Associate Laboratory Director for Engineering

5 days left

New Jersey, United States
13 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
13 Mar 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Department   PPPL Office of the Director
Category   Engineering
Full-Time / Part-Time   Full-Time


PPPL is a world leader in fusion and plasma research which advances the scientific understanding of plasma from nano-to-astrophysical-scale and develops the scientific knowledge and advanced engineering to enable fusion to power the U.S. and the world.

The Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for Engineering is responsible for leading a diverse organization of ~200 staff that partners with cutting-edge engineering teams for science, research and technology advancements to ensure the success of the Laboratory’s mission, programs and institutional goals.

The ALD has Lab-wide responsibility for providing leadership, stewardship, and strategic vision to develop a strong, best-in-class engineering programs. These programs include:

  • Systems and components engineering, both large and small scale
  • Computational code development and simulation,
  • Engineering design and requirements,
  • Specialty manufacturing,
  • Prototyping and assembly,
  • Experiment execution,
  • Operation of critical engineering facilities.

The ALD is responsible for safe, reliable, and rigorous design, construction, operation, and periodic enhancement/upgrading of major scientific user facilities, as well as the definition, design, construction, and potential citing of major future (fusion) facilities.

The successful candidate will seek to both partner with industry and enhance the laboratory’s synergies with Princeton University. This position oversees and directs the following key areas for the lab:

  • Engineering research, development, delivery, and
  • Implementation activities in computational engineering and modeling, nanotechnology,
  • Advanced plasma diagnostics,
  • Systems engineering,
  • Advanced instrumentation,
  • Mechatronics, advanced structures and materials, and
  • Pulsed and radio frequency power systems.

The ALD will ensure that the ties between research projects and their engineering planning and delivery are strong and trusted.

The ALD is also responsible for strategic planning, the responsible management of people and facilities, research quality and integrity, and the communication of engineering-based outcomes and deliverables.

In addition, this position must act as a liaison to external agencies and other national laboratories, promoting partnerships with academia, research institutions, and industry, as well as guiding the development of externally sponsored projects and programs consistent with the Laboratory’s overall vision and strategy.

The ALD is a direct report to the Laboratory Director and a member of the Laboratory Leadership Council which is the Laboratory’s executive leadership team. It is expected that the Associate Lab Director will provide advice, counsel, and insight to the Laboratory Director, Deputy Directors, and CFO on the formulation and execution of the Laboratory’s strategic priorities and initiatives.

PPPL is operated by Princeton University, is a DOE National Laboratory focused on fusion energy research. To learn more about PPPL, please visit


  • Lead the Engineering organization to deliver the Lab mission; define the organizational vision, develop and implement a strategic plan to deliver than vision, and drive the tactical actions to deliver PPPL core competencies in power systems, electrical and mechanical design and engineering, to execute the Lab’s science programs.
  • Grow the Engineering organization to meet future Lab requirements; through the recruitment, retention and development of an outstanding and diverse workforce, and by expanding the capabilities of the scientific and operational infrastructure, consistent with available funding sources.
  • Periodically reviews organizational structure and programs to ensure they support the short and long-term strategic objectives in accordance with the Annual Laboratory Plan and in collaboration with the Executive Leadership Team,
  • Proactively promotes education and works to build a pipeline of next generation engineers through outreach and education programs with other national laboratories and learning institutions.
  • Support DOE Performance Evaluation and Measurement Plan and the outcomes of those actions
  • Manages Engineering group leaders
  • Acts as chief spokesperson for the PPPL engineering discipline to Princeton University, DOE, external agencies and internal groups.
  • Leads and builds consensus within the Directorate to develop Laboratory-wide engineering initiatives, as well as policies and guidelines.
  • Develops short- and long-term financial strategies to ensure proper funding levels and evaluates new funding sources and oversees the preparation and development of annual budget.
  • Ensures stewardship of and adherence to appropriate PPPL financial, procurement, budget, property, and accounting policies, procedures, and protocols.
  • Leads and manages a Directorate responsible for providing engineering solutions in support of facility and infrastructure management, and project execution including design engineering, system engineering, and project engineering expertise delivered using both centralized and deployed labor resources.
  • Ensures programmatic and project operations are cost effective, efficient and optimized within constraints of the budget.
  • Oversees the recruitment and retention of national and international talent utilizing open and fair recruitment criteria, and actively pursuing diversity, equity and inclusion principles for an appropriately diverse applicant pool and employee workforce.
  • Ensures proper management of HR responsibilities (e.g., salary administration, staffing, performance management, diversity, employee development, etc.) through departmental leads.
  • Responsible for key decisions regarding senior staff, including compensation, evaluation and organizational structure.
  • Develops talent in senior engineering and management positions through assessments, mentoring, development plans and succession planning strategy.
  • Effectively communicates relevant information to key stakeholders both internal and external to the Laboratory.
  • Develops and maintains strong professional connections with senior DOE officials.
  • Ensures that engineering communications are aligned with the institutional strategies.


Professional Experience: 

  • Demonstrable experience leading and delivering on complex, multi-discipline and rigorous engineering capabilities and competencies at scale in highly technical environments (e.g. fusion, aerospace, navy nuclear program, commercial nuclear, etc.)
  • Demonstrable experience delivering engineering to complex projects and recognized accomplishments in that field.


  • Advanced degree in engineering or related field
  • 15 year’s relevant experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 

  • Leadership, decision-making at the executive level
  • Demonstrable capability for partnering to meet organizational mission, objectives, initiatives
  • Leadership position at a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (or equivalent) is preferred

Certificates and Licenses: 

  • PE Preferred

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. All PPPL employees are required to disclose any participation in a foreign government talent recruitment program and may be required to withdraw from such programs to remain employed under the DOE Contract.

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