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US ITER Research Team Lead

Date: Sep 17, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830-8050

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 6410 


We are seeking a ITER Research Team Lead to coordinate ORNL involvement in the research and development program of ITER.  ORNL has extensive programs supporting ITER including management of the US ITER Project Office and numerous collaborations worldwide seeking to establish the technical basis for ITER operations.  ORNL participation in the ITER research program will also benefit from contributions from world-class capabilities in materials, computational science, and mathematics. This position will reside in the ORNL Fusion Energy Division (FED), reporting to the Division Director, and include significant interfacing with the Burning Plasma Foundations Section Head within FED, the US ITER Project Office, and the US fusion community at large.


As part of a research team focused on providing solutions to critical issues for practical fusion energy development, the incumbent will be responsible for the coordination and execution of ORNL research supporting ITER, developing ORNL research initiatives for ITER exploitation, and leveraging existing ORNL collaborations worldwide towards these purposes.  Technical objectives will include developing the basis for burning plasma operations in ITER, enabling ITER to successfully achieve its key technical milestones, and delivering the knowledge needed from ITER to design/operate a future US fusion pilot plant.   The incumbent will work closely with ORNL staff and the US fusion community to develop a coordinated, goal-driven plan that continuously positions the US at the forefront of ITER research.  The incumbent will work with the FED Division Director to identify and leverage Lab-wide capabilities in advancing the ORNL and US Research programs. 


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Lead the ITER Research Team at ORNL including direct participation on ITER, collaborating with the broader US ITER research team, interfacing with the US ITER Project office, and coordinating activities on ORNL collaborations worldwide that support ITER
  • Develop and coordinate ORNL initiatives targeting key aspects of ITER operation in developing the physics basis of burning plasmas and informing the design of a future fusion pilot plant
  • Work with ORNL leadership and the funding agency to develop on-site ITER staffing plans and mechanisms for ORNL staff, including both secondees and assignees
  • Leverage ORNL collaborations worldwide to advance the ITER physics basis
  • Coordinate ORNL response to funding opportunities for ITER research activities
  • Engage with the US Research and international community, including the US BPO and International Tokamak Physics Activity (ITPA), to ensure US and ORNL interests are represented in the development of the ITER research plan
  • Advocate and implement collaboration mechanisms important in engaging a broad range of staff, including data transfer/storage, analysis/visualization tools, and remote participation
  • Develop and coordinate synergistic interactions between ORNL expert staff in experiment, measurement, control, and simulation to support evolving ITER needs
  • Ensure that critical knowledge on burning plasma physics and for the design of a fusion pilot plant is being secured by ORNL (and by extension the US program)
  • Engage with US private fusion firms to identify and secure transfer of key information from ITER for their pursuits
  • Produce high impact publications in key peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations on ITER-related research
  • Lead development of research proposals on ITER-related research worldwide
  • Maintain a high level of scientific productivity
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.
  • Perform work according to specific rules and requirements for quality assurance, nuclear material control, radiological work, and general laboratory safety.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Requires a Ph.D. with a minimum of 12-year relevant experience or a M.S. with a minimum of 16 years of experience or a B.S. with 20 years of experience.
  • Qualified candidates should have demonstrated experience in leading R&D teams.
  • Scientific productivity demonstrated by a record of lead-authored publications (published, accepted, or submitted)


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Hands-on experience in ITER-related research and familiarity with the ITER project and associated research mission
  • Demonstrated capability to lead research teams of diverse expertise and backgrounds
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • 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 research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs
  • Demonstrated technical acumen in the physics of fusion plasmas
  • Demonstrated capability to work effectively in building teams that are multi-institutional and multi-national
  • Ability to influence, motivate and coordinate research staff towards common goals
  • Demonstrated ability to work with research staff (both internal and external) and sponsors to develop a compelling, actionable research plan 


Relocation:  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.
For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at


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.