The Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) is a world-leading fusion energy research center, dedicated to developing the scientific and technological knowledge base for fusion energy.

The Lab is managed by Princeton University under contract for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.  PPPL runs the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX), which underwent a $94M upgrade in 2015 and is currently in the process of a Recovery upgrade. It will be the most powerful experimental fusion facility, or tokamak, of its type in the world when it is back in operation.

Role description

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is seeking a Project Director for the NSTX-U Recovery Project. The Project Director will lead and manage the planning and execution of the NSTX-U Recovery Project and support development of overall project management capabilities and delivery at PPPL.

Reports To:                         PPPL Laboratory Director

Location:                             Princeton, NJ


  • Provide executive-level management of R&D, design, fabrication, testing, and installation of Recovery Project hardware and software to safely deliver the NSTX-U (CD-2 through delivery of CD-4) meeting quality, cost and schedule requirements.
  • Achieve the project deliverables (KPPs, milestones and notables) on cost, schedule and scope to meet its objectives, within targeted baseline completion schedules and total project cost (TPC).
  • Communicate accurate and reliable project status and performance issues to internal and external stakeholders (Project and PPPL staff, PPPL Lab Director, DDO/COO, Princeton University, DOE/FES and DOE SC Office of Project Assessment).
  • Influence and gain commitment for initiative and recommendations from stakeholders.
  • Serve as the primary contact for the Integrated Project Team from PPPL on NSTX-U Recovery Project, and transition to operations.
  • Monitor and assume responsibility for assuring that stakeholders receive and take into consideration the programmatic requirements from the NSTX-U Research Department.
  • Lead and direct the development of the cost and schedule baseline and develop the Project Execution Plan leading to a successful project baseline.
  • Implement an approve EVMS, oversee project performance measurements reported from Control Account Managers (CAMS), and provide monthly progress reports to stakeholders.
  • Manage and direct procurements, subcontracts, services, and other financial obligations necessary for completion of the Recovery Project.
  • Utilize project management processes consistent with DOE.
  • Identify and proactively manage project risks utilizing the Risk Management Plan and develop cost and schedule contingency estimates and update the relevant stakeholders.
  • Provide input on project documentation (e.g., the PEP and other documents) and on developing and maintaining contractor project documentation.
  • Maintain overall responsibility for identifying the human resources necessary to complete the Recovery Project including direct and matrix assignment of PPPL staff.
  • Working with DDO/COO and Operations management, identify and support development needed for infrastructure support to deliver NSTX-U.
  • Ensure that staff are assigned to ensure the project deliverables and goals are met.
  • Ensure Recovery Project ES&H policies and procedures are followed and implemented.
  • Ensure Recovery Project and Laboratory quality assurance and reliability requirements are met.
  • Responsible for input for the Recovery Project and Maintenance and Run Prep activities to FWP Plan and Laboratory planning activities including the Annual Laboratory Plan.
  • Support development of overall project management delivery capability of PPPL for future projects.
  • Provide executive level presentation updates on milestones to key stakeholders.

Essential skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or Physics required.  Master’s degree/PhD in Engineering or Physics highly desired.
  • Minimum 20 years of relevant experience.
  • Experience in relevant DOE Office of Science project environment or closely affiliated technical projects.

Desired skills

  • 10 years relevant experience managing DOE research projects.
  • Experience with DOE Order 413.3B
  • Project Management Professional Certification.


The successful candidate will be offered an attractive salary, excellent benefits, and relocation assistance.

Contact a consultant
Beth Park Director Global Executive Search

Beth brings seven years of experience as a Director of Project Management for a Cleveland-based executive recruiting and consulting services firm. Prior to that, Beth had sixteen years of corporate experience with Dow Chemical Company and United Technologies Corporation serving in various leadership positions.

Inquire about this position

Or call +1 (330) 342-1256