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Group Leader, Electrical Power Conversion

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is seeking a Group Leader for Electrical Power Conversion Group in the Research Accelerator Division

  • Closing soon
  • Closing date: 16 Aug 2020
  • United States | Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Date posted: 16 Jul 2020
  • Job type: Research facilities
  • Disciplines: Accelerators, neutron & light sources  | Engineering & instrumentation

We are seeking a Group Leader for Electrical Power Conversion Group in the Research Accelerator Division (RAD). Selection will be based on qualifications, relevant experience, skills, and education. The Research Accelerator Division’s mission is to safely and reliably operate the SNS Accelerator and Target and to execute impactful Accelerator R&D focused on SNS improvements and strategic opportunities, all in support of delivering neutrons for impactful scientific discovery.

Provide leadership to a group that strategically advances technical professional subject matter expertise for a variety of technical projects, programs or operations consistent with ORNL’s aspiration to be the world’s premier R&D institution and ORNL’s science culture.

The Electrical Power Conversion Group provides engineering design, development, and operational support for the high voltage converter modulators, high speed H beam choppers, pulse modulators for kicker injection and extraction, and dc power supplies for magnets which provide beam shaping and positioning.   Additionally, the Group supports the Proton Power Upgrade and Second Target Station projects in areas of power conversion.  The group consists of engineers and technicians with responsibilities for the daily operation of these systems, maintenance planning, and applied development for improvements.

The Technical Group Leader brings together a group of peers with the primary goal of pursuing global leadership in their field, nurturing ORNL’s culture among group members, and continuing to build and expand individuals’ excellence and impact. The Technical Group Leader reports to and works closely with the Accelerator Systems Section Head to implement the group’s technical vision; develop group members to enable their career advancement; establish capabilities that enable programs to evolve the Group into a globally-recognized premier technical institution; work to solve technical challenges for science and engineering; set, implement, and model standards for performance of work consistent with Environment, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality (ESH&Q) requirements and business rules; 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.

Technical professionals are recognized leaders in their area by providing subject matter expertise for a variety of technical projects, programs, or operations. They solve technical challenges for science, engineering, operations and projects.

The Group Leader will guide the operation and development of the High Voltage Pulsed and DC Power Systems used in the SNS accelerator. The Group Leader will provide long-term and day-to-day project and staff management and ensure that the group’s strategic, technical, budgetary, and professional development needs are met.  They will engage accelerator stakeholders as well as private industry and academia in developing, leading, and performing world-class research on accelerator technologies. Areas of research may include high voltage pulsed power systems, klystron modulators, power converters, magnets, kicker systems, and choppers.

The successful candidate will provide the scientific, technical, and strategic leadership for the group with priorities to maintain high accelerator availability, identify and promote accelerator research and development, and guide the ongoing growth and development of the research and engineering staff to carry out the group and the division mission.

Major duties/responsibilities 


  • Develop a vision and implement a cohesive group strategy to ensure the success of new and ongoing technical 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 Technical 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 technology 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, technical passions, and 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 network and professional societies.
  • Hold regular 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 security, 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 technical 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 technical/technology directions for the 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 4 years relevant experience, a M.S. with a minimum of 7 years experience, a B.S. with 8 years relevant experience, or significant relevant experience.
  • Qualified candidates should have demonstrated experience in leading technical teams.
  • Comprehensive understanding of power electronics, electromagnetic fields, very high-power semiconductor devices and pulsed power systems exceeding 50 kV.
  • Ability to quickly grasp complex technical problems.
  • Experience designing and maintaining high power magnetics.
  • A strong background in applying electrical safety principles in a setting that includes severe electrical hazards.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience managing DOE projects.
  • Deep understanding of electrical and RF systems used in accelerator applications.
  • Development of research programs within an engineering organization.  Experience writing proposals to seek external funding through a variety of agencies.
  • Ability to function well in a dynamic environment and set priorities to accomplish broad programmatic and scientific impacts.

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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