Dilling named associate laboratory director for neutron sciences at ORNL

Jens Dilling has been named associate laboratory director for the Neutron Sciences Directorate, or NScD, at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, effective April 1.

“ORNL pioneered neutron scattering in the 1940s, developing a new technique that enables scientists to explore and create new materials, batteries and more,” ORNL Director Stephen Streiffer said. “Today, ORNL remains at the forefront of this science, and Jens will play a critical role in ensuring the nation’s leading neutron sources continue to deliver significant scientific impact for the United States and the world.”

Since Aug. 1, 2023, Dilling has served as NScD’s interim associate laboratory director, guiding more than 700 staff responsible for the High Flux Isotope Reactor and Spallation Neutron Source — two of the most powerful scientific research facilities in the world — as well as multiple projects focused on continuous improvement of the lab’s neutron capabilities. 

Neutron scattering is used in industries including automotive, aerospace, steel, defense, industrial materials, energy storage, data storage and biomedicine to spur innovations such as stronger glass for mobile devices, drugs that more effectively treat disease, more reliable aircraft and rocket engines, vehicles with better gas mileage, improved armor for the military, and batteries that are safer, charge faster, and last longer.

Dilling demonstrated strong leadership in his interim role and will continue the NScD team’s efforts to expand the scientific impact of the lab’s neutron sources while also growing the neutron user community across the United States. 

As an experimental nuclear physicist with more than 20 years delivering breakthroughs in fundamental and applied nuclear physics, Dilling came to ORNL in 2021 to serve as director of Institutional Strategic Planning. In 2023, he took a joint faculty appointment as a research professor in the Department of Physics at Duke University, a core university of UT-Battelle, LLC, the partnership that operates ORNL for DOE. 

Prior to ORNL, he worked for two decades at TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for accelerator sciences at the University of British Columbia. He started at TRIUMF in 2001 as a research scientist before moving into various leadership positions, concluding his tenure as the associate laboratory director for Physical Sciences. 

Dilling earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in physics from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, or APS, and received the APS Francis M. Pipkin Award, the Vogt Medal from the Canadian Association of Physicists, or CAP, and the Rutherford Memorial Medal from the Royal Society of Canada for “breakthrough discoveries in the field of experimental nuclear physics studying the fine details of the interactions of the atomic building blocks, the nucleons.” He is a professional member of APS, the German Physical Society, CAP, the Canadian Society for Mass Spectrometry, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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