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Group Leader - Dynamic Testing Group

Date: May 3, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 7302 


The Centrifuge Engineering and Prototype Section within the Enrichment Science and Engineering Division (ESED) is seeking a Group Leader for the Dynamic Testing Group. This group is focused on the development, performance, and interpretation of mechanical tests characterizing the dynamic behavior of prototype enrichment devices. This group supports design activities as well as troubleshooting of testing evolutions of enrichment systems.




ESED serves the nation in two critical areas: advancing enrichment technologies and exploring enriched stable isotope production and applications. The division leverages an elite staff of scientists and engineers with the world-leading capabilities of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to deliver groundbreaking advancements with a variety of applications, from national security to life-saving medical treatments.

ESED is the national steward for the research, development, and demonstration of centrifuge technology. You will provide research and development (R&D) leadership to the group that strategically advances science and technology focused on gas testing of prototype enrichment devices for processing uranium-bearing and stable isotope compounds. 


The Dynamic Testing Group Leader brings together a group of peers with the primary goal of pursuing global scientific leadership in their field, nurtures ORNL’s culture among group members, and continues to build and scale-up individual excellence and impact in R&D. The Dynamic Testing Group Leader reports to and works closely with the Centrifuge Engineering and Fabrication Section Head to implement the group’s scientific vision; develops group members to enable career advancement; establishes capabilities that enable programs to excel at the forefront of science and technology; performs R&D to advance the field of knowledge and/or technology in one’s respective specialty; sets, implements, and models standards for performance of work consistent with Environment, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality (ESH&Q) requirements and business rules; and ensures a diverse and inclusive work environment where every employee feels safe, heard, and appreciated—a workplace that sets an example for the broader community. 


Major Duties and Responsibilities


Major duties will include leading the development and execution of research tasks focused on characterizing the dynamic performance of enrichment devices and their subassemblies. This position will lead the development and execution of complex dynamic tests performed either on the enrichment devices or on subassemblies in dedicated test stands. These tests will involve significant test setup, data collection, and data interpretation and incorporation of steps for continuous improvement of processes and communication of activities to senior research staff and management. The successful candidate will be responsible for understanding and contributing to detailed formal designs, mechanical drawings, testing/analysis plans, and fabrication plans in coordination with stakeholder personnel.



You will be required to effectively interact with various personnel and sponsors, both within and outside of ORNL. You are expected to be able to be a technical leader in a team environment. It is expected that the you will work collaboratively with coworkers and management, as well as independently, to fully document work performed in the forms of technical reports and presentations and also participate in the development of research proposals. You will interface with principal investigators, management, engineers, fabricators, modelers, and test campaign personnel.


Other responsibilities include the following:

  • 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.
  • Develop and implement plans to exploit new opportunities and/or expand existing efforts.
  • 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 Centrifuge Engineering and Prototype Section Head with staff development while providing direct and impactful guidance to staff on regular basis.
  • Attract a high-quality, diverse pool of top candidates and support the Section Head in hiring staff members who are committed to world-class R&D and aspire to be the best in their fields.
  • 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 Battelle’s “Safe Conduct of Research” principles
  • Lead ESH&Q by example and ensure that all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures.
  • Exemplify a commitment to “One ORNL” by modeling the laboratory’s expectations for excellence in research, operations, and community engagement and by working cooperatively to leverage capabilities across ORNL.



  • Serve as immediate supervisor for staff members in the group.
  • Encourage staff to “think and dream big;” take appropriate risks in their work; and develop skills that will enable them to pursue new ideas, scientific passions, and research programs.
  • Advance the reputation of the group members and the standing of the group as a whole through establishing collaborations, encouraging professional society leadership and involvement, and organizing 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.
  • Build strong teams across ORNL.
  • Connect staff to your scientific network and professional societies.
  • Hold regular scientific/technical group meetings and be visible in the labs and workplace.
  • Assume front-line responsibility for safety in the group’s laboratories; mentor and empower the Laboratory Space Managers to create a strong safety culture.
  • Effectively communicate the importance of protecting proprietary or sensitive information and complying with ORNL cybersecurity policies and guidelines.



  • To group staff, for the quality and safety of their work environment and opportunities for professional growth.
  • To the Centrifuge Engineering and Prototype Section Head, for world-leading science and technology directions; safe, secure, effective, and compliant operations; ownership of assigned staff, facilities, and equipment; and the quality of products and services.
  • To customers, for the quality of products and services. 



  • Develop a vision and implement a strategy to pursue world-leading science and technology directions for the Dynamic Testing Group.
  • Hold staff accountable for performance.
  • Act to ensure safe and effective operations.
  • Support the Section Head in hiring staff.
  • Certify the technical quality of the group’s products and services.


Basic Qualifications:

  • An MS. degree with a minimum of 12 years of experience in engineering, physics, or related field of study.
  • Qualified candidates will have demonstrated experience in leading R&D teams.
  • Demonstrated expertise in dynamic testing hardware, software, and vibration analysis.
  • The ability to work flexible hours and travel when required.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Proven ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever-changing needs.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A PhD degree with a minimum of 10 years of relevant experience.
  • Technical supervisory experience.
  • Experience and familiarity with mechanical system modeling, especially finite element modeling and its application to interpreting test results.
  • Active DOE Q Clearance.



Special Requirements:


This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q clearance from the US Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a preplacement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.




About the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED):
Established in 2020, ISED is strengthening ORNL’s leadership in isotope production and enrichment technology innovation. ISED is guiding the laboratory’s pursuit of the fundamental science and technology that broadens the application of isotopes for energy, environmental, medical, and national security purposes. These efforts are made possible through the High Flux Isotope Reactor, the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center, ORNL’s other nuclear facilities, and an assemblage of world-leading scientists and engineers. Please visit for more information about ISED.

Benefits at ORNL:
UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options. Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, and fitness facilities.

Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at



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.

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