Plasma Based Enrichment – Senior R&D Staff Member


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking an outstanding scientific leader with depth and breadth of collaborative, innovative experience to support the Enrichment Science and Engineering Division (ESED) – Stable Isotope Research Development and Production Section as a Senior Plasma Scientist. In this position, the selected candidate will advance the plasma science and technology behind the electromagnetic isotope separation and plasma separation processes.


ORNL is the steward and dispensary of the nation’s stable isotope inventory and have a legacy dating to the late 1940s. As a recognized leader in centrifuge and electromagnetic enrichment technology, ORNL’s ESED serves the nation in two critical areas: advancing enrichment technologies and exploring stable isotope production and applications. The division leverages an elite staff of scientists and engineers with the world-leading capabilities of ORNL to deliver groundbreaking advancements in a wide range of applications, from national security to life-saving medical treatments.

Research and development (R&D) conducted within ESED integrates the full isotope enrichment process, from chemical synthesis of feed materials to fabrication of the custom physical forms of the enriched material needed to support the user communities. The successful candidate will provide R&D leadership to the group to strategically advance the science and technology behind plasma-based enrichment devices.

Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Design and lead plasma research to advance high mass ion source technology to maximize efficiency and stability for production of high value isotopes
  • Design and lead experiments in high current ion beam transport and isotope collection to optimize throughput, while eliminating contamination sources
  • Collaborate with other lead scientists to develop new isotope separation technologies to support the DOE Isotope Program
  • Provide subject matter expertise through troubleshooting and support for plasma-based enrichment production operations
  • Work closely with colleagues and safety professional to ensure safe execution of all aspects of work.

Basic Qualifications and Requirements:

  • This position requires a Ph.D. in plasma physics, beam physics, accelerator physics, nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering, or related fields with a minimum of 10 years relevant experience.
  • Track record of generating and deploying new research areas
  • Experience mentoring early to mid-career scientists
  • Demonstrated ability to work across multiple disciplines in a highly collaborative environment – Qualified candidates will have a demonstrated track record of integrating basic and applied research in multidisciplinary teams to achieve high impact in their respective fields
  • Qualified candidates will have demonstrated experience in successfully leading diverse R&D teams to solve complex, interdisciplinary problems.
  • The ability to work flexible hours and travel when required.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Proven ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs

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

Preferred Qualifications and Research Topic of interest:

  • Experience with high current ion beam accelerators (electrostatic and magnetic beam optics)
  • Experience with advanced ion source design, testing, and modeling
  • Experience working with mechanical and electrical engineers to translate ideas high performance engineered devices
  • Experience in plasma resonant heating using RF and/or microwave sources
  • Experience with plasma transport in high intensity magnetic fields
  • Experience and/or interest in developing high efficiency ion source technology to produce unique plasmas spanning the periodic table
  • Experience coupling experimental plasma diagnostic data to complex modeling results
  • Experience in isotope enrichment science and engineering

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 [email protected]

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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