog and digital signal processing, and data analysis. Experience in the design of new detectors and detector systems, especially position-sensitive and/or pixelated detectors, is desired. Also desired is experience with passive and/or active imaging techniques and image reconstruction algorithms. Strong computer programming skills and familiarity with computer/instrument interfaces are important. The candidate should have experience in radiation transport codes such as Geant4 or MCNP, and experience with data analysis software applicable to radiation detection measurements. Excellent human relation and oral and written communication skills are required for this position along with a demonstrated ability to work in team-oriented environment with a broad range of domestic and international collaborators.

Applicants cannot have received the most recent degree more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment.

The position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q clearance.

This position is a Workplace Substance Abuse program (WSAP) testing designed position which requires passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program in which employees are subject to being randomly selected for testing. The occupant of this position will also be subject to an ongoing requirement to report to ORNL any drug-related arrest or conviction or receipt of a positive drug test result.

Job Types: Full-time, Temporary

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