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Section Head, Accelerator Systems

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is seeking a Section Head for Accelerator Systems 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 Section Head for Accelerator Systems in the Research Accelerator Division (RAD). 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.

The Accelerator Systems Section is responsible for safe, reliable and cost effective operation, maintenance and improvement of the SNS Accelerator systems including Front End, normal conducting RF structures, superconducting RF (SRF) structures, high power RF, low-level RF, high voltage converter modulators, DC and pulsed power systems, Central Helium Liquifier (CHL), Cryogenic Moderator System (CMS), and focused R&D in advanced ion source, SRF and advances lasers techniques.

The Accelerator System Section Heads leads the following groups:

  1. Cryogenics — Operations, maintenance, system engineering and improvement of SNS cryogenic systems that include 2K and 4K cryogenic systems for the SNS superconducting linear accelerator (SCL), and helium and hydrogen cryogenic systems for the Cryogenic Moderator System.
  2. Front End Systems — Operations, maintenance, system engineering and upgrades for the SNS Front End Systems; R&D in advanced ion sources
  3. Superconducting RF — Maintenance, operation support, system engineering, improvement and upgrade of the SNS SCL and SRF test facilities; R&D in SRF, plasma processing, and terahertz laser systems
  4. RF Systems — Maintenance, operation support, system engineering, improvement and upgrade of all SNS linac high-power and low-level RF systems and RF test facilities
  5. Electrical Power Conversion — Maintenance, operation support, system engineering,  improvement and upgrade of all SNS high voltage converter modulators (HVCM), high speed H- beam choppers, pulse modulators for kicker injection and extraction, and dc power supplies for magnets which provide beam shaping and positioning; R&D HVCM and pulsed power systems                                                                       

Provide leadership to a thematic area of technical professional expertise for a variety of projects, programs or operations that integrates several aligned technical groups consistent with ORNL’s aspiration to be the world’s premier R&D institution and ORNL’s science culture.

The Technical Section Head works closely with the Division Director and section Group Leaders to establish and implement the technology directions or operational plans for the section; support the Group Leaders to ensure their success and the success of the groups as world-recognized leaders in their fields; ensure that staff members understand project/program directions and opportunities; develop and implement consistent processes for the peer-review of technical products 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

Major duties/responsibilities 

Technical Professionals are responsible for planning and leading major technical projects, operations or functions to solve challenges for science and engineering. Their work directly impacts the present and future of the laboratory in significant ways. 

The Accelerator Systems Section leader is responsible for the operations, maintenance and upgrade of all Accelerator Systems; for he integration of the system upgrades associated with PPU; to lead a focused accelerator R&D program in SRF technology and advance laser technology.


  • Work closely with the Division Director and Group Leaders within the section to develop a vision and implement a strategy to pursue world-leading operations and/or 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 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 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 (e.g., engagement in professional 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.
  • Ensure that staff manage their projects effectively to deliver results on scope, schedule, and budget while meeting technical and business expectations. 
  • Effectively communicate the importance of protecting proprietary or sensitive information and complying with ORNL security and 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 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


  • Implement a strategy to pursue world-leading technology directions for the section.
  • Hold staff accountable for performance.
  • Act to ensure safe and effective operations.
  • Hire staff group leaders and staff as appropriate.
  • Certify the technical quality of products and services.

Basic qualifications

  • Requires a Ph.D. with a minimum of 7 years relevant experience, a M.S. with a minimum of 10 years relevant experience, a B.S. with 12 years relevant experience or significant relevant experience.
  • Qualified candidates should have demonstrated experience in leading technical teams.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading accelerator systems engineering.

Preferred qualifications

  • Record of accomplishments in delivering innovative operational and technical solutions.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading accelerator R&D and/or  engineering development.

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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