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Fusion Partnerships Lead

Date: Apr 30, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 7937 


We are seeking a highly motivated individual to lead ORNL initiatives to partner with the private sector in fusion energy research and development.  Leveraging recent growth in private investor interest in fusion development, this individual will work closely with the Fusion Energy Division Director to motivate, identify, evaluate, and secure opportunities for ORNL partnerships with privately funded companies in areas that mutually benefit both the Lab and the private companies.


As part of a team with wide-ranging expertise in fusion science and technology, you will be responsible for leading ORNL’s aspiration to be a key player in establishing a vibrant public-private fusion partnership program in the US.   Responsibilities will include developing partnerships with the private sector that leverage and advance ORNL technical strengths; positioning ORNL for potential future siting of private demonstration facilities; working with DOE and the US community in establishing new modalities for public-private partnerships; and assisting staff in the execution of work agreements with private companies.   The incumbent is also expected to serve as the director of the Department of Energy (DOE) Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) program, which has the mission of accelerating fusion energy development in the private sector by reducing impediments to collaboration involving the expertise and unique resources available at DOE laboratories.   As time permits, you are also encouraged to be an active research participant in areas that advance the US vision of a fusion pilot plant demonstration.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Lead development and coordinate execution of fusion public-private partnerships at ORNL, working closely with the FED Division Director, ORNL staff and private industry participants
  • Serve as director of the DOE INFUSE program (pending FES approval)
  • Establish, nurture, and secure strong partnerships with private companies that are engaged or seek to be involved in fusion development
  • Advise the FED Division Director and the Associate Lab Director for Fusion and Fission Energy Sciences Directorate on the development and establishment of a siting policy for private fusion demonstration facilities on the ORNL campus
  • Advise the FED Division Director on emerging trends and opportunities in private fusion investment and those initiatives in which the Lab is well positioned to participate
  • Interface with the Directorate’s Chief Operating Officer in securing timely approval of Cooperative Research And Development Agreements (CRADA) and Strategic Partnership Projects (SPP)
  • Maintain a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion to bring as many viewpoints as possible to address the challenges of fusion energy
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.
  • Perform work according to specific rules and requirements for quality assurance, nuclear material control, radiological work, and general laboratory safety.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Requires a Ph.D. with a minimum of 6 years relevant experience, a M.S. with a minimum of 12 years experiences, or a B.S. with 15 years experience.
  • Qualified candidates should have demonstrated experience in leading R&D teams
  • Scientific productivity demonstrated by a record of lead-authored publications (published, accepted, or submitted)

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Hands-on experience in working in research partnerships, either through research participation or coordination role
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently in conceptualizing, initiating, and evaluating research opportunities
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


Desirable Qualifications:

  • Experience developing or coordinating DOE-funded research programs with private fusion industry and/or similar venture-capital-driven industries
  • Demonstrated ability to establish, nurture, and execute on technical partnerships with external participants
  • Ability to communicate well with a wide-ranging set of stakeholders




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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