Scientific Group Leader for Computational Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences (CHAS)

Date: Feb 11, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12239 


Ready to amplify your research in computational earth science, in particular hydrology and atmospheric sciences, into a leadership role?


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has an outstanding 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our 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. We believe 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.

The Advanced Computing Methods for Physical Sciences (ACH) section in the Computational Science and Engineering Division at ORNL is seeking to hire a Scientific Group Leader for Computational Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences. ACH delivers transdisciplinary computational science and analytics at scale across earth, chemical and materials sciences.

In the Earth Sciences, we advance predictive understanding and simulation of atmospheric, terrestrial, cryospheric, and marine coupled systems through strategic collaborations. We quantify interactions and feedback within and between the Earth system and terrestrial, marine, and subsurface biogeochemical cycles. And we develop methods and tools for quantitative assessment and benchmarking of coupled, multiscale Earth system models at global and regional scales.


You will provide Research and Development (R&D) leadership and strategically advance science and technology consistent with ORNL’s leadership as an outstanding R&D institution! You will lead a group of scientists with the primary goal of pursuing global scientific leadership in computational hydrology and atmospheric sciences. 


Major Duties/Responsibilities:


  • Create a cohesive group research strategy to ensure the success of research projects to position the group for future success.
  • Assist staff in setting performance goals. Address performance issues in a timely manner.
  • Guide the R&D Section Head on staff development while providing direct and impactful mentorship to staff.
  • Recruit diverse pool of top candidates and hire staff members who are committed to extraordinary R&D and aspire to be the best.
  • Lead by exercising the principles in ORNL’s “Research Code of Conduct” as a guide for proposing, performing, and communicating research.
  • Coach and mentor staff regarding Battelle's "Safe Conduct of Research" principles.
  • Exemplify a commitment to "One ORNL" by modeling lab expectations for excellence in research, operations, and community engagement, and by working collaboratively to leverage capabilities across the lab.



  • Serve as immediate supervisor for staff members in the group.
  • Encourage staff to “think and dream big,” take appropriate risks in their work, and develop skills that will enable them to pursue new insights, scientific passions, and research programs.
  • Advance the reputation of group members and standing of the group as a whole through establishing collaborations, 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 build a strong safety system. 
  • Communicate the importance of protecting proprietary or private information and following ORNL cybersecurity policies and guidelines.


Basic qualifications:

  • Requires a Ph.D. with a minimum of 6 years of relevant research experience outside of Ph.D.
  • Prior experience in scientific mentorship and leading R&D teams.


Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience leading hydrology and/or atmospheric sciences research and technology development projects, dealing with computational, machine learning, and modeling and simulation technologies.
  • Proven expertise in HPC applications on leadership computing systems.
  • Experience writing; successful R&D proposals to multiple government agencies including BER, research plans, and technical reports to sponsors 
  • Excellent communication skills, the ability to work independently, outstanding written and oral communication skills and organizational skills.


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