Associate Lab Manager - Physical Characterization Laboratory

Date: Sep 7, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11572 


We are seeking a Technical Professional who will focus on lab development and support for neutron scattering users by providing technical support for the Neutron Scattering Division (NSD) Physical Characterization Laboratory (PCL) at the Shull Wollan Center (SWC)! The Shull Wollan Center is a joint institute for Neutron Sciences established between Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and The University of Tennessee.


This position resides within the Labs and Soft Matter group in the Sample Environment and User Labs section, Neutron Scattering Division, Neutron Sciences Directorate at ORNL.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Operate the Physical Characterization Laboratories (PCL) as a comprehensive, innovative user facility that enables and enhances the quality of biological and soft matter neutron scattering experiments carried out at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR).
  • Support researchers from visiting institutions with material preparation and the collection of complementary physical characterization data in support of neutron scattering measurements.
  • Collaborate in the design of experiments that will complement SNS and HFIR user experiments.
  • Carry out a range of quality control tests on various lab equipment (e.g., x-ray and light scattering, Langmuir trough, GC/MS, calorimetry, etc.)
  • Identify and implement complementary new physical characterization techniques that will develop, enhance, and expand the PCL capabilities and NSD’s user neutron program in biological and soft matter science.
  • Responsible for ensuring that PCL instruments are calibrated and in working order, and the procurement of new instrumentation.
  • Provide training to PCL visiting researchers.
  • Writes and implements Hazard Analyses.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.
  • 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:
  • 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 bachelor’s degree in physics, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, engineering, or related field with at least 2 years of related experience.
  • Demonstrated experience and commitment to customer service.
  • Ability to read and understand Safety Data Sheets.
  • Experience working in a multi-disciplinary team and with users of varied levels of expertise.
  • Experience in calibrating and maintaining laboratory equipment.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A master’s degree or PhD in a related field.
  • Experience in preparing and characterizing (e.g., neutron/x-ray scattering; differential scanning calorimetry; static and dynamic light scattering, mass spectrometry, NMR, Langmuir trough) soft material and bio-membrane samples.
  • Ability to help develop neutron scattering proposals with prospective users when needed. Capability in analyzing data that results from PCL instruments.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to creatively participate amongst collaborative teams across the laboratory.
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks on time while adapting to evolving needs.


Special Requirements:

Physical Requirements: Work involves various physical requirements and working conditions. As such, a pre-hire physical will be required after offer.


Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain hardworking 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: or call 1.866.963.9545.




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