Section Head, Chemical Transformations
We are seeking an R&D Section Head for Chemical Transformations in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD). CSD performs discovery and use inspired research to understand, predict, and control the physical processes and chemical transformations, relevant to energy technologies, over a broad range of length and time scales.
The Chemical Transformations section within CSD performs research to understand and control chemical transformations at interfaces through design and synthesis of new materials and studying the reactivity of natural and synthetic systems. Research scope can range from developing new fundamental understanding to benchtop-scale demonstrations of that new understanding. Selection will be based on qualifications, relevant experience, skills, and education.
The Chemical Transformations section includes three groups in need of group leads:
- Energy Storage — Understand and control the fundamental properties and processing of electrochemically and catalytically active materials to optimize charge flow and functionality.
- Geochemistry and Interfacial Sciences — Understand and predict geochemical reactivity and mechanisms occurring at mineral-water interfaces and within porous media.
- Surface Chemistry and Catalysis — Understand surface chemistry and catalytic reaction pathways to design and synthesize new, highly selective metal, metal oxide, and supported metal catalysts.
Selection of these group leads will be based on qualfiications, relevant experience, skills, and education.
Provide Research and Development (R&D) leadership to a thematic area of science and technology that integrates several thematically aligned R&D groups consistent with ORNL’s aspiration to be the world’s premier R&D institution and ORNL’s science culture.
The R&D Section Head works closely with the Division Director and section Group Leaders to establish and implement the science and technology directions for the section; support the Group Leaders to ensure their success and the success of the R&D groups as world-recognized leaders in their fields; ensure that staff members understand business opportunities; identify links to current and future funding opportunities and R&D programs; develop and implement consistent processes for the peer-review of proposals consistent with lab standards; 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
Scientists/engineers/analysts who have significantly advanced knowledge/technology in their respective field. Their work directly impacts the present or future of the laboratory in significant ways. Initiates, leads and performs R&D programs and initiatives on an ongoing basis.
- Work closely with the Division Director and Group Leaders within the section to develop a vision and implement a strategy to pursue world-leading science and technology directions for the section. Demonstrate cross-functional team leadership.
- Support 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. Benchmark against the best in the world.
- Actively contribute to shaping the division’s, directorate’s, and laboratory’s research plans and investments.
- Build strong teams by collaborating across ORNL and securing external expertise when needed. Leverage ORNL facilities and resources when developing new projects.
- Work 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.
- Develop and implement Succession Planning with input from Group Leaders for all critical positions in the section to ensure future success.
- Ensure groups are recruiting and hiring from a diverse pool of top candidates who are committed to world-class research and aspire to be the best in their field. Approve job offers.
- Drive staff promotions and development.
- Address in a timely manner all concerns expressed by staff and any disciplinary actions.
- Lead by example, using the principles in ORNL’s “Research Code of Conduct” as a guide for proposing, performing, and communicating research and in dealing with others.
- Employ 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.
- Coach and mentor 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.
- Exemplify 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.
- Serve as direct supervisor for section Group Leaders.
- Counsel/consult/mentor staff and transfer knowledge of specialized field(s) to a variety of staff, including senior staff.
- Connect staff to your network. Assist Group Leaders (and R&D staff when appropriate) in setting long-term career goals. Identify additional mentors as appropriate and engage senior staff to act in this capacity.
- Be open and transparent in communicating information to your groups and communicate staff achievements and changes to stakeholders in a timely manner.
- Work 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.).
- Advocate for and support internal and external recognition of staff achievements. Ensure the Section’s external professional presence is strong.
- Communicate funding/proposal opportunities to staff and support proposal development as appropriate (mentoring, proposal reviews, budget preparation, etc.).
- Ensure that staff manage their research projects effectively to deliver results on scope, schedule, and budget while meeting scientific, technical, and business expectations.
- Effectively communicate the importance of protecting proprietary or sensitive information and complying with ORNL cybersecurity policies and guidelines.
- Recognize and support the contributions and responsibilities of Group Leaders and Laboratory Space Managers to lab safety.
- 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 customer, for the quality of products and service
- 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
- Requires a Ph.D. with a minimum of 12-year relevant experience or a M.S. with a minimum of 16-year experience or a B.S. with 20-years of experience.
- Qualified candidates should have demonstrated experience in leading R&D teams
- A demonstrated track record of research in energy storage, geochemistry, or catalysis research, or strongly similar area.
- Experience in leading teams of cross-disciplinary researchers to produce important discoveries beyond the reach of individual investigators.