Materials Engineer

Rockville, Maryland
Sep 16, 2021
Sep 17, 2021
Engineer, IT, QA Engineer
Full Time


This position is located in the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR), Division of New and Renewed Licenses (DNRL), Vessels and Internals Branch, supervisor is Angela Buford and the Piping and Head Penetrations Branch, supervisor is Matthew Mitchell. This position is in the Bargaining Unit, is not subject to Confidential Financial Disclosure reporting requirements, and is not subject to the security ownership restriction reporting requirements.

Learn more about this agency


As a Materials Engineer/Metallurgist, you will provide reviews of complex materials engineering-related issues to evaluate applicant or licensee implementation of NRC regulations and requirements and to evaluate changes in existing licenses; utilize technical expertise in the area of materials engineering/metallurgy to perform operating experience reviews, support inspection and enforcement activities, and develop regulations and regulatory guidance; utilize leadership skills to train and organize, direct, and review the activities of junior staff; and provide specialized technical assistance and advice to NRC management and staff, and communicate complex materials engineering-related issues with internal and external stakeholders.

Those selected for these positions will be responsible for participating in the activities noted above as they apply to either the specialized materials engineering-related area of Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) for NRR/DNRL/NPHP or the area of Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics (PFM) for NRR/DNRL/NVIB.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Occasional travel may be required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship Required
  • This is a Drug Testing position.
  • Background investigation leading to a clearance is required for new hires.

You must meet the qualifications for this position by no later than 30 calendar days after the closing date of this announcement and before placement in the position.


In order to qualify for this position, you must have at least one year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level in the Federal service or equivalent experience in the private or public sector.

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE is defined as experience that demonstrates knowledge of the design, construction, operation, inspection, and evaluation of nuclear plant components, structures, and facilities.

Applicants should demonstrate specialized experience in one, or both, of two materials engineering-related areas:
  • Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE), or
  • Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics (PFM)

The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate the following:

1. Demonstrated knowledge of the principles, theories, and practices of materials engineering as applied to commercial nuclear plants.

(Example: Describe your specific training, education and experience that demonstrates your knowledge of the principles, theory, and application of materials engineering and related technical disciplines sufficient to evaluate a broad range of topics at nuclear plants and to develop regulatory criteria, guidance, and technical positions.)

2. Demonstrated experience and ability to apply principles of nondestructive evaluation or probabilistic facture mechanics to a broad range of material/component inspection or evaluation topics and to develop regulatory criteria, guidance, or technical positions. (DOUBLE WEIGHTED)

(Example: Describe your specific experience that demonstrates your ability to evaluate a broad range of topics relating to the application of nondestructive evaluation technologies (ultrasonic examination, radiographic examination, magnetic particle examination, etc.) or probabilistic facture mechanics methodologies as applied to material/component inspection or evaluation and to develop regulatory criteria, guidance, or technical positions. Experience with the inspection or evaluation of nuclear power plant structural materials (carbon steel, low alloy steel, stainless steel, nickel-based alloys) and components (vessels, piping, components, or structures) should be emphasized.)

3. Broad knowledge of NRC goals, regulations, regulatory guides, Standard Review Plan, and policies, including those applicable to materials engineering topics at nuclear plants. Knowledge of industry codes, standards and guidelines applicable to these topics.

(Example: Describe specific experience, training, education, and skills which demonstrate your ability to develop, review, or apply NRC regulations, policies, and regulatory guidance in general, and with respect to materials engineering at nuclear plants. Describe specific experience, training, education, and skills which demonstrate your knowledge of industry standards and guidelines related to these topics at nuclear plants.)

4. Demonstrated ability to communicate information, ideas, and advice in a clear, concise and logical manner, both orally and in writing.

(Example: Describe specific experience, training, and accomplishments that demonstrate ability to: lead complex scientific and technical discussions and to explain complicated technical and policy issues to colleagues and management, licensee personnel, representatives of Federal, State, and local agencies, industry, oversight groups, and the general public; make presentations to various audiences on particular projects of interest; and develop clear, concise, balanced and well-founded technical and policy positions and recommendations based on complex and diverse opinions and facts.)

A description of how you possess the specialized experience as well as how you meet the qualifications desired in an ideal candidate should be addressed in your resume and in the additional space provided for supplemental response.


Qualification for All Professional Engineering 0800 Series :

Basic Requirements:
  • Degree: Engineering. To be acceptable, the program must: (1) lead to a bachelor's degree in a school of engineering with at least one program accredited by ABET; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.

