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Group Leader, Detectors

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is seeking a Group Leader for Detectors in the Neutron Instrument Technologies Section of the Neutron Technologies Division

  • Closing soon
  • Closing date: 15 Aug 2020
  • United States | Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Date posted: 15 Jul 2020
  • Job type:
  • Discipline: Accelerators, neutron & light sources 

We are seeking a Group Leader for Detectors in the Neutron Instrument Technologies Section of the Neutron Technologies Division (NTD).  The Neutron Technologies Division’s mission is to develop and deploy critical technologies for instruments and target systems, to support operations in those areas and to execute projects in support of neutron sciences.  The mission of the Neutron Instrument Technologies Section is to develop, deploy and support state-of-the-art technologies for SNS and HFIR instruments.

The Detector Group develops and deploys new detector technologies and supports instruments in the user program. The Detector Group Leader will be empowered, with appropriate budget authority, to make strategic decisions about which technologies to develop further. Such considerations may include detectors based on neutron capture in thin solid layers containing 10B, which are currently being developed in other places.

Currently the group is actively engaged in research and development of two detector technologies: scintillator detectors and micro-channel plate detectors.  The main focus of these developments is on rate capability, and the combination of rate with spatial resolution and physical size, for the need of imaging instruments, reflectometers, and single crystal diffraction instruments.  In these efforts, the group maintains a close collaboration with the data acquisition groups within the Neutron Instrument Technologies Section.

The group also supports and maintains other technologies at the instruments: wavelength shifting fiber detectors and 3He gas detectors. Several of the currently ongoing instrument improvement projects at Oak Ridge involve upgrades and expansions of the detector systems.

The group operates a test beamline at HFIR and several (Cf-252 based) portable neutron sources for the purpose of detector testing.

The Group Leader will provide Research and Development (R&D) leadership to the group that strategically advances science and technology consistent with ORNL’s aspiration to be the world’s premier R&D institution and ORNL’s science culture.

The R&D Group Leader brings together a group of peers with the primary goal of pursuing global scientific leadership in their field, nurtures ORNL’s culture among group members, and continues to build and scale up individual excellence and impact in R&D. The R&D Group Leader reports to and works closely with the R&D Section Head to implement the group’s scientific vision; develops group members to enable their career advancement; establishes capabilities that enable programs to excel at the forefront of science and technology; performs R&D to advance the field of knowledge and/or technology in one’s respective specialty; sets, implements, and models standards for performance of work consistent with Environment, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality (ESH&Q) requirements and business rules; and ensures a diverse and inclusive work environment where every employee feels safe, heard, and appreciated—a workplace that sets an example for the broader community.

We seek scientists/engineers/analysts that are recognized leaders in their area of technical expertise. They will initiate, lead and perform independent R&D on an ongoing basis.

Major duties/responsibilities 


  • Develop a vision and implement a cohesive group research strategy to ensure the success of new and ongoing research projects to position the group for future success.
  • Develop and implement plans to exploit new opportunities and/or expand existing efforts.
  • Assist staff in setting performance goals consistent with the group’s strategy and members’ long-term career goals. Provide feedback to address performance issues in a timely manner.
  • Provide relevant input to assist the R&D Section Head with staff development while providing direct and impactful guidance to staff on regular basis.
  • Attract a quality, diverse pool of top candidates and hire staff members who are committed to world-class R&D and aspire to be the best in their field.
  • Lead by example by exercising the principles in ORNL’s “Research Code of Conduct” as a guide for proposing, performing, and communicating research.
  • Coach and mentor staff regarding Battelle’s “Safe Conduct of Research” principles
  • Lead ESH&Q by example 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 immediate supervisor for staff members in group.
  • Encourage staff to “think and dream big,” take appropriate risks in their work, and develop skills that will enable them to pursue new ideas, scientific passions, and research programs.
  • Advance the reputation of the group members and standing of the group as a whole through establishing collaborations, Professional Society leadership and involvement, and organization of technical events.
  • Support group members by consistently reviewing technical products such as proposals, publications, and artifacts to ensure high quality and consistency with ORNL standards.
  • Build strong teams across ORNL.
  • Connect staff to your scientific network and professional societies.
  • Hold regular scientific/technical group meetings and be visible in the labs and workplace.
  • Assume front-line responsibility for safety in the group’s laboratory; mentor and empower the Laboratory Space Managers to create a strong safety culture.
  • Effectively communicate the importance of protecting proprietary or sensitive information and complying with ORNL cybersecurity policies and guidelines.


  • To group staff, for the quality and safety of their work environment and opportunity for professional growth.
  • To R&D section head, 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 R&D group.
  • Hold staff accountable for performance
  • Act to ensure safe and effective operations
  • Hire staff
  • Certify the technical quality of the group’s products and services

Basic qualifications

  • Requires a Ph.D. with a minimum of 6 years relevant experience, a M.S. with a minimum of 12 years experiences, B.S. with 15 years experience.
  • Qualified candidates should have demonstrated experience in leading R&D teams.
  • Expert level knowledge in current technologies for thermal neutron detection and fast data acquisition.
  • This is a research leader position. The successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate a proven track record of detector R&D with a good publication record

Preferred qualifications

  • A general understanding of neutron scattering instruments (elastic, inelastic, reactor source, spallation source) and their scientific requirements for detectors: rate capability, physical resolution, time-of-flight resolution, read-out speed, electronic noise, sensitivity to other types of radiation, etc.
  • In order to be considered, applicants must provide a 1-page Vision Statement. Your Vision Statement should consist of your scientific vision for the position’s relevant field of science over the next 5–10 years.

In order to submit your vision statement, please follow these instructions

  • Login to your application at
  • Navigate to your Candidate Profile
  • Under the “Documents” tab, you should see an option to “Attach a Document”
  • Select the option to attach a document, and upload your vision statement there

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.

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

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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