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Strategic Hire - Senior R&D Staff Member - Radiochemical Separations Science

Date: May 31, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 5007 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking candidates for a strategic position that will provide scientific leadership and innovation for expanding research and development (R&D) on the separation and purification of radioisotopes in support of multiple isotope production programs.


This senior scientific leader will work in close collaboration with researchers, sponsors, program and line managers across ORNL to build visionary, far-reaching research programs.  This innovative leader will have demonstrated expertise and national/international impact in one or more fields such as: nuclear and radiochemistry, materials science and engineering, nuclear physics, and nuclear and chemical engineering.


The position will reside within the Radioisotope Science and Technology Division (RSTD), which is a part of the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate at ORNL.  RSTD is a world leader in isotope production, and provides leadership in actinide science, delivers new innovations in isotope production technology, and advances the field of radiochemical processing methods to provide radioisotopes for science, medicine, industry, and security.


ORNL has nuclear, radiological, and scientific facilities and highly specialized equipment that serve as unique resources for radioisotope R&D. These resources include the High Flux Isotope Reactor (world’s highest neutron flux reactor;, the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center ( and other hot cell facilities which are used to produce an array of radioisotopes (e.g. Cf-252, Pu-238, Ni-63, Ac-227) for industrial and medical applications and scientific discovery (e.g., super-heavy elements).  These internationally renowned facilities, combined with ORNL’s high-caliber, professional, and highly engaged work force create a research environment with unmatched potential for impact and innovation.


The successful candidate will be an individual motivated and capable of forging ties across organizations, both internal and external to ORNL, and able to build multi-disciplinary teams with the vision and motivation to drive transformational research impact that will: (a) strengthen and expand our understanding of the fundamental science related to the chemistry and separations of radioisotopes and (b) enable innovative applications impacting areas such as medicine, industry, national security, and scientific discovery.


Major Duties / Responsibilities

  • Provide scientific leadership in radioisotope separation, actinide separation chemistry, and applications science through formation of collaborative teams internal and external to ORNL, development of research proposals, and conduct of world-class research that is published in peer-reviewed journals
  • Specific science and technology areas of interest include, but are not limited to, chemical separations and physical properties of f-block compounds, actinide/lanthanide separations, actinide chemistry, redox chemistry, physical characterization of actinide compounds
  • Formulate and implement novel ideas and impactful approaches that will foster the growth of integrated approaches to the radioisotope R&D currently ongoing within ORNL and the national laboratory system
  • Advance R&D for the production and purification of actinides and stimulate ideas for their uses in research and industrial applications
  • Interact effectively across organization structures with staff scientists and engineers at all levels and be an effective representative of ORNL and their research to sponsors and the professional community
  • Serve as a role model for integrity in the conduct of research, mentoring of early career staff, and engagement with scientific and professional societies



  • The position requires a PhD in inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, separation chemistry, radiochemistry, nuclear chemistry, or related disciplines with more than ten years of combined experience in areas such as radiochemistry, separations, and/or industrial applications of radioisotopes
  • Practical laboratory and engineering experience related to processing of radioactive material-containing solutions is required, as well as demonstrated success at interfacing between R&D and operations and engineering disciplines
  • Candidates must be recognized leaders in their fields with an extensive publication record, excellent problem-solving skills, and a proven track record in program development, team building, and the solution of challenging problems
  • Excellent communication skills are required in both verbal and written forums to enable effective interaction with peers, program managers, and sponsors


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.


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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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