Section Head of Materials in Extremes
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
United States

Section Head, Materials in Extremes

Date: Aug 16, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11417 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks a Section Head to lead groundbreaking research within our Materials in Extremes (MiE) Section. This position resides in the Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD), at ORNL.

Among MSTD’s signature capabilities is R&D of materials for extreme operating environments. Our MiE section houses five diverse groups specializing in metallic, ceramic, and composite materials for harsh environments in various power systems including nuclear fusion and fission, transportation, combustion, renewables, and bioenergy. The research supports missions for multiple program offices within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), including: Office of Science, Office of Nuclear Energy, Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, and other government agencies.

This unique opportunity allows you to intertwine science with leadership. As a Section Head, you will be part MSTD’s Leadership Team, contributing to the development and execution of strategies in materials R&D and making an impact through your collaborations with fellow Team leaders, engagement across ORNL, and relationships with external partners. Simultaneously, your role as a Distinguished R&D Staff Member includes leading and conducting groundbreaking, scientific research in your own area of expertise within the overarching focus of the Section.

Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Lead and champion internationally renowned, innovative materials science and engineering research for harsh operating environments
  • Develop and implement scientific strategies, research programs, and partnerships for materials in extreme environments for the MiE, MSTD, PSD, and ORNL
  • Mentor and guide Group Leaders, encouraging their growth while also fostering a dedicated and successful work environment
  • Provide high-level oversight to the experimental facilities in the Section including the Low Activation Materials Development and Analysis (LAMDA) facility and the Creep Laboratory
  • Act as a steward for operations, facilities, and equipment in the Section
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by encouraging a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success

Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD degree in Materials Science and Engineering or a related field
  • A minimum of 12 years of professional research experience
  • Experience leading R&D groups or teams

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Scientific productivity and impact proven by a full list of publications and commonly accepted citation metrics
  • Track record of successful program and/or proposal development
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory.
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks on time, and evolving needs.

Special Requirements:

  • Letters of Recommendation: Please provide three references, including contact information, at the time of application. Letters may be requested if selected to interview.
  • Export control, no clearance: 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.
  • Q Clearance: This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a clearance from the Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.

Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.

Other benefits include the following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.

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.

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