Associate Laboratory Director
Nuclear Science and Engineering
Dr. Jeffrey Binder became the Associate Laboratory Director for Nuclear Science and Engineering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in October 2011. The Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate operates state-of-the-art nuclear facilities and conducts technology development and application programs that impact a large range of fields from basic science to reactor development to national security. Dr. Binder is a nuclear engineer whose primary research interests have involved the development of nuclear technology for the production of energy, the production of isotopes and for use as a general scientific tool.
Dr. Binder joined the staff at ORNL in 2003 where he has held a variety of technical leadership positions. During this time Dr. Binder has worked within the laboratory and the DOE complex to integrate nuclear technology capabilities and resources to advance national priorities related to nuclear technology development and application. In 2007 Dr. Binder led the development of a an engineering-scale demonstration project of spent nuclear fuel recycling technologies including head-end processing, aqueous separations, waste and actinide product conversions, and actinide transmutation fuel and target development that involved several laboratories and universities. From 2009 through 2011, Dr. Binder led the rebirth of the ORNL isotope program which included the restart of the production of transcurium elements, the construction of new capabilities to separate stable isotopes, and initiation of new R&D investment into the development of isotopes for medical applications. In 2011 Dr. Binder formed a new research division at ORNL—the Fuel Cycle and Isotopes Division—and served as its first Director until accepting his current position as Interim ALD.
From 1990 until 2003, Dr. Binder worked at Argonne National Laboratory serving in a series of increasingly responsible positions as Principal Investigator, Group Leader, Department Head, and Director of the U.S. International Nuclear Safety Center. Dr. Binder’s research career at ANL focused largely on issues related to nuclear reactor safety. Dr. Binder’s early work contributed to the understanding and resolution of severe accident issues that arose following the accident at Three Mile Island. Dr. Binder traveled extensively throughout the world representing the U.S. as an expert on nuclear technology. Dr. Binder served as technical leader from 1994 until 2003 in cooperative nuclear safety projects in countries of the Former Soviet Union.
Dr. Binder earned his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctoral degrees in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1985, 1987, and 1990, respectively. His thesis research work focused on experimental and theoretical studies of multi-phase flow. In 2003, Dr. Binder also earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago. In addition to R&D management experience, Dr. Binder has authored or co-authored over one hundred technical articles, reports, and book chapters.
Dr. Binder has been recognized with several awards during his career, the most recent being the Secretary of Energy’s Significant Achievement Award in October 2011 for his contributions in leading the DOE response to the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Plant in Japan.