Section Head - Enrichment Systems Engineering

Date: May 25, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10832 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) 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.  We are seeking a Section Head to lead the Enrichment Systems Engineering (ESE) Section in the Enrichment Science and Engineering Division (ESED), Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED) at ORNL. ESED serves the nation in two critical areas: advancing enrichment technologies and exploring enriched 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. The ESE Section provides the engineering backbone, including design and application, for new or evolving enrichment technology encompassing enrichment devices and associated systems.  The Section is composed of four groups: Machine Design Engineering; Testbed Design Engineering; Application Engineering; and Electrical, Instrumentation and Controls Engineering. The Section develops and delivers advanced engineering designs and solutions based on mission needs and concepts developed in collaboration with subject matter experts across ESED.  



The Section Head works closely with the Division Director, other Sections Heads,  and ESE section Group Leaders to establish and implement the technology directions for the section; support the Group Leaders to ensure their success and the success of the section groups; ensure that staff members understand business opportunities; model proper Environment, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality practices; and ensure a diverse and inclusive work environment where every employee feels safe, heard and appreciated—a workplace that sets an example for the broader community



The Section Head works closely with the Division Director and Group Leaders within the section to develop a vision and implement a strategy to pursue science and technology directions for the Section. Leadership activities include:

  • Supporting the Division Director in the operation of the Division and representing the Division Director when Director is not available.
  • Working with the section Group Leaders to establish, communicate, and measure critical metrics for success and impact.
  • Actively contributing to shaping the Division’s, Directorate’s, and Laboratory’s research plans and investments.
  • Building strong teams by collaborating across ORNL and securing external expertise when needed.
  • Working with the Group Leaders and the Division Director to assess and calibrate individual staff performance across the section. Evaluate progress regularly, providing feedback and addressing performance issues in a timely manner.
  • Developing and implementing succession planning with input from Group Leaders for all critical positions in the Section to ensure future success.
  • Ensuring groups are recruiting and hiring from a diverse pool of top candidates and aspire to be the best in their field.  Approves job offers.
  • Driving staff promotions and development.
  • Addressing all concerns expressed by staff and any disciplinary actions in a timely manner.
  • Leading by example, using the principles in ORNL’s “Research Code of Conduct” as a guide for proposing, performing, and communicating and in dealing with others.
  • Employing best practices, such as holding regular meetings, being visible in the workplace, monitoring budgets, acknowledging sponsors, and adhering to ORNL business systems requirements regarding staff requests for foreign travel and submission of quality proposals.
  • Coaching and mentoring staff regarding Battelle’s “Safe Conduct of Research” principles and ensure all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures.
  • Exemplifying 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.



The ESE Section Head service expectations include:

  • Serving as direct supervisor for section Group Leaders.
  • Counseling/consulting/mentoring staff and transferring knowledge of specialized field(s) to a variety of staff, including senior staff.
  • Assisting Group Leaders (and Research & Development (R&D) staff when appropriate) in setting long-term career goals. Identifying additional mentors as appropriate and engaging senior staff to act in this capacity.
  • Being open and transparent in communicating information to your groups and communicate staff achievements and changes to stakeholders in a timely manner.
  • Working with Group Leaders to ensure staff are participating actively in professional service (engagement in scientific societies, workshop and conference organization, peer review, advisory board membership, etc.).
  • Advocating for and supporting internal and external recognition of staff achievements. Ensuring the Section’s external professional presence is strong.
  • Communicating funding/proposal opportunities to staff and support proposal development as appropriate (mentoring, proposal reviews, budget preparation, etc.).
  • Effectively communicating the importance of protecting proprietary or sensitive information and complying with ORNL cybersecurity policies and guidelines.
  • Recognizing and supporting the contributions and responsibilities of Group Leaders and Laboratory Space Managers to lab safety.



The ESE Section Head has the following accountabilities:

  • To section staff, for the quality and safety of their work environment and opportunity for professional growth.
  • To organization managers, for world-leading science and technology directions, safe effective, and compliant operations, ownership of assigned staff, facilities, and equipment, and the quality of products and services.
  • To the customer, for the quality of products and services.



The ESE Section Head has the following authorities:

  • Develop a vision and implement a strategy to pursue world-leading science and technology directions for the section.
  • Hold Group Leaders accountable for performance.
  • Act to ensure safe and effective operations.
  • Hire group leaders.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Requires a M.S. in Mechanical or Nuclear Engineering, or related discipline, with a minimum of 10-years of experience or a B.S. with 12-years of experience.
  • Qualified candidates should have demonstrated experience in leading Research & Development teams and/or engineering organizations.
  • Demonstrate ability to deliver complex, high quality engineering design packages.
  • Experience with and ability to build strong teams within an organization and have them work together to complete a task or mission.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a Q clearance from DOE. 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.
  • 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 environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Active DOE Q level security clearance.
  • Experience within the isotope enrichment industry.



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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