Materials Engineer or Metallurgist

Rockville, Maryland
Sep 20, 2021
Sep 28, 2021
Engineer, IT, QA Engineer
Full Time


This is an all office vacancy; there are openings across 2 offices. Positions are located in the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research (RES)/Division of Engineering/Reactor Engineering Branch (REB), and the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation/Division of New and Renewed Licenses (DNRL)/Piping and Head Penetrations Branch (NPHP) and Vessels and Internals Branch (NVIB). The supervisors are Raj Iyengar, Matthew Mitchell, and Angie Buford, respectively. These positions are in the bargaining unit.

Learn more about this agency


As a Materials Engineer or Metallurgist, you will provide technical assessments in the areas of materials, metallurgical and mechanical engineering relating to the areas that may include design, analysis, fabrication, operation, maintenance, inspection, and testing of reactor systems and components, fuel facilities, or fuel storage and transportation systems. You will evaluate applicant or licensee implementation of NRC regulations and requirements in licensing reviews; use technical expertise in the area of materials engineering to perform operating experience reviews; support inspection and enforcement activities, and develop regulations and regulatory guidance; provide specialized technical assistance and advice to NRC management and staff; and communicate materials engineering-related issues with internal and external stakeholders. Duties include but are not limited to:
  • Performs the review and evaluation of the theory, principles and practices in the area of materials engineering as it relates to the application of materials engineering in nuclear facility design, fabrication, construction, analysis, testing, maintenance and operation.
  • Assists regions in evaluation and dispositioning of inspection findings. Reviews operating experience and participate in the response to, and resolution of, operating events.
  • Confers with technical representatives of organizations having interests and responsibilities in the materials engineering aspects of nuclear power plants.
  • Prepares presentation materials and makes presentations on routine technical and regulatory subjects in assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Prepares response to questions or comments from public or other government agencies regarding issues in area of expertise.

  • Travel Required

    Occasional travel - May occasionally be required to travel to facility sites.

    Supervisory status

    Promotion Potential


    Conditions of Employment

    • This is a Drug Testing position.
    • U.S. Citizenship Required
    • 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 (12) 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.

    The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate the following:

    1. Demonstrated knowledge of the application of materials engineering in nuclear facility design, fabrication, construction, analysis, testing, maintenance, inspection, testing and operation. (DOUBLE WEIGHTED) Examples may include specific training, education and work experience that demonstrate your knowledge of overall engineering principles related to technical assessments of materials/mechanical behavior, structural integrity, and materials degradation of the structures, systems, and components for nuclear facilities. Examples may include technical assessments of or experience in materials/mechanical behavior, irradiation effects, environmental effects, and chemistry aspects of materials degradation. Additional examples may include nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and/or in-service inspection (ISI) techniques, or engineering analyses related to the structural integrity of components and systems used in light water and/or non-light water nuclear power plants, fuel facilities, and fuel transportation and storage systems.

    2. Demonstrated experience in leading, managing, or participating with others in complex, highly technical research projects or tasks leading to timely issue resolution. Examples may include relevant technical research projects or tasks that you conducted with a focus on identification of problem areas, emerging issues, processes used to achieve resolution, and your specific role in the project or task, particularly when addressing differing views.

    3. Demonstrated ability to work effectively with internal and external organizations on technical projects on a variety of subjects related to materials or metallurgical engineering. Examples may include specific experience and accomplishments communicating effectively with individuals of diverse backgrounds in various organizations. Examples may also include your role and responsibilities in interfacing with other organizations to resolve problems and/or recommended solutions to these problems.

    4. Demonstrated ability to communicate and present technical information clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing. Examples may include experience, training, and accomplishments that demonstrate your ability to communicate and present technical information clearly and effectively. Examples may include oral presentations and/or written documents you prepared and the various levels of individuals for which presentations were made. Examples may also include where you have used skills in communicating complex technical issues to professional societies, peers, management, the general public, governmental agencies, or others

    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.


    You must include an unofficial or official copy of your college and/or university transcripts with your application. Education must be from an accredited (or pre-accredited) college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. If you are qualifying based on foreign education, you must submit proof of credibility of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency.

    0806, Materials Engineering Series:

    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:

    1321, Metallurgy Series:

    Basic requirements:
  • Degree: metallurgy or metallurgical engineering that included at least 20 semester hours in metallurgical subjects. OR
  • Combination of education and experience - courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

  • Additional information

    These positions are not subject to Confidential Financial Disclosure reporting requirements and are subject to the security ownership restriction reporting requirements. Based on the staffing needs of the offices, additional selections may be made through this vacancy announcement.

    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

    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 under the Schedule A Hiring Authority and wish to be considered you must supply supporting documentation. Documentation of disability is required, i.e., Schedule A Letter. Such documentation is used to verify that the individual being hired is indeed a person with an intellectual disability, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability. This documentation must be provided to the hiring agency at the time of application, before an individual can be hired. Documentation of eligibility for employment under Schedule A can be obtained from a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional certified by a state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory to practice medicine); a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e., state or private); or any Federal agency, state agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits. You may refer to the following link to view Proof of Disability Documentation (

    You must include an unofficial or official copy of your college and/or university transcripts with your application. Education must be from an accredited (or pre-accredited) college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. If you are qualifying based on foreign education, you must submit proof of credibility of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency.

    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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