Machine Design Engineering Group Leader

Date: Nov 15, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12059 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy (DOE) science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security. The Enrichment Systems Engineering Section is seeking a Machine Design Engineering Group Leader who will support the Enrichment Science and Engineering Division (ESED) within the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). ESED serves the nation in two critical areas: advancing enrichment technologies and exploring stable isotope production and applications. The division leverages an elite staff of scientists and engineers with the world-leading capabilities of 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 innovations; advances electromagnetic isotope separations technology; and delivers stable isotopes for medical, industrial, and DOE mission critical applications. The successful candidate will execute these important missions by teaming with ESED’s division director, program managers, and staff to build on a rich history of accomplishments in enrichment science and engineering.


As part of our team, you will provide technical leadership and first-line oversight of work assignments that strategically advance centrifuge machine design. The Machine Design Group Leader reports and works closely with the Enrichment Systems Engineering Section Head to deliver group assignments, advance engineering processes, and develop subject matter expertise. This position works closely with other ESED Line Managers, project managers, and WBS managers to execute discrete project scope according to approved schedules, budgets, and technical milestones. Additional interfaces will be with principal investigators, engineers, technicians, and other individual stakeholder personnel.



Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  1. Leadership
    • Provide technical leadership and guidance to address the mission needs of ESED projects, identifying strategic equipment, software, tools, and processes to promote a high-performance culture.
    • Originate and implement design processes which allow the flexibility of safe and efficient R&D efforts complemented with the necessary rigor as projects transition into higher levels of technical maturity.
    • Be the technical leader and resource for group members when challenges arise.
    • 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.


  1. Capability/Staff Development
    • Establish and ensure an open and supportive working environment where staff report issues and concerns without fear of retribution, so that trust permeates the organization.
    • Establish an environment where learning never stops, honest mistakes are treated as opportunities to learn, and challenges are welcomed to improve performance.
    • Ensure individual performance goals are set, progress evaluated, and timely feedback is provided.
    • Identify training and professional development opportunities for staff which support the group’s mission.


  1. Project Execution
    • Collaborate with other line and project managers to assemble the best available project teams and technical resources for each design activity.
    • Manage group assignments to high performance standards by assessing project execution and being proactive in taking actions to correct or improve performance.
    • Work with project leadership and project controls personnel to advise design task durations and schedule logic for existing and future work.
    • Deliver design outputs within communicated schedule and budget guidance, ensuring that documentation is accurate, clear, and supports downstream work activities.
    • Effectively communicate project status, updates, and design activities to ORNL management and external project sponsor leadership.


  1. Technical Contribution
  • Lead activities that advance state of the art centrifuge component and subassembly design, working with analysis, fabrication, assembly, and testing personnel.
  • Facilitate formal design reviews, by preparing review documents, organizing primary design contributors, and fielding review panel comments to satisfactory resolution.
  • Provide technical direction and trouble-shooting skills to support a group of machine design engineers and designers.
  • Perform or coordinate peer-review and approval of group design output documents.
  • Produce a variety of design output documents including but not limited to systems requirements documents, calculations, drawings, bills of materials, specifications, datasheets, inspection plans, assembly instructions, and test plans/procedures.



Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
  • Minimum of 15 years’ relevant professional experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading technical teams or projects.
  • 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:

  • Licensed NCEES Professional Engineer.
  • Active DOE Q Clearance.
  • Strong understanding of 3D CAD modeling software and drawings.
  • Experience with product data management systems and CAD database processes/workflows.
  • ASME Y14.5, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing professional certification.
  • Relevant design experience with high-speed rotating machinery.
  • Experience in performing design scope on sensitive projects while maintaining excellent communication with the classification office, derivative classifiers, reviewing officials, and high-risk property management.
  • Successful execution of research and development or other large technology-based projects at ORNL or within the DOE complex.


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


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


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: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Pet 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.


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