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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Computational Fluid Dynamics - Development Engineer
Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Date Posted 09/21/2020
Admin-Laboratory and Research
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled

Requisition Id 4064 

Seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Thermal Hydraulics Group of the Reactor and Nuclear Systems Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling and simulation technology for analyses of large-scale high-power thermal energy systems, including nuclear reactors, industrial facilities and energy storage systems.


Major Duties/ Responsibilities

  • Work with experienced thermal hydraulic engineering research and development staff to develop next generation thermal hydraulics simulation methods, CFD simulation methods, and models for a variety of nuclear reactor or thermal energy systems using world-leading high-performance computing platforms
  • High resolution Large Eddy Simulations (LESs) or Direct Numerical Simulations (DNSs) simulations to define pressure loss or heat transfer coefficients in complex design geometries
  • Complete large-scale multi-phase Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) simulations of reactor cores, heat exchangers, pumps, pressurizers, condensers, etc.
  • Support integrated multi-physics simulations of reactor cores or other components including CFD components
  • Optimize system and component designs for performance and safety
  • Develop reduced order models, closure models, or hi2lo calibration models
  • Complete simulation solution verification, model validation, uncertainty quantification and documentation


Qualifications Required

  • PhD in nuclear, mechanical, or chemical engineering or engineering physics or related field
  • Demonstrated experience in applying and extending CFD codes for application to nuclear or similarly complex thermal energy systems
  • Demonstrated results-oriented problem-solving skills and a willingness to apply those skills to a variety of engineering problemsExcellent communication skills (verbal, presentation, and written) are required to enable effective interaction with technical peers, program managers, and sponsors
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment, thoroughly document work performed
  • 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 
  • Applicants must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment
  • Appointments will initially be for 24 months with a possibility of an extension of up to 12 months. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding

This position requires access to technology that is subject to export control requirements. Successful candidates must be qualified for such access without an export control license.





Qualifications Desired

  • Demonstrated experience using numerical methods and software for solving thermal and fluid problems
  • Strong fundamental understanding of the principals of fluid mechanics and heat transfer
  • Experience in the use and application of a variety of CFD turbulence modeling approaches, including RANS and LES methods
  • Experience using common multiphase CFD methods, such as Volume of Fluid (VOF), level set, or Eulerian-Eulerian dispersed phase methods, is desired and familiarity with single and multi-phase experimental methods
  • Experience with reduced order modeling methods, such as Proper Orthogonal Decomposition, or high-to-low multi-scale integration methods, especially Bayesian calibration or Deep Learning methods
  • Experience with commercial CFD codes such as STAR-CCM+, ANSYS Workbench or COMSOL Multiphysics, open source CFD codes such as OpenFOAM or Nek5000, and/or the Dakota or RAVEN uncertainty quantification tools
  • Background in FORTRAN, C and/or C++ applied programming and knowledge of Python, Java or other scripting languages
  • Experience using parallel Linux computing platforms, parallel job submission scripts, common software repository tools, and parallel visualization software.




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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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