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Pu-238 Production Program Manager

Date: Dec 1, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9190 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking an experienced technical program manager for our world class radioisotope production program. ORNL is a world leader in the production of radioisotopes, with the largest domestic radioisotope production and research and development portfolio, and access to the world unique High Flux Isotope Reactor and the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC) facilities. An exciting opportunity is now available to manage the largest single radioisotope mission within that portfolio, the supply of Pu-238 for deep space exploration.This challenging and rewarding technical program manager position resides within the Radioisotope Science and Technology Division (RSTD) in the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED). ORNL is seeking highly qualified and experienced applicants to manage the scope, schedule, budget and stakeholder interactions of both the radioisotope production mission and associated research and development activities associatged with the supply of Pu-238.The highly accomplished staff of the RSTD currently produce a variety of important medical, scientific, and industrial radioisotopes These include several alpha/beta emitting radioisotopes either deployed or under clinical trial for treatment of cancer (e.g., Ac-225, Ac-227, Ra-224/Pb-212, and W-188); heavy actinides Bk-249, Es-254, and Fm-257 for fundamental chemistry research and new element discovery; Cf-252 for neutron emitting applications;  Pu-238 for space exploration; and Ni-63 and Pm-147 for industrial applications.


Major Duties and Responsibilities:

You will work closely with the line management of the RSTD to manage the milestones of the research, development, and production associated with the supply of Pu-238. You will manage the scope, schedule, and cost of activities within the constraints of the available resources and the operational environment. You will have a direct interface with the project/program sponsor and department oversight personnel, responding to requests for information, reporting on progress, leading review meetings, and generating regular sponsor reports. You will champion research and development activities which could support process improvements for Pu-238 production, and support strategic activities to maintain the radioisotope production capabilities of ORNL such as facility revitalization and maintenance, staff development, and strategic planning. Additional interfaces will be with principal investigators, project controls, and financial management. This position’s responsibility will include:


  • Provide scientific and technical oversight, in collaboration with division and directorate leadership, to strategically advance the Pu-238 production mission at ORNL
  • Establish and communicate milestones and goals to technical leadership, and participate in planning to ensure that the executed work aligns with the scope, schedule, and budget
  • Interface with the directorate operations staff to plan and optimize utilization of resources
  • Provide leadership and mentoring to principal investigators, to support their growth
  • Build strong teams across ORNL and identify opportunities for collaboration between program sponsors
  • Communicate and collaborate with other partner sites supporting the Pu-238 prodution mission
  • Participate as a subject matter expert on blue ribbon panels and workshops commissioned by DOE and other federal agencies
  • Identify and help develop new projects and initiatives that leverages ORNL facilities and resources
  • Develop and monitor project risk register and develop proactive steps to mitigate risk
  • Exemplify a commitment to “One ORNL” by modeling lab expectations for excellence in research, operations, and community engagement, and by working cooperatively to leverage capabilities across the lab
  • 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:

  • This position requires a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science, or related field with a minimum of 8 years relevant experience, or a M.S. in with a minimum of 10-year experience, or a B.S. with 12-years of experience in experimental research and development, and/or manufacturing and operations, within a large, multiprogram environment.
  • Demonstrated experience leading multi-functional teams
  • Familiarity with project management tools such as Primavera or Microsoft Project
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills with proven ability to successfully interact with internal and external project stakeholders.
  • 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.
  • A strong understanding of and application experience with the principles of project management


 Preferred Qualifications:

  • Project Management Professional (PMP) certification
  • Detailed knowledge of and experience with nuclear materials processing
  • Experience translating projects from a research and development to operations environment
  • Experience in preparing and participating in DOE critical decision reviews

Special Requirements:

  • L clearance


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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