Group Leader - Triple-Axis Spectroscopy

Date: Feb 10, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12355 

ORNL is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, with an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,200 people! ORNL’s decadal vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.



We are seeking a Senior Research & Development (R&D) Staff Member to lead the Triple-Axis Spectroscopy Group. This group is part of the Spectroscopy Section of the Neutron Scattering Division (NSD) within the Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD). The Spectroscopy Section is responsible for a suite of 10 instruments at both the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) which use inelastic neutron scattering techniques to study the fundamental properties of a wide range of materials.


The Triple-Axis Spectroscopy Group is responsible for the HFIR instruments VERITAS (HB-1A), PTAX (HB-1), TAX (HB-3), and CTAX (CG-4C) (see for details). The group performs research using elastic and inelastic neutron scattering, participates as a partner in user research, and develops new techniques and methods.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 



Being a recognized leader in neutron scattering, the Triple-Axis Spectroscopy Group Leader will initiate, lead and perform independent R&D and establish collaborations with leading research groups to enhance the science performed on the instruments within the group.



  • Develop a vision and implement a strategy to pursue world-leading science and a world-leading neutron science user program for the group, and ensure the success of new and ongoing research projects that position the group for future success
  • For the instruments supported by the group, ensure that users benefit from the highest level of research capabilities and scientific support.
  • 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 Spectroscopy Section Head with staff development while providing direct and impactful guidance to staff on regular basis.
  • 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.
  • Ensure an inclusive work environment for a diverse community of users, staff, postdocs, and students
  • Coach and mentor staff regarding Battelle’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.



  • Serve as immediate supervisor for staff members in group.
  • Provide direct support to users on beamline(s) operated by the group.
  • Encourage staff to develop skills that will enable them to pursue new ideas, scientific and technical passions, and research programs.
  • Advance the reputation of the group members and standing of the group as a whole through establishing collaborations, emphasizing excellence in user support, 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.
  • 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 laboratory; 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.
  • 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 fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, or a related discipline with a minimum of 6 years of relevant experience


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience in leading R&D teams and supporting a user program at a national or international user facility
  • Demonstrated track record of performing neutron scattering or closely related research
  • A strong record of publishing in peer review scientific journals.
  • 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


About Neutron Sciences Directorate:
The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the United States’ highest flux reactor-based neutron source, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world’s most intense pulsed accelerator-based neutron source.  Together these facilities operate 30 instruments for neutron scattering research, each year carrying out in excess of 1,000 experiments in the physical, chemical, materials, biological and medical sciences for more than 3,000 visiting scientists.  HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation.  To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL go to


Letters of Recommendation: 2 letters of references are needed upon request.


Visa Sponsorship: Visa sponsorship is available for this position.


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.

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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