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Group Lead, Detonation Forensics and Response

Date: Aug 28, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 7448 

Description of job: The Nuclear Nonproliferation Division (NND) is a division operating within the National Security Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The NND performs research and development to detect, characterize, and monitor nuclear fuel cycle activities and nuclear explosions; develops concepts, approaches, and technologies to strengthen global security for nuclear and radiological material; and engages with federal agencies to enhance international nonproliferation regimes.


Within the NND, the Detonation Forensics and Response (DFR) group focuses on nuclear detonation fallout prediction for support of improved capabilities in detonation characterization and forensics and provides enhanced tools to support incident response and consequence management. We are currently seeking qualified applicants to serve as the Group Leader to provide Research and Development (R&D) leadership to the group that strategically advances science and technology in post-detonation nuclear forensics and response tools.


Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Develop and implement a research strategy to ensure the success of new and ongoing research projects to position the group for future success.  
  • Develop and implement plans to exploit new opportunities and/or expand existing efforts. 
  • Develop, manage and execute projects that provide valued and timely deliverables supporting nonproliferation and counterproliferation missions.  
  • Assist staff in setting performance goals consistent with the group’s strategy and members’ long-term career goals. Provide feedback to address performance issues in a timely manner. 
  • Provide relevant input to assist the R&D Section Head with staff development while providing direct and impactful guidance to staff on regular basis. 
  • Advance the reputation of the group members and standing of the group as a whole through establishing collaborations, Professional Society leadership and involvement, and organization of technical events. 
  • Support group members by consistently reviewing technical products such as proposals, publications, and artifacts to ensure high quality and consistency with ORNL standards. 
  • Attract a quality, diverse pool of top candidates and hire staff members who are committed to world-class R&D and aspire to be the best in their field.  
  • Lead by example by exercising the principles in ORNL’s “Research Code of Conduct” as a guide for proposing, performing, and communicating research. 
  • Coach and mentor staff regarding ORNL’s “Safe Conduct of Research” principles  
  • Lead ESH&Q by example and ensure all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures. 
  • Exemplify a commitment to “One ORNL” by modeling lab expectations for excellence in research, operations, and community engagement, and by working cooperatively to leverage capabilities across the lab.  
  • Hold regular scientific/technical group meetings and be visible in the labs and workplace. 



Basic Requirements: 

  • Requires a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering, physics, or other relevant scientific disciplines with a minimum of 6 years relevant experience or an M.S. in nuclear engineering, physics, or other relevant scientific disciplines with a minimum of 12 years experience.
  • Qualified candidates should have demonstrated experience in leading R&D teams with a focus on nuclear nonproliferation. 
  • A strong R&D track record in areas of nuclear fallout prediction and response
  • Demonstrated experience in program development, preferably with relevant offices within DOE and NNSA.   
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a demonstrated leadership ability and a strong commitment to a teaming environment.   
  • Strong written and oral communication skills. 
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally. 


Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Relevant experience with national nuclear/radiological forensics or consequence management response teams (either as a team member or providing direct support)
  • Familiarity with modern software development best practices and workflows



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.




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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville