Division Director, Fusion Energy Division

Date: Nov 15, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11871 


Level: MG04



We are seeking a highly motivated and capable leader to serve as Division Director of the Fusion Energy Division (FED) and lead the fusion energy development program at ORNL. Working closely with the Associate Lab Director (ALD) of the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate (FFESD), this role is responsible for advancing ORNL’s aspirations to be a national leader and key resource in US plans for accelerating fusion energy development. These aspirations are founded on world-class technical capabilities in plasma physics, fusion materials, and fusion technology combined with project excellence through the US ITER Project Office and Materials Plasma Exposure eXperiment (MPEX) efforts. The Division Director will be responsible for developing and delivering a vision that brings together capabilities from across ORNL to deliver understanding and solutions that simultaneously advance fundamental capabilities and address the needs of an emerging fusion industry.


ORNL is a well-positioned US and world leader in fusion energy with core strengths residing in FED, FFESD, and throughout the Lab. In addition to a diverse set of research and development (R&D) capabilities that are solving the most challenging aspects of fusion energy development, ORNL has multiple partnerships with private fusion companies in the development and execution of their technology roadmaps. Working with DOE Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) and with ALDs and Division Directors from sister organizations in the Lab, the incumbent will be responsible for ideating, developing, and executing a multi-faceted R&D program that supports the nation’s long-range plan for fusion energy development. This will include foundational R&D programs targeting rapid advances in the underlying science and technology, translational R&D that converts this knowledge to solutions, and supportive R&D that provides subject matter expertise to interested industry partners. Developing and adjusting the appropriate mix of these programs as well as the necessary skill mix will be a key responsibility for the FED Director.


In addition, this individual will be responsible for the development of an ORNL team to support MPEX operations and research, establishment of a vibrant MPEX research program that engages the US science community, and ORNL engagement in the ITER research program. The incumbent will be responsible for managing a range of relationships including FES, partnering public institutions, private companies, sister ORNL organizations, and the US fusion community.


Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership of the fusion energy program at ORNL, leveraging and extending the core capabilities of the FED and organizations across ORNL.
  • Serve as primary programmatic interface with Fusion Energy Sciences (FES), working closely with the FFESD ALD to ensure consistent, effective communication on key matters.
  • Develop, and as necessary, evolve the fusion energy strategy for the Lab, working closely with the FFESD ALD and leaders in other ORNL organizations.
  • Advance the scientific excellence of FED through increased scientific productivity, program impact, publications, intellectual property development, and engagement of staff in external organizations.
  • Coordinate effective workforce development program that attracts and retains diverse, high quality staff.
  • Ensure a vibrant, inclusive workplace environment in which all staff can thrive.
  • Collaborate with management peers to assist the FFESD ALD in defining and implementing strategic programmatic R&D missions for FFESD and the Laboratory.
  • Perform line management responsibilities including supervision of section heads, budget and business planning, salary planning, staff recruitment and development, employee relations, and performance management.
  • Serve as the division work authority, striving to implement a culture within the workplace that is attentive to the identification of hazards and responsive to providing controls and processes to address the hazards.
  • 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 fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in Physics, Nuclear Engineering, or related field of study.
  • 15+ years of proven experience.
  • Proven experience in leading R&D teams.
  • Scientific productivity demonstrated by a record of lead-authored publications (published, accepted, or submitted).


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Line organization management experience at the group or division level (or equivalent).
  • Demonstrated experience in developing effective teams with significant contributions from individuals/groups outside direct management control.
  • Hands-on experience in working in research partnerships, either through research participation or coordination role.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills that can interact effectively with a broad spectrum of people and issues in a fast-paced R&D environment.
  • 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 within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs.


Benefits at ORNL:

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain hard-working 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.



Moving is stressful and expensive, and 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.

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 ORNLRecruiting@ornl.gov.

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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