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Nuclear Fuels Performance Scientist Postdoctoral Research Associate

Nuclear Fuels Performance Scientist Postdoctoral Research Associate - (20729)



Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is seeking a well-qualified Postdoctoral Research Associate in nuclear, mechanical, civil, or a related engineering field for the Computational Mechanics and Materials Department. This postdoctoral researcher will focus on the analysis of nuclear fuel using the Bison finite element code (  This postdoctoral researcher will be responsible for developing simulations that help advance nuclear fuel research at and beyond INL.  This work will include development of models appropriate for nuclear fuels and materials and application of these models to traditional and advanced reactor designs.  The researcher will also demonstrate the impact of the simulations, using a variety of methods, with sponsors and potential sponsors.

While an understanding of neutronics and/or fluid mechanics will be helpful, this position is not centered in those areas but in nuclear fuel performance.

The candidate is expected to be a strong asset to our interdisciplinary R&D team and work effectively both alone and as a team member. The candidate must be self-motivated but also take direction from other team members and peers.

The position entails writing scientific manuscripts for peer-reviewed journal publication and presentation of research results at national and international conferences and meetings.

Expectations also include:
• Demonstrating good judgement in the application of finite element analysis.
• Utilizing skills in scientific software development relevant for fuel performance modeling, such as numerical methods, constitutive modeling (including plasticity and thermal creep modeling), and coupling strategies, to meet the requirements of customers and the demands of internal initiatives.
• Demonstrating excellence in communicating results.
• Demonstrating skills in C++, Python, git, MacOS/Linux, and LaTeX.
• Providing peer review of research internal and external to INL.
• Developing plans for new research areas and producing successful proposals.
• Initiating novel, innovative research and engineering projects that impact scientific problems, tackling complex technology issues facing the nation.




• PhD requirements must be completed by commencement of appointment and within the previous 5 years
• PhD in nuclear, mechanical, civil, or a related engineering field with a focus on finite element analysis of thermal and mechanical systems
• Demonstrated excellent oral and written communication skills in English
• Ability to obtain and retain approval to access the analysis codes under development

Special Requirements:

Knowledge of numerical methods, including the finite element method
• Ability to germinate, coordinate, and execute projects and programs
• Ability to organize activities relative to project scope, requirements, and milestones
• Demonstrated ability to collaborate productively with others
• Excellent technical writing and oral communication skills

Job Information: 

  • Annual Wage - $95,004
  • You are required to show a demonstrated commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working environment

Benefits and Relocation

  • Medical, Dental, Vision, and Flexible Spending Accounts
  • 401(k) with a 4.2% employer contribution and up to 4.8% match
  • Paid time off (personal leave)
  • Employee Education Program (tuition assistance)
  • Comprehensive Relocation Package
  • Benefit eligibility subject multiple factors, including employment status and position classification.

INL is a science-based, applied engineering national laboratory dedicated to supporting the U.S. Department of Energy’s mission in nuclear energy research, science, and national defense. With more than 5,000 scientists, researchers, and support staff, the laboratory works with national and international governments, universities and industry partners to discover new science and development technologies that underpin the nation’s nuclear and renewable energy, national security, and environmental missions.

Growing INL: An Overview of New Facilities and Capabilities

INL Mission
Our mission is to discover, demonstrate and secure innovative nuclear energy solutions, other clean energy options and critical infrastructure.

INL Vision
Our vision is to change the world’s energy future and secure our nation’s critical infrastructure.

Selective Service Requirements
To be eligible for employment at INL males born after December 31, 1959 must have registered with the Selective Service System (SSS). For more information see

Equal Employment Opportunity
Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer. It is the policy of INL to provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information. Women and People of Color are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Reasonable Accommodation
We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

Other Information
When applying to positions please provide a resume and answer all questions on the following screens. Applicants, who fail to provide a resume or answer the questions, may be deemed ineligible for consideration.

INL does not accept resumes from third party vendors unsolicited.



: United States


: Postdoc


: Nuclear Science & Technology (Cxxx)


: Full-time


: Regular


: Feb 5, 2024, 9:35:42 AM


: Mar 10, 2024, 11:59:00 PM

RELOCATION: Position Relocation Eligible

TELEWORK: Hybrid Worker


: Exempt