Sean L. Jones is the deputy laboratory director for science & technology at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. In this role, he serves as Argonne’s chief research officer and its senior science strategist and advisor. He works with the laboratory director and associate laboratory directors to implement a laboratory-wide science strategy and further develop Argonne’s $1.1 billion multidisciplinary science and technology portfolio, comprised of 21 research divisions, six national scientific user facilities, and over 1,700 research and technical staff.
Jones has more than 30 years of experience in the research and development area, across academia, industry and the federal government. Prior to joining Argonne, Jones served as assistant director of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Mathematical and Physical Sciences directorate – the agency’s largest organization – where he oversaw a $1.86 billion science portfolio, including five science divisions, a portfolio of domestic and international user facilities, and a suite of interdisciplinary research programs, centers and institutes. His 14-year career at the NSF also included leadership and program management roles in the Division of Materials Research, where he was the lead manager of 31 Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers across the United States. He served as the NSF’s executive secretary for the Committee on Strategy and Budget of the National Science Board, and he spent time on assignment in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, serving as a policy analyst and its assistant director for physical science and engineering.
Prior to joining the NSF, Jones served in several positions across academia and industry. He was chair and professor for both the optical and electronic engineering departments at Norfolk State University, the director of engineering for Applied Plasmonics, technical manager and distinguished member of technical staff at Bell Laboratories of Lucent Technologies, senior scientist at Luxcore Networks, and lead line engineer at Hoechst Celanese.
Jones is an industry-recognized expert in luminescent materials and the fabrication of optical waveguides and has been awarded nine U.S. patents. He is the co-inventor of Lucent’s high-bandwidth multimode optical fiber used in today’s Fiber-To-The-X (FTTX) applications such as FiOS cable television and Fiber-to-the-Home applications. His work led to the IEEE standards for 10G multimode optical fiber as well as the lasers and detectors employed in these systems.
Jones has a doctorate and a master’s degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Florida, and a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering from Clemson University. His honors include the Senior Executive Services Member Career Award, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Award for Excellence, and the National Science Foundation Director’s Equal Opportunity Achievement Award. He is a fellow of the Thomas Green Clemson Academy of Engineers and Scientists.