Postdoctoral Research Associate – Experimental Plasma Physicist (Boundary) in Oak Ridge, TN for Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to provide transformative solutions to compelling energy and security issues.

We are looking for a postdoctoral research associate who will support the Power Exhaust and Particle Control (PE&PC) group of the Fusion Energy Division (FED), Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate (FFESD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The PE&PC group performs experimental and simulation work to develop solutions and the accompanying physical basis for power exhaust, PMI science and particle control needs for fusion energy reactors.

As part of your role within our PE&PC team, you will be in close contact with ORNL staff on collaborations related to the spherical tokamak containment concept. In collaboration with several team members, you will participate in spherical tokamak power exhaust experiments ensuring the proper functioning and exploitation of radiated power diagnostics.

Main tasks/responsibilities:

  • Interface with experts to develop and execute proposals for experimental/simulation studies of radiative plasma escape on spherical tokamaks focusing on UKAEA device, MAST-Upgrade
  • Develop and maintain analysis codes and interact with scientific coordinators to ensure the proper execution of experimental programs
  • Develop new data interpretation techniques that combine a number of diagnostic systems to understand the radiation distribution in a spherical tokamak boundary/diverter region
  • Produce high-impact publications in key peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations on fusion divertor physics topics
  • Ensure compliance with environmental, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values ​​and ethics

Basic qualities:

  • A PhD in plasma physics, electrical engineering, nuclear engineering or a related field completed within the last 5 years

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience in experimental science, diagnostics and/or simulation of tokamak limits
  • Experience working with the operation and data analysis of plasma diagnostics, particularly spectroscopic camera systems encompassing spectral ranges that may include UV through IR.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Driven self-starter with the ability to work independently and participate creatively in collaborative teams across the lab
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, prioritize to complete multiple tasks on time, and adapt to ever-changing needs

Please submit three reference letters when applying for this position. You can upload them directly to your application or have them sent to [email protected] with job title and number referenced in the subject line.

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Applicants cannot have received their doctorate. more than five years prior to the date of application and must meet all degree requirements before commencing their appointment. The duration of the appointment will be 24 months maximum with the possibility of extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funds.

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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.