KeySource Thomas Thor has been engaged by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) to fill the Computational Research Scientist position at their Keys Campus located in Deep River, Ontario.  The Computational Research Scientist will contribute to the scientific computing, modelling and prediction of materials behavior in structures, systems and components of advanced and contemporary nuclear reactors.  CNL is Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, serving Canada as an enabler of business innovation and technology transfer.  While viewed as a world leader in developing peaceful and innovative applications from nuclear technology through its expertise in physics, metallurgy, chemistry, biology, and engineering, CNL is committed to ensuring that Canadians and the world receive energy, health, and environmental benefits from nuclear science and technology.

Role description

This position supports the use of density functional theory, molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo simulations, and reaction rate and diffusion-reaction theories for the study of radiation and ageing effects on nuclear structural materials properties. The candidate is expected to contribute to work in areas of modeling and prediction of materials behaviour in structures, systems, and components (SSC) of advanced (e.g. SMR), and contemporary nuclear reactors. In particular the candidate will simulate and develop predictive models for radiation growth and creep, void swelling under neutron irradiation, impurity diffusion, and precipitation of secondary phases. Modelling and visualization of these phenomena is essential to understanding the underlying physics that drives larger length scale structural materials behaviour and making improvements to engineering models to predict structural materials behaviour.


  • Develop novel methods and apply various first principles and empirical modelling techniques to relevant problems. Specific areas include investigating the underlying mechanisms for delayed hydride cracking in zirconium alloys, and helium embrittlement of nickel alloys used as spacers in heavy water reactors and as structural materials in molten salt reactors.
  • Modelling and simulation of diffusion of impurities, secondary phase precipitation, and corrosion in aqueous and non-aqueous coolant environments are also of interest.
  • Participate in developing new techniques and methods that take advantage of advances in computing methods and hardware.
  • The candidate should be familiar with state of the art software tools for atomistic and higher length scale simulations, and be prepared to evaluate them and make improvements as required. The ability to perform parametric studies is also desirable. It is expected that the candidate will have the ability to plan and execute complex scientific research tasks, focused on specific project objectives, lead small or medium sized research teams, and make strategic decisions in setting the direction of new research.
  • Presentations on research will be delivered internally, at national and international venues, and to external customers. Work will be documented in internal reports and published in peer reviewed journals.
  • New methods and technologies may be developed as an outcome of the research performed.

Essential skills

  • Have 15 or more years of experience in the field of Engineering or Science with an established publication history.
  • Strong communication skills and a proficiency with scripting and computer programming are essential.
  • Leadership skills are desirable and prior experience is expected, as demonstrated through supervision of research teams, graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows.
  • The candidate will be expected to both work in a team and perform independently.
  • The candidate is expected to report on progress through internal reports and presentations and to publish the results in peer reviewed journals.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who show a strong publication record, have wide experience and knowledge related to materials behavior, and demonstrated international reputation, through participation in international committees such as those supported by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) or International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Desired skills

Published by Thomas Thor

Thomas Thor Associates is a consulting and recruitment organisation providing services to the global nuclear sector. We represent nuclear industry experts and provide them to our clients for either freelance contract assignments or permanent staff positions.

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