Group Leader, Metal and Composite Processing - Senior R&D Staff

Date: Apr 22, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12922 



We are seeking a senior researcher to lead the world-class capabilities of the Metal and Composite Processing (MCP) group. The group develops advanced processing techniques for metal and composite use in challenging applications by understanding pathway, thermodynamic, and kinetic connections with material behavior. The group focuses on understanding, developing, and applying processing techniques to obtain desired metal and composite structures and properties for use in harsh environments. This position resides in Metal and Composite Processing (MCP) Group in the Materials Structures and Processing Science (MSPS) Section, Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


As the R&D Group Leader, you will set the tone for and lead a highly functional team of peers with the primary goal of pursuing global scientific leadership in the field of materials processing. This will include establishing relationships and writing proposals to develop new research focus areas and strengthen current programs and capabilities and to advance knowledge and/or technology in processing sciences. You will also lead research for the development of new manufacturing approaches and synthesis techniques to address challenging basic and applied material problems, including high temperature and extreme environment applications.


The role requires championing ORNL core values among group members with emphasis on empowering individual research excellence and strengthening a strong safety culture. In this role, you will work closely with your line manager, the R&D Section Head, and ORNL support organizations to implement the group’s scientific vision and establish capabilities that enable programs to excel.

Our ideal Group Leader will be a subject matter expert in materials processing to include melting (arc, vacuum arc re-melt, electron bean, air induction), mechanical processing (extrusion, rolling, drawing, forging, pressing), hear treatment, powder metallurgy of high temperature alloys and composites, and casting.  In addition, knowledge of radioisotope power systems is encouraged.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • 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

  • Participate/ lead in the initiation of new research directions and development of research proposals to contend for internal and external funding

  • Lead collaboration with other scientists and technical personnel in a fast-paced, flexible work environment

  • Attract a high quality, diverse pool of candidates and hire staff members who are committed to world-class R&D and aspire to be the best in their field

  • 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

  • Certify the technical quality of the group’s products and services

  • Provide relevant input to assist the R&D Section Head with staff development while providing direct and impactful mentorship to staff on regular basis

  • Lead by example by exercising the principles in ORNL’s “Research Code of Conduct” as a guide for proposing, performing, and communicating research

  • Lead ESH&Q by example and ensure all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures

  • Advance the reputation of the group and its members through establishing collaborations, Professional Society leadership and involvement, and organization of technical events

  • Maintain effective communications concerning scientific efforts internal and external to the laboratory, including publication of results in peer-reviewed journals and presentation of results at scientific meetings

  • Travel will be required to brief sponsors, conduct field exercises, and attendance of scientific conferences

  • 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 Ph.D. with a minimum of 6 years relevant experience, a M.S. with a minimum of 12 years relevant experience, or a BS and 15 years of experience

  • Proven experience leading R&D and/or technical teams


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with radioisotope power systems

  • Experience preparing, developing, and processing various metal, ceramic, and composite materials

  • Demonstrated collaborative research experience (academic, industry, government agencies)

  • Experience using furnaces, extrusion and forging systems, rolling mills, and arc melting systems

  • Ability to form collaborative teams and execute complex research activities

  • Experience in processing equipment setup, trouble shooting, and repair

  • 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 within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


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.


If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email:


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