Oak Ridge National Laboratory
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Full Time
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Research Software Engineer – Neutron Sciences


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the United States Department of Energy’s largest science and energy laboratory tasked to provide the United States government agencies and departments with technology and expertise to support national and homeland security needs.

Our diverse capabilities span scientific and engineering disciplines, enabling the Laboratory to explore fundamental science challenges and to carry out the research needed to accelerate the delivery of solutions to the marketplace.

We invite applications for the position of Research Software Engineer who will focus on designing, developing and deploying data reduction and data analysis software for the neutron science community at ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). This position resides in the Software Engineering Group within the Computer Science and Mathematics Division.

The Software Engineering group focuses on engineering the next generation of high-quality scientific software.  Our group innovates and inspires the next generation of cutting-edge scientific software, thus enabling Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to host the world’s premier scientific software engineering group and transform science with software-defined solutions that are reliable, usable, and trustworthy.

Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work closely with management and staff in both CSMD and the Neutron Scattering Division to evaluate and optimize the software development practices of the group, and ensure success of the project.
  • Contribute to planning and major development efforts on scientific software projects for neutron techniques in the areas of diffraction, engineering diffraction, imaging, reflectometry, small-angle scattering, and spectroscopy.
  • Lead or collaborate on proposals related to the neutron sciences, and on proposals in computing that support better software and infrastructure for the neutron sciences.
  • Coordinate, lead, and act as a representative of the Laboratory in international collaborations related to scattering software.
  • Work closely with partners to meet their software requirements, address bugs, and achieve their scientific goals.
  • Act as a mentor for project members, junior staff, post-graduates, and students to help them grow.

Basic Requirements:

  • A minimum of a BS degree in computer science or a scientific field and 3+ years of relevant experience outside of degree.
  • Experience with languages including C++ and Python; tools such as Git and Docker; and modern practices such as test-driven development and continuous integration/continuous deployment.

Preferred Requirements:

  • MS or PhD preferred.
  • 5+ years of experience in addition to the degree.
  • Experience developing software at a neutron user facility, synchrotron light source or other large-scale experimental physics project or user facility is preferred.
  • Experience with PyQT or PySide.
  • Experience with Agile software development practices and a firm, demonstrable knowledge of software development lifecycles.
  • The ability to work on a team in a dynamic group environment as the team meets daily, practices continuous integration, collaborates on the source code and has regular deadlines as part of an Agile-based development process.
  • Activity within the broader open-source software community.

Code Sample:

An open-source code sample or coding exercise used for evaluation purposes will be required later in the application process. Your code sample should be related in some way to the subject of this post. It should be object-oriented, contain five or more classes, show a sophisticated understanding of the project and be your sole work to a very high degree (>95%). Code samples will need to be made available on GitHub or a similar sharing platform.

Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.

Other benefits include:

Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, Pet Insurance and Employee Discounts.


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.