Associate Laboratory Director
Kelly Beierschmitt is the Associate Laboratory Director of Neutron Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Kelly has over 25 years experience in engineering, nuclear and materials related R&D, production, and operations management. Kelly reports to the lab director and is responsible for the management of the laboratory’s neutron sciences R&D portfolio including the operation of the Spallation Neutron Source (the worlds most powerful pulsed neutron source), dedicated to the study of the structure and dynamics of quantum condensed matter, biology and soft matter, chemistry and engineered materials through the application of neutron scattering techniques. And HFIR, an 85 megawatt research reactor dedicated to neutron scattering, materials irradiation, and isotope production. The breadth of Kelly’s experience includes the development and management of complex systems used to study materials under broad time and length scales, fuel cycle and isotopes research; design, development, modeling and simulation of reactor and nuclear systems; and the development and implementation of nuclear security technology. Kelly has been responsible for initiatives to build a small modular reactor to provide carbon-free electricity to the laboratory, the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL), and the cleanup of the laboratory’s legacy nuclear and radiological facilities.
Kelly began his career at Pantex as a weapons engineer. He was responsible for the assembly, disassembly and testing of several of the nation’s nuclear assemblies. While at Pantex, Kelly held several key roles that ranged from providing leadership to enhance the safeguards and security program to being responsible for high explosives production, storage and disposal. Kelly left Pantex in 1996 as the Department Manager of the facilities startup organization where he was responsible for commissioning and early operation of the plant’s new modern weapons production, testing, assembly and storage facilities.
Following a decade at Pantex, Kelly moved to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory where he provided support to DOE’s International Nuclear Safety Program’s Chernobyl evaluation. He was also a principal on a task force to conduct a priority facility environmental vulnerability analysis at Brookhaven National Laboratory, which included the hot cell facility, old graphite reactor, High Flux Beam Reactor, and Medical Reactor. Kelly served in two key leadership roles while at PNNL; Director of Quality and Deputy Director of Environment Safety and Health. Kelly also served as an adjunct faculty member at Washington State University, Mechanical Engineering Department while working in the Pacific Northwest.
Kelly joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory in January of 2000 as Director of the Environment, Safety, Health and Quality Directorate. The ESH&Q organization included five divisions: Health Services, Quality Services, Operational Safety Services, Environmental Protection and Waste Services, and Records, Training and SBMS. He was responsible for developing, operating, and continuously improving ESH&Q management systems and providing ESH&Q services that enabled mission accomplishment. He also led the enhancement and implementation of ORNL’s Integrated Safety Management System. Kelly served in this role until assuming the role of Director of the Nuclear Operations Directorate in 2004.
Kelly holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering (Risk, Reliability Engineering) from Texas Tech University and a B.S. in Engineering Mathematics from West Texas A&M University. He is a registered Professional Engineer and a member of the American Nuclear Society and others. Presently, Kelly serves on various boards and advisory committees including support to the IAEA.