  • OR
  • Combination of education and experience -- college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following:
  • Professional registration or licensure -- Current registration as an Engineer Intern (EI), Engineer in Training (EIT)1, or licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE) by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico. Absent other means of qualifying under this standard, those applicants who achieved such registration by means other than written test (e.g., State grandfather or eminence provisions) are eligible only for positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of their registration. For example, an applicant who attains registration through a State Board's eminence provision as a manufacturing engineer typically would be rated eligible only for manufacturing engineering positions.
  • Written Test -- Evidence of having successfully passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE)2 examination or any other written test required for professional registration by an engineering licensure board in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
  • Specified academic courses -- Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences and that included the courses specified in the basic requirements under paragraph A. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of an engineering program as described in paragraph A.
  • Related curriculum -- Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in an appropriate scientific field, e.g., engineering technology, physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of a bachelor's degree in engineering, provided the applicant has had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. Ordinarily there should be either an established plan of intensive training to develop professional engineering competence, or several years of prior professional engineering-type experience, e.g., in interdisciplinary positions. (The above examples of related curricula are not all-inclusive.)

  • More detailed information about these alternatives are described in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Qualification Standards Operating Manual which may be accessed at the following website:

    Additional information

    The NRC provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Individuals with disabilities may contact the Selective Placement Coordinator for assistance with the application or hiring process via Deaf applicants may contact the Disability Program Manager by calling the NRC videophone at 240-428-3217.

    Individuals who are eligible for non-competitive appointment under an OPM special appointing authority may apply for consideration under a comparable NRC non-competitive appointing authority. Veterans, please visit:

    Selectee's will be required to complete a "Declaration of Federal Employment", (OF-306), prior to being appointed to determine their suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. False statements or responses on your resume or questionnaire can jeopardize your employment opportunity and subject you to disciplinary action, including removal from Federal service.

    A transferable security clearance from another agency or a background investigation leading to a clearance is required for all new hires. To begin work at the NRC without a security clearance, you must be granted a temporary waiver of the required clearance, referred to as a 145(b) waiver. To be eligible for a 145(b) waiver you will need a favorable education verification, reference, credit, and criminal history checks. If a wavier is granted, the successful completion of a background investigation and favorable adjudication is required for continued employment. If you have resided outside the U.S. for an extended period of time, the agency may not be able to (1) grant the 145(b) waiver where the required investigation cannot be completed in a timely manner, or (2) achieve timely completion of the background investigation required for a security clearance.

    The NRC is a zero tolerance agency with respect to illegal drug use. Individuals selected for this position will be subject to pre-appointment drug testing unless currently in a NRC position subject to random drug testing AND will be subject to random drug testing upon appointment to the NRC.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

    When the application process is complete, your application will be reviewed to determine if you meet the job requirements. You will be rated based on the information provided in your resume and responses to any vacancy questions to determine your level of knowledge, skill and ability related to the job requirements. If you are among the top candidates for this position, your application will be referred to the hiring manager.

    Your resume is the key means we have for evaluating your knowledge, skills, and abilities as they relate to this position. Therefore, we encourage you to submit a thorough resume that directly relates to this position.

    To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance
    L Access Authorization

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Noncritical-Sensitive (NCS)/Moderate Risk

    Trust determination process
    National security

    Required Documents

    List of supplemental material that may be applicable:

    If you are a NRC employee you are required to submit your most recent Rating of Record (Performance Appraisal) or a statement saying that one is not available.

    If you are a current/reinstatement eligible Federal employee with status (Tenure Group 1 or 2), you will be considered under our merit promotion procedures and must submit a copy of your most recent SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) to verify competitive status or reinstatement eligibility.

    Veterans' Preference documentation, if applicable (e.g. DD-214 Member Copy 4 showing type of discharge/character of service; Current Active Duty members must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions dated within 120 days; SF-15 Form and related documentation; VA letter.) You can find additional information about Veterans' Preference at

    If you are applying for a position that requires a college degree, you must submit your College Transcripts.

    All supplemental documents will now be collected electronically and should be submitted before the closing date of this vacancy announcement. You have three choices for submitting your supplemental documents:

    1. Use the "USAJoBs" feature to download documents from your USAJOBs portfolio; or
    2. Use the "Upload" feature to upload documents directly from your computer. The following types of documents can be uploaded: .gif, .jpeg, .png, .rtf, .pdf, and .doc; or
    3. Use the "Fax" feature to print the Fax Cover Sheet and fax it, along with your supplemental documents to 1-571-258-4052.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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