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Director, Neutron Scattering Division

Date: Mar 16, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10127 


The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking applicants with experienced leadership and a strong scientific background for the Division Director of the Neutron Scattering Division (NSD). The NSD Director leads and coordinates staff and resources for the neutron scattering activities at the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), which are both operated by NScD. These two neutron facilities currently include 30 instruments for neutron scattering research, each year carrying out more than 1,000 experiments in the physical, chemical, materials, biological and medical sciences for more than 3,000 visiting scientists. To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL go to:



This position provides strategic leadership and overall management for NSD, which currently has over 170 full time scientists, technical professionals, technicians, and postdoctoral researchers. The division leads and supports a vibrant world-class user program while continuing to develop new neutron scattering methods, approaches, and instrumentation, and performing cutting-edge scientific research that benefits from and contributes to these advances. The division consists of six sections. Three sections, i.e., Diffraction, Spectroscopy, and Large-Scale Structures, are comprised of the neutron scattering scientists on the corresponding beamlines. The Sample Environment and Labs section develops new capabilities and provides support across the beamlines at SNS and HFIR. The two Beamline Operations sections at SNS and HFIR, respectively, include the staff directly supporting instrument operations, notably the scientific associates, instrument support teams, the Instrument Hall Coordinators, and the Neutron Chopper team. The division also houses the User Program and Outreach office as well as the Scientific Software Development team, which is matrixed with the Computer Science and Mathematics Division.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Provide leadership to deliver the most scientifically productive user program possible, and advance neutron scattering activities across all user beamlines, emphasizing cutting-edge research, and meeting the needs of the national and international user community
  • Provide technical and operational support on all beamlines, delivering the best possible value to the user program by focusing on reliable operation and development of new capabilities
  • Provide a creative environment for research productivity in which staff can grow in their career and users benefit from scientific vibrancy
  • Provide a creative environment for technique and method development that closely ties the activities of engineering and operations teams to the scientific goals
  • Identify the scientific needs of the SNS and HFIR users as well as the broader scientific community through a variety of means including targeted outreach visits and organization of workshops or meetings
  • Develop long-term strategic goals that are aligned with budgetary forecasts, taking into consideration upcoming outages, and taking advantage of upcoming new capabilities
  • Develop operational goals to address reliability, obsolescence, and maintenance issues
  • Actively pursue funding opportunities from various sponsors
  • Encourage and mentor staff to be engaged in partnerships across ORNL and outside organizations
  • Engage with the user community by maintaining a close relationship with the executive committee of the SNS and HFIR User Group
  • Execute line management responsibilities including supervision of section heads, operating within the allocated budget, business plan preparation, salary planning, staff recruitment and development, employee relations, and performance management; may include supervision of staff matrixed from other ORNL Directorates
  • Represent NScD for various review committees, advisory committees, visitors, conferences and workshops, and lead talks, lectures, and various tours for dignitaries
  • Interface with the DOE site office and program office
  • Assume the responsibilities of NScD Associate Lab Director in his/her absence as requested
  • Commit to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct by holding yourself and others to the highest scientific, professional, and ethical standards. Read more about the ORNL research code of conduct here:
  • Commit to holding yourself and others to the highest standard for a healthy culture, including safety, security, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Ensure compliance with Laboratory policies, standards, and procedures as documented in the Standards Based Management System, including but not limited to environmental, safety, health, and quality program requirements


Basic Qualifications:

  • PhD in Physics, Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry, or related discipline and at least 15 years of relevant experience
  • Ten years of experience in leadership of scientists and scientific activities
  • Demonstrated experience in articulating and implementing a vision to advance a science program
  • A strong record of publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Desire to work in a team environment, with collaboration at all levels, disciplines, and diverse cultural backgrounds of the organization
  • A strong record in safe operations and continuous improvement activities


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Recognized leadership in neutron scattering science with a record of participation and membership on editorial boards, national and international committees, peer review boards, and advisory committees
  • Previous experience working in a DOE research program
  • Previous experience at a neutron scattering facility
  • Previous experience in a large user facility


Work Direction and Interfaces:

This position will report to the NScD Associate Laboratory Director and interfaces with NScD Division Directors and Chief Operating Officer, Deputy Director for Science, along with Business, Operations, Safety and Human Resource staff.




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.

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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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