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Group Leader - Radiochemical Engineering Development Center Laboratory Chemical Operations

Date: Sep 5, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8246 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking a senior technical leader for our world class radioisotope production program. Supporting the largest radioisotope production and research portfolio within the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science for Isotope R&D and Production, this position will grant you the opportunity to work with rare nuclear materials and ensure the safe and effective execution of nuclear materials processing within nuclear and radiological facilities in the Melton Valley area of the ORNL campus.


This position as the leader of the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC) Laboratory Chemical Operations Group resides within the newly formed Isotope Processing and Manufacturing Division (IPMD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The IPMD is focused on the reliable delivery of radioisotope products to exacting quality standards. This work is performed within the unique facilities at ORNL, including the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), and several radiological and nuclear facilities throughout the ORNL campus containing shielded hot cells and gloveboxes. The primary isotope manufactured within the REDC Laboratory Chemical Operations group is the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Ac-225, an alpha emitting isotope deployed in clinical trials for treatment of cancer. Other isotopes processed in the group include heavy actinides Bk/Es/Fm, used for research in nuclear physics and heavy element chemistry, and a variety of high purity actinides which are purified and dispensed from legacy sources.


In this role you will work to create a production and reliability focused environment, so that ORNL can be successful in meeting our mission to supply critical nuclear materials for science, medicine, and industry, that no one else can.


Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Lead a team of 6-10 technicians and engineers, reviewing processing work for completeness and quality.
  • Work with the manufacturing coordinator for Th-229 derived Ac-225, to execute weekly routine processing of this material to the quality standards of the Ac-225 Drug Master File.
  • Support the product lead in overseeing the legacy material inventory management and dispensing portfolio
  • Maintain up to date procedures for routine processing.
  • Respond to program management requests for new dispensing or material processing
  • Ensure all work is completed in compliance with the extremely high standards of nuclear and radiological facility operations.
  • Support research and development groups to translate developmental work into robust processes
  • Work with project management and controls to maintain the resource loaded schedule for facility operations
  • Maintain detailed records relating to nuclear materials processing
  • Document processing results in internal technical manuscripts
  • Identify opportunities for continuous improvement and optimization, and work with the research and development groups to initiate these improvements
  • Develop and execute on-the-job training programs to grow the strength of our processing teams.
  • Provide mentoring and career guidance to early career staff
  • Serve in professional societies and standards development committees
  • As a member of the ORNL scientific community, you will be expected to commit to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct. Our full code of conduct, and a statement by the Lab Director's office can be found here:


Basic Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, or similar field, and a minimum of eight years of related experience is required. Work towards an advanced degree can be applied to up to two years of this experience.
  • Experience with the execution of chemical processing techniques such as solvent extraction and ion exchange
  • Experience reading radioanalytical data such as gamma, alpha, and mass spectroscopy
  • Experience developing schedules and work plans for complex projects
  • Strong leadership and communication skills


 Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with current Good Manufacturing Practices
  • Experience in a radiochemical operations environment
  • Experience executing or supervising work in a remote hot cell environment
  • Experience translating research and development processes into reliable operations
  • Experience in maintaining high levels of process documentation and quality control and assurance
  • Line management experience with direct supervisory responsibility for a team


About the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED):
Established in 2020, the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate is strengthening Oak Ridge National Laboratory's leadership in isotope production and enrichment technology innovation. ISED is guiding the Lab'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.
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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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