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Director, Quantum Science Center

Date: Dec 30, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 7146 



The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks an outstanding research leader for the position of the Director of the Quantum Science Center (QSC) for the Department of Energy.  The QSC incorporates five essential components that the Director will lead and direct. For the first component, the Director will lead research across an integrated Quantum Information Science (QIS) innovation chain that includes fundamental science R&D, device development, prototyping of new quantum devices and sensors, and a wide range of quantum computing and sensing applications in both materials science and the fundamental science of dark matter detection. Ultimately, the innovation chain will lead from research to transfer of new technologies to industry. The QSC Director will interact with QIS industrial partners and the QSC Industrial Advisory Board to enable technology transfer of QSC concepts to industry.


The second essential component requires leading a highly multi-disciplinary, distributed, and world-class research effort spanning quantum materials science theory and experiment, quantum algorithms and simulations, and the engineering development of quantum computing devices and sensors. The QSC Director will lead a multidisciplinary, multi-institution team to accomplish the goals of the Center and will lead all aspects of planning and executing the QSC strategy, coordinate staffing the QSC with the right talent to achieve success, and executing against a set of DOE approved milestones. The QSC Director must be a scientist of international standing to nurture the partnership between the QSC and international partners at RIKEN and CERN.


The third essential component concerns leading the QSC’s interactions with the other Centers; other research entities and facilities of the DOE such as the Nanoscale Science Research Centers, the Energy Frontier Research Centers, the Energy Innovation Hubs, and the DOE labs; programs funded by other federal agencies such as National Science Foundation’s Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes and National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C); academic institutions; the private sector; and international research organizations working in QIS. These interactions will be aimed at enabling accelerated S&T innovation for the nation.


The Director will drive QSC accomplishments of its mission through the application of excellent management practices. This constitutes the fourth essential component of the QSC. The QSC involves four national laboratories, three corporations, and nine universities. The Director will be expected to keep four laboratory directors informed on progress and advise Directors on QIS relevant issues and investments.  The QSC Director will provide regular briefings to the SC QIS Management Council, comprising the Associate Directors of the participating program offices and chaired by the SC Deputy Director for Science Programs. QSC activities span at least three offices (Advanced Scientific Computing Research, High Energy Physics, and Basic Energy Sciences) within the Office of Science and are stewarded by the Deputy for Programs within the Office of Science. Therefore, the QSC Director will interact directly with multiple offices within the Office of Science that sponsor QIS research. Additionally, the QSC Director will be a member of a collective DOE chartered body named the Centers Executive Council which coordinates training, communications, and research activities across all five Centers.


The final essential component involves alignment and resourcing of technical capabilities and facilities that the QSC will utilize. This component involves getting the QSC ready for its new home in the Translational Research Capability building. It also involves leading coordination of ESHQ activities across institutions and ensuring that QSC members at the staff/faculty and post-doctoral level are of the highest quality. This component also involves fostering a mentoring and training program with staff/faculty and post-docs who will write proposals to National User Facilities that provide resources for QSC related experiments.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:


The Quantum Science Center Director role provides a unique opportunity for a highly motivated research leader to shape the future direction of an exceptional, multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, multi-national, research program. The Director’s responsibilities include:


  • Defining and leading an innovative research program in QIS focused on the goals of the QSC.
  • Partner with other centers and laboratories to develop and grow a diverse workforce, ensuring a stimulating environment for creativity and scientific excellence that will attract and retain outstanding and diverse researchers in the QSC
  • Develop and grow industrial partnerships through connections with QED-C.
  • Serving as the primary contact responsible for communications with the DOE on behalf of all of the principal investigators (PIs) in the Center.
  • Serving as primary contact to Laboratory Directors whose laboratories have a major stake in the success of the QSC
  • Serving as a member of the Centers Executive Council to maximize overall national impact of the Centers.
  • The Center Director shall be the point of contact on all intellectual property issues among Center members and will work with members to ensure timely technology transfer from the QSC to industry.
  • Establishing and convening advisory councils including a Science Advisory Council and an Industrial Advisory Council.
  • Establishing and reporting Center activities to a Governance Advisory Board which acts as a Board of Directors for the Center.
  • Engaging international partnerships in meaningful R&D pursuits relevant to the QSC goals
  • Developing the public face of the Center through a website, speaking engagements, dissemination of QSC related R&D, and advertisement of the Center.
  • Managing resources and operations of a National QIS Research Center by identifying opportunities to enhance capabilities with respect to hiring staff, procuring equipment, and allocation of resources to enhance impact in QIS science.
  • Mentoring Center members for professional success.
  • Promoting a culture of safety and equality in the workplace across all institutions of the Center
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics within the Center.


Basic Qualifications:


  • A Ph.D. in Physics or a related field relevant to Quantum Information Sciences.
  • A minimum of 12 years of professional research experience beyond the doctorate in academia, industry, or national laboratory.
  • An international reputation as a leading scientist in research fields relevant to the QSC.
  • At least five years of experience leading multi-disciplinary research organizations.
  • A distinguished record of multi-disciplinary research achievement, as evidenced by scholarly publications, patents, and/or funded research grants.
  • A demonstrated record of multi-institutional scientific and technical leadership.


Preferred Qualifications:


  • Possess a demonstrated record of supporting the professional development of research staff.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, and enjoy working in a team environment.
  • Ability to foster and maintain high standards in Environment, Safety, and Health (ES&H) and Quality assurance for all of the Division’s activities.


Special Requirement:


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:  


UT Battelle offers an exceptional benefits package to include matching 401K, Pension Plan, Paid Vacation and Medical / Dental plan. Onsite amenities include Credit Union, Medical Clinic, and free Fitness facilities.   

For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at




UT Battelle offers a wide range of relocation benefits for individuals and families to make it easier to come and work here. If you are invited to interview, please ask your Recruiter about relocating with ORNL. 


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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