Director, Chemical Sciences Division


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks an outstanding research leader for the position of Director of the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD). The Division performs discovery and use-inspired research to understand, predict, and control the physical processes and chemical transformations at complex interfaces in diverse environments relevant to energy technologies.  The foundation of the division is a strong Basic Energy Sciences (BES) portfolio that pushes the frontiers of catalysis, geoscience, separations, energy storage, polymer science, and interfacial science.  Synthesis, neutron scattering and in situ and in operando spectroscopy experiments are integrated with computational modeling and simulations to provide new insights into the structure and dynamics of materials and interfacial processes.  Computer-aided molecular design, simulations, and data science are also used to guide the design and synthesis of new materials with superior properties and function.  Applied science and technology naturally grow out of the fundamental studies in areas such as energy storage, separations of rare earths, carbon fiber, and molten salt chemistry. The division also provides analytical support and leadership to many nuclear, isotope production, and national security programs through the Nuclear Analytical Chemistry section. The CSD benefits from strong interactions with ORNL scientific user facilities including the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Spallation Neutron Source, High Flux Isotope Reactor, Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, Carbon Fiber Technology Center, and Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.  



Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Direct and lead forefront chemical sciences research that build off the expertise within CSD, takes advantage of the unique facilities at ORNL, and is aligned with DOE priorities
  • Manage, further the impact, and grow DOE Basic Energy Sciences, Chemical Science, Geosciences, and Bioscience programs at ORNL and be responsive to requests from the sponsor
  • Ensure Division executes projects and delivers high quality, impactful results consistent with various sponsor expectations
  • Oversee division safety culture and ensure that effective environmental safety & health procedures are established, maintained and followed
  • Partner and collaborate internally and externally to build strong teams to enhance research, development, and delivery of technological solutions
  • Execute line management responsibility including supervision of Division leadership (Section Heads and Group Leaders), budgets, strategic and business planning, salary planning, staff recruitment and development, employee performance and development
  • Represent and promote the Division internally and externally to management, sponsors and the public
  • Attract a diverse pool of candidates and hire staff who are committed to world-class research and aspire to be the best in their field
  • Engage in professional service activities, encourage staff to be professionally active, and nominate staff of professional recognition
  • Create and promote a diverse and inclusive work environment that fosters staff engagement and growth
  • Promote a culture of scientific excellence and a safe conduct of research
  • Maintain a reputation as an organization of integrity, quality, and ethical business and scientific practices


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science or related field
  • A minimum of 15 years of professional research experience beyond the doctorate in national laboratories, academics, or industry
  • At least five years of experience leading multi-disciplinary research groups or organizations
  • A distinguished record of research achievement as evidenced by scholarly publications, patents, and funded research grants


Preferred Qualifications:

  • The ability to obtain and maintain a HSPD-12 PIV badge and/or a clearance from the Department of Energy
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently, set priorities, and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory 
  • Ability to foster and maintain high standards in Environment, Safety, and Health (ES&H) and Quality Assurance for all Division activities