Postdoctoral Research Associate - RF Scientist Engineer

Oak Ridge, US
Candidates may discuss with their recruiter at a later date
Nov 13, 2023
Posting live until
Dec 13, 2023


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.

The Fusion Technology Group of the Fusion Energy Division (FED) of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking a postdoctoral research associate to support the advancement of plasma heating, current drive, and integrated radio frequency (RF) technology development as part of programs supported by the U.S. DOE Office of Science Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) Program and other related public and private partnerships.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Support complex research and engineering projects involving high power sources, RF hardware and components, and plasma heating in fusion and related regimes.
  • Design and analyze complex systems involving RF sources, plasmas, and their interactions with magnetic fields & materials in extreme environments including vacuum and high temperatures.
  • Communicate results of analyses and experiments through presentations, reports, conference papers, and peer-reviewed journals.
  • Work with industrial, university, and/or laboratory partners on multi-disciplinary projects and teams.
  • Oversee fabrication and testing of prototype components & full-scale power systems.
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in physics or electrical engineering, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Familiarity with RF environments with respect to plasma physics, sources and components, and plasma material interactions.
  • Experience with scientific analysis software such as Python, MATLAB, or comparable equivalent.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience designing, building, and operating RF plasmas with integrated diagnostics and measurement systems for fusion plasma devices or comparable frequency regimes.
  • Experience with multi-physics simulation (e.g., COMSOL Multiphysics).
  • Experience in experimental plasma physics or diagnostics preferred.
  • Experience with plasma and/or neutral transport models and modeling codes.
  • Demonstrated ability to work individually and/or as part of a team, including participation at remote facilities, and contribute based on knowledge and experience.
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory.
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs.

Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


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, Life Insurance, Pet Insurance, 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, and Employee Discounts.


If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email:


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.