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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 Technologist. 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. David Kropaczek CASL Director

Chief Scientist; Dave Kropaczek

Dave Kropaczek joined ORNL in 2018 as CASL Director. Davecomes to us after serving as CASL Chief Scientist for 2 years and brings more than 25 years of nuclear experience to the position of CASL Director, most recently serving as the Duke Energy Distinguished Professor in Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Prior to that Dave served 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 his areas of expertise include computational reactor physics and nuclear fuel cycles and optimization





Dr. Jason Hales CASL Deputy Director

Chief Scientist; Dave Kropaczek

Dr. Jason Hales serves as the CASL Deputy Director. Jason is a computational scientist whose technical skills include numerical methods, non-linear solid mechanics, material model development, and finite element contact. Dr. Hales joined INL in 2010 with a principal focus on non-linear solid mechanics capability development. He is the primary author of Bison, INL’s nuclear fuel performance application. Dr. Hales now manages INL’s Fuel Modeling and Simulation Department, which develops a set of multi-physics applications in support of multiple DOE-NE programs. Before joining INL he spent nine years at Sandia National Laboratories where he worked on the solid mechanics applications in SIERRA. Dr. Hales holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.




Dr. Scott Palmtag CASL Chief Technologist

Dr. Scott Palmtag

The Chief Technologist, a new position in CASL, replaces the Chief Scientist role - acknowleding the shifting focus of CASL over the remaining two years with more emphasis on deploying the CASL technology to the United States Nuclear Industry.  In addition to this role Scott will join NCSU full-time as a Research Professor. Scott brings over 20 years of experience working the United States Nuclear Industry and has been engaged with CASL for the last seven years in various research and leadership roles. Scott was instrumental in the development of the VERA Core Simulator. Prior to CASL Scott held positions at Global Nuclear Fuel and Studsvik Scandpower working on reactor methods development. He holds a BS degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla as well as MS and PhD degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.





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.




Stephanie Swint