Section Head - HFIR Beamline Operations

Date: Jan 26, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12413 


We are seeking a Section Head for HFIR Beamline Operations in the Neutron Scattering Division (NSD) of the Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Lab.


NScD operates two neutron facilities on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). NSD’s mission is to develop world-class neutron scattering methods, approaches, and instrumentation; lead and support a vibrant user program; and perform groundbreaking scientific research that benefits from and contributes to these advances. NSD works with scientists from around the world and from a wide range of fields to solve critical research problems in fundamental and applied sciences!


The HFIR Beamline Operations section supports neutron scattering experiments and instruments at HFIR and assures safe and reliable operations. The section supports 16 instruments in the user program and 3 developmental beamlines. They will also manage the transition of the HFIR instruments during the Be-reflector replacement outage. Within the section, the HFIR Science Support group, consisting of Scientific Associates, provides direct technical support as an integral part of the instrument teams for each of the HFIR beamlines. The Instrument Support group provides technical support for the operation of the beamlines, collaborates with Research Reactor Division personnel and crafts for maintenance, repairs, and improvements.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Provide technical leadership and line management to the members of the Beamline Operations Groups.
  • Work with Group Leaders to establish and implement technical and operational priorities.
  • Collaborate with the other Section Heads as member of the Division’s leadership team.
  • Partner with the Division Director and Group Leaders to develop a vision and implement a strategy to maintain the highest standards in the support of the neutron research and user programs at SNS and HFIR.
  • Pursue world-leading operations and/or technology directions for the section.
  • Demonstrate multi-functional team leadership.
  • Closely interact with Section Heads within NSD to coordinate priorities and strengthen the entire division.
  • Support the Division Director in the operations of the division and represent Director when Director is not available.
  • Work with section Group Leaders to establish, communicate, and measure critical metrics for success and impact. Ensure staff manage their projects effectively to deliver results on scope, schedule, and budget while meeting technical and business expectations.
  • Work with the Group Leaders and the Division Director to set career goals, support internal and external recognition of staff achievements, and assess staff performance across the section. Develop and implement succession planning, drive staff promotions, and address all concerns expressed by staff.
  • Ensure groups are recruiting and hiring from a diverse pool of top candidates who are committed to world-class technical capabilities and aspire to be the best in their field.
  • Ensure all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL and HFIR policies, standards, and procedures. This includes Facility Use Agreements, Conduct of Operations, ESH&Q program requirements, and HFIR work control.
  • Foster an inclusive and productive work environment for a diverse community of technical as well as scientific staff, users, postdocs, and students.
  • 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 encouraging a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD with at least 7 years of proven experience. An equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered (MS with a minimum of 10 years of proven experience, BS with 12 at least 12 years of proven experience, AS degree with a minimum of 14 years of proven experience or a HS diploma with a minimum of 16 years of proven experience).
  • Experience leading technical teams.
  • Demonstrated experience in coordinating operational activities at an experimental facility.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Previous work experience with neutron scattering or in another nuclear related field.
  • Experience managing or leading technical and scientific teams to support R&D.
  • Project management experience.
  • Experience working within a DOE regulated environment.


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, and Employee Discounts. Relocation Assistance is available for this position.


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.

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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