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Group Leader, Energy Storage and Conversion

Date: Nov 23, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8554 


We are seeking a Group Leader for the Energy Storage and Conversion Group in the Chemical Transformation Section, Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Science Directorate (PSD) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  This group conducts world class fundamental and low Technology Readiness Level applied research in developing energy storage materials to understand how to control, manipulate and direct electron and ion transport for high power and energy density.  The group works in close collaboration with Electrification and Energy Infrastructures Division and Energy and Transportation Science Division at ORNL. The group focuses on all aspects of materials synthesis from model thin films to bulk materials, energy storage (including lithium-ion batteries, solid state batteries, flow batteries, long duration energy storage, metal air batteries, 3D batteries), polymer dynamics, electrocatalysis and electroconversion of small molecules, detailed interfacial studies between complex materials, advanced spectroscopies, theory, and the utilization of neutrons to probe materials. The group makes use of the unique characterization tools at the user facilities at ORNL include electron and scanning probe microscopy at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) and neutron scattering and spectroscopy at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) in addition to other characterization tools at DOE laboratories/User facilities.


As a group leader, you will provide the scientific leadership that strategically advances the science and technology in energy storage to meet the needs of the Department of Energy and the nation. You will manage and mentor a group of 15-20 research staff, technical staff, post-doctoral research fellows and students.  You will be responsible for promoting and maintaining a culture with high ideals for safety, security, diversity, and ethical conduct of research.  As a science leader, you will develop research proposals and lead multi-disciplinary and multi-organizational teams to advance a world-leading research program in energy storage. Results will be communicated to the project sponsors and international research community via oral presentations, peer-reviewed publications, and creation of intellectual property.  As a researcher, you will employ state-of-the-art technology and research equipment to advance the science and understanding of energy storage.  Example research topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Synthesis of complex materials through traditional and nontraditional reaction processes
  • Solid state batteries including individual materials and materials ensembles
  • Science of manufacturing
  • Development of new electrode architectures
  • Development of new chemistries for redox flow batteries
  • Electrocatalytic conversion of small molecules (e.g., CO2, N2, CO, etc.)
  • Fuel cells
  • Mechanics of materials
  • Fundamental and advanced electrochemistry
  • Ion selective membranes
  • Polymer dynamics
  • Colloidal studies


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Develop a world class research program in energy storage (90%) and manage and mentor the group members (~10%)
  • Develop a vision and implement a cohesive group research strategy to ensure the success of new and ongoing research projects to position the group for future success
  • Lead the preparation of research proposals and mentor junior staff on proposal preparation and project management
  • Coordinate and conduct research to meet sponsor’s expectations
  • Collaborate with internal and external researchers to build strong research programs and deliver impactful result
  • Present and report research results to sponsors and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Develop intellectual property and work with industry to develop and license the technology
  • Establish a strong safety culture and safe work environment.  Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring and in all aspects of group operations
  • Collaborate with the Section Head to develop and exploit the strengths of section to address energy challenges
  • Ensure group is professionally active and takes leadership roles in societies
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethical conduct of both research and operations


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Polymer Science and Engineering, Physics, or a related discipline and minimum of 6 years of experience


Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Outstanding record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Demonstrated success in leading research programs and mentoring staff
  • Experience in writing successful proposals to government sponsors especially to Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
  • Demonstrated knowledge on the synthesis and characterization of organic and inorganic energy storage materials
  • Demonstrated knowledge on characterization of energy storage materials, especially by x-ray and neutron scattering
  • Experience in fabricating and characterizing of ion-selective membranes for aqueous and/or nonaqueous electrolytes
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience
  • 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
  • Ability to inspire and motivate group for operational and scientific excellence


Special Requirements:

Three letters of reference are required and can be uploaded to your profile or emailed directly to  Please include the title of the position in the subject line.


This position requires access to technology that is subject to export control requirements. Successful candidates must be qualified for such access without an export control license.




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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville