Fusion Materials R&D Lead

Date: Feb 17, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12377 



Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks a Fusion Materials R&D Lead to lead groundbreaking research on materials for fusion energy, leveraging the extensive expertise in materials science, fusion energy science, nuclear engineering, computational science, and other scientific disciplines in ORNL. This position resides in the Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD), and includes significant interfacing with other R&D organizations in ORNL, primarily the Fusion Energy Division (FED), Fusion and Fission Energy Sciences Directorate (FFESD).


Enabling fusion energy presents the ultimate challenge for materials science. As an international leader of materials research for fusion energy, ORNL aspires further strengthening its leadership and expanding the R&D toward commercially viable fusion energy. This involves advancing diverse disciplines of materials science and engineering (including discovery, design, development, processing, and manufacturing advanced materials, understanding materials behaviors in uniquely complex and harsh operating environment of fusion power plants, and methodologies for qualification of materials and components) and interdisciplinary integrations involving fusion plasma science, nuclear and mechanical engineering, and computational science.


This unique opportunity allows you to intertwine internal and external leadership. As the ORNL R&D Lead, you work closely with materials science and engineering experts of MSTD and fusion plasma science and design engineering experts in FED to develop and execute a coordinated, science-driven plans to resolve the critical materials challenges for fusion energy. As a leader of the national intellectual center of fusion materials R&D, you will work with MSTD and FED Division Directors to help direct the relevant national materials R&D programs through interfacing with DOE as appropriate.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Lead enhancing the world-leading fusion materials science and engineering programs at ORNL, closely with the national and international fusion community, ORNL experts, and DOE program managers

  • Lead development of ORNL and inter-agency project proposals upon the major funding opportunities

  • Leverage the capabilities of ORNL, including expertise in materials science, nuclear engineering, fusion technologies, and plasma physics, existing and future facilities for materials testing and characterization, and the world-leading computing resources, to further ORNL’s role of the international center of excellence in fusion materials

  • Lead and champion internationally renowned, innovative materials science and engineering research for fusion energy

  • Develop and implement scientific strategies, research programs, and partnerships for materials in extreme environments of fusion power plants

  • Produce high impact publications in key peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations in the area of fusion materials and technology

  • 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 material science and engineering, fusion energy science, or a related discipline

  • A minimum of 12 years of professional research experience

  • Experience leading significant R&D projects, 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

  • Successful leadership experience in R&D projects of interdisciplinary and interorganizational nature

  • 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.

  • The ability to access technology that is subject to export control requirements without an export control license is not required, but a plus.


Special Requirements:

  • Letters of Recommendation: Please provide the names of three references, including contact information, at the time of application. Letters from these individuals may be requested if selected to interview.


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 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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville