Instrument Data Acquisition and Controls Group Leader

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

  • United States
  • $Attractive
  • Research facilities

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The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at ORNL invites applicants for the Instrument Data Acquisition and Controls (IDAC) Group Leader position within the Neutron Technologies Division (NTD). The IDAC Group supports the operation and improvements of the SNS and HFIR neutron scattering instruments in four broad areas: designing, building and maintaining custom and commercial electronics for acquiring neutron scattering data; developing and supporting software for acquiring, processing and managing data; developing and supporting software and user interfaces for beam line control, data collection and experiment automation; and building and maintaining the computing, data storage and network infrastructure for data acquisition, reduction, analysis and remote access.

The Group Leader directs the effort of the IDAC Group to operate, maintain, and improve the integrated beam line systems with a focus on increasing the scientific productivity and impact across all instruments and meeting directorate goals. The IDAC Group Leader reports to the NTD Division Director.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Lead, direct and manage all activities of a group of over 20 staff including software and electrical engineers, technicians and computing professionals. Provide technical leadership to the group.
  • Collaborate with scientific and technical staff across NScD to ensure the data acquisition system, control system and computing infrastructure fully meet the scientific and operational needs of the HFIR and SNS instruments. Lead system improvement efforts to enable new scientific capabilities and techniques.
  • Develop and implement short- and long-term plans to maintain IDAC group expertise, processes and technology, in order to benefit optimally from technological change and to meet the changing needs of the NScD scientific mission.
  • Provide leadership to continually improve the performance of group members by managing professional development and training. Create a work environment where staff report issues and concerns. Demonstrate learning from assessment and experience.
  • Maintain excellence in hiring and retention, valuing diversity, innovation, and creative problem solving.
  • Manage budget, procurement plans, and purchasing in a responsible and effective manner within the constraints of the directorate's integrated work plan.
  • Collaborate with external institutions for opportunities to improve our systems. Represent ORNL and NScD in the fields of data acquisition and controls nationally and internationally.
  • Represent the organization internally and externally in meetings, reviews and assessments. Respond to recommendations from technical reviews and advisory committees.
  • Support NScD and NTD management priorities and objectives. Work with Division Directors, Group Leaders and staff members across the organization to effectively support operations and improve capability, reliability and performance of SNS and HFIR instruments. Collaborate with management and staff across ORNL in support of NScD goals and priorities.
  • Ensure work is executed in accordance with the Standards-Based Management System (SBMS) and applicable NTD/NScD procedures. Develop and maintain a strong safety culture.
  • As a member of the ORNL scientific community, you will be expected to adhere to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct. Our full code of conduct, and a statement by the Lab Director's office can be found here: https://www.ornl.gov/content/research-integrity

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in science, engineering or related field, and ten or more years of relevant experience
  • Demonstrated technical expertise which includes one or more of the following: data acquisition systems for scientific research, large-scale distributed control systems, or software and computing for scientific user facilities
  • Management of professional technical staff


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in science, engineering or related field
  • Research or technical experience at a neutron scattering facility, synchrotron or FEL light source, or other experimental physics project or user facility
  • Experience with the Experimental Physics and Industrial Control Systems (EPICS) toolkit

About Neutron Sciences Directorate:
The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the United States' highest flux reactor-based neutron source, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world's most intense pulsed accelerator-based neutron source. Together these facilities operate 30 instruments for neutron scattering research, each year carrying out in excess of 1,000 experiments in the physical, chemical, materials, biological and medical sciences. HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation. To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL go to: http://neutrons.ornl.gov.

Benefits at ORNL:  UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options. Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, coffee stands, and fitness facilities.   
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 this position. 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 jobs.ornl.gov.

Applications must be submitted before the deadline stated further above.


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.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email ORNLRecruiting@ornl.gov.

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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Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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