26 days old

Section Head, Human Dynamics

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Overview: We are currently seeking qualified applicants to serve as Section Head for the Human Dynamics Section in the Geospatial Science and Human Security Division. The Human Dynamics Section Develops data, models, and computational approaches that utilize observation and measurement digital traces to provide insights into human activities and interactions with the environment from local to planetary scales.

The Section Head will provide scientific, technical, and programmatic leadership in support of the Built Environment Characterization, Human Geography, and Geoinformatics Engineering R&D groups.

  1. Built Environment Characterization — Creates critical infrastructure data sets to characterize built environments. Conducts risk and resiliency assessment and characterization. Utilizes open-source intelligence (OSINT) to illustrate landscape features and utilizations (land cover and land use).
  2. Human Geography — Fosters discovery of functional and complex connections between humans and their physical, cultural, and socioeconomic landscapes. Develops novel understanding of trends and patterns in settlements, migration, and generation of future population scenarios with spatial demography as a core competency.
  3. Geoinformatics Engineering — Creates scalable computing solutions for design and development of geographic information systems with an emphasis on real-time and dynamic geocomputation, geodata integration, and software services. Provides situational awareness of critical infrastructure for national security and performs geospatial research through advanced big data architectures, scalable computing, and data engineering.


Provide Research and Development (R&D) leadership for a thematic area of science and technology that integrates several aligned R&D groups consistent with ORNL’s science culture and ORNL’s aspiration to be the world’s premier R&D institution. 

The R&D Section Head works closely with the Division Director and Group Leaders to establish and implement the science and technology directions for the section; support the Group Leaders to ensure their success and the success of the R&D groups as world-recognized leaders in their fields; ensure that staff members understand business opportunities; identify links to current and future funding opportunities and R&D programs; develop and implement consistent processes for the peer-review of proposals 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.

The National Security Sciences Directorate conducts research and development to confront some of the nation’s most difficult security challenges and adversaries.  Our directorate houses S&T leadership in cybersecurity and cyber-physical resiliency, data analytics, geospatial science and technology, nuclear nonproliferation, and high-performance computing for sensitive national security missions. We draw on the Laboratory’s exceptional facilities and work closely with leading researchers in other areas at the lab such as nuclear and chemical sciences and engineering, applied materials, advanced manufacturing, biosecurity, transportation, and computing.  Our multi-disciplinary research teams are passionate about discovery and innovation as we create science-based solutions to complex security threats that put public safety, national defense, energy infrastructure, and the economy at risk.

Our commitment to diversity:  As we strive to become the world’s premier research institution in the sciences and technologies that underpin critical national security missions, we are committed to creating an inclusive environment that highly values a diverse workforce.  We recognize that a breadth of perspectives, insights, and experiences are necessary to drive the level of innovation and discovery that is mission critical to national security sciences.  Our commitment extends beyond our workforce to the next generation of researchers with STEM education outreach that seeks to engage a diverse range of students.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Initiates, leads and performs R&D programs and initiatives on an ongoing basis. 
  • Work closely with the Division Director and Group Leaders within the section to develop a vision and implement a strategy to pursue world-leading science and technology directions for the section. Demonstrate cross-functional team leadership.
  • 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 research 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.
  • Evaluate Group Lead progress regularly, providing feedback and addressing performance issues in a timely manner.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Coach and mentor staff regarding ORNL’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.
  • Counsel/consult/mentor staff and transfer knowledge of specialized field(s) to a variety of staff, including senior staff. 
  • Work with Group Leaders to ensure staff are participating actively in professional service (engagement in scientific 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.
  • Communicate funding/proposal opportunities to staff and support proposal development as appropriate (mentoring, proposal reviews, budget preparation, etc.).



Basic Requirements:

  • Requires a Ph.D. with a minimum of 12-year relevant experience or a M.S. with a minimum of 16-year experience or a B.S. with 20-years of experience.
  • Qualified candidates should have demonstrated experience leading R&D teams in human dynamics related research areas.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A research track record in areas relevant to the mission of the section.
  • Experience working for or collaborating with DOE National Laboratories, academic institutions, other research organizations, and the private sector.
  • Strong familiarity with research and development programs and priorities of federal agencies and demonstrated experience of developing and managing sponsor relationships.

Special Requirement:
This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) clearance from the Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.  In addition, due the SCI, you may also be subject to random polygraph testing.

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.



  • Government / Civil Service
Posted: 2020-07-14 Expires: 2020-08-13

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Section Head, Human Dynamics

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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