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The CASL organizational structure (see chart) has proven to accommodate necessary program priority changes and risk management actions during CASL’s lifetime, yet possess a primary structure that is stable and functional. Major features include:

  • Central, integrated management working predominately from a single location at ORNL: Director with full line authority and accountability for all aspects of CASL; Deputy Direct to drive program planning, performance, and assessment; Chief Scientist to drive science-based elements; Focus Area Leads and Deputies with responsibility for the core science and engineering elements; Collaboration and Ideation Officer responsible for Virtual Office Community and Computing Lab project execution and integration across the core elements;
  • Strong science, engineering, applications, and design leadership;
  • A commitment to the one-roof approach and widespread implementation of state-of-the-art collaboration technology;
  • Well-informed and timely decision making and program integration;
  • Independent oversight and review via an external Board of Directors, which advises on annual performance goals, tactical and strategic plans, and performance metrics;
  • Integrated technical project management across CASL for scheduling and budget and an integrated operations team providing clear leadership for environment, safety, and health; finance; program review; business management; quality; and security;
  • Robust technology transfer and partnerships office to ensure efficient, widespread industrial engagement and coordinated management of intellectual property, ensuring that CASL discoveries and VERA will be translated rapidly to commercial applications.

CASL Phase 2 Organization Chart Positions Only

The CASL Senior Leadership Team (SLT) consists of the Director, Deputy Director, and Chief Scientist. The SLT is responsible for the CASL strategic plan, management plan, technical program plan, resource-loaded implementation plan, and the successful execution of those plans according to the CASL mission and vision and within predefined scope, schedule, and budget constraints and expectations.

Dr. Jess C. Gehin CASL Director

CASL Director; Dr. Jess Gehin

Dr. Jess Gehin joined the ORNL in 1992 and is CASL’s director. Previous positions at ORNL include leading Reactor Technology R&D Integration, senior program manager, and lead of the Reactor Analysis Group. Prior to this position, Dr. Gehin was a senior R&D staff member performing research primarily in the area of nuclear reactor physics working on projects such as the development of the Advanced Neutron Source Research Reactor, Fissile Material Disposition, and modeling of experiments in the High Flux Isotope Reactor. Dr. Gehin earned a BS degree in nuclear engineering in 1988 from Kansas State University and MS (1990) and PhD (1992) degrees in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Gehin also holds the position of Joint Associate Professor in the Nuclear Engineering Department and the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education at the University of Tennessee.

Research Interests

  • Nuclear reactor physics computational methods for LWRs and advanced reactor concept development, design, and operations
  • Advanced nuclear reactor technology development including fluoride salt-cooled high-temperature reactors and molten salt reactor concepts
  • Nuclear fuel cycle systems and options analysis, including fuel cycle evaluations to support R&D decisions and technical aspects of thorium-based fuel cycle systems


Dr. Jim Wolf CASL Deputy Director

Deputy Director; Dr. Jim Wolf

Dr. Jim Wolf serves as the CASL Deputy Director. Jim has a PhD in physics from American University and has over 30 years of experience at Idaho National Laboratory, with an emphasis on business and technical management, nuclear reactor safety studies, experimental thermal hydraulics, project management, international programs, strategic planning, management of large scale analytical/ experimental programs, and personnel leadership. He is currently the RELAP5-3D program manager and previously managed work in thermal fluids and heat transfer, nuclear fuels and materials, and nuclear energy programs. Jim brings a wealth of experience to CASL.

Dr. Dave Kropaczek CASL Chief Scientist

Chief Scientist; Dave Kropaczek

Dave Kropaczek serves as the CASL Chief Scientist. Dave comes to us after serving as president and chief executive officer of Studsvik Scandpower, Inc. and in other positions at Studsvik Scandpower, General Electric, and Westinghouse. His career has been focused on developing and applying light water reactor analysis methods within these positions and is therefore very well positioned to serve in this Chief Scientist role. Dave received his MS and PhD degrees from North Carolina State University (NCSU) working under the direction of Paul Turinsky. He returned to NCSU as the Duke Energy Endowed Professor of Nuclear Engineering. He has over 27 years of experience in the nuclear industry with a variety of areas of expertise.

Dr. Jess C GehinDr. Jim WolfDr. Dave Kropaczek

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle for the US Department of Energy.

CASL is U.S. DOE Energy Innovation Hub founded in July 2010.




William Cramer