Director, Health Physics Services (HPS)/ Radiation Safety Officer (RSO)

Northwestern University in Illinois

Date Posted April 3, 2014
Type Administrative
Salary Not specified
Employment Type Full-time

About Northwestern University:


Northwestern University is a private research university located on lakefront campuses in both Evanston and downtown Chicago, Illinois. Northwestern was founded in 1851. In fall 2008, Northwestern opened another campus in Doha, Qatar offering bachelor’s degrees in journalism and communications in partnership with the Qatar Foundation.  


The university employs approximately 7,100 full-time faculty and staff members among its 11 schools and colleges. NU offers over 130 undergraduate programs and 70 graduate and professional programs to the almost 16,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students enrolled full time.


Northwestern University is committed to excellent teaching, innovative research, and the personal and intellectual growth of its students in a diverse academic community.


Northwestern Opportunity:


Northwestern University seeks to employ a varied and diverse range of dynamic people who understand the importance of our mission and vision. When you consider a career at Northwestern University, you know that you are joining an institution with a deep history of academic, professional and personal excellence.


Currently, we have a career opportunity as a Director, Health Physics Services (HPS)/ Radiation Safety Officer (RSO).


Under Federal and State law, Northwestern University is required to have a qualified individual who serves as its Radiation Safety Officer (RSO). The RSO is charged with ensuring compliance with its privilege to use radioactive materials specifically the protection of individuals, the environment and public health. The Director of Health Physics Services serves as the RSO and also ensures adequate controls are in place for the use of non-ionizing radiation (lasers) and electromagnetic radiation (magnetic fields).


On-call expectation, response in the event of an emergency


This critical role:


Develops, leads, and manages a comprehensive HP program (registration, audit and training elements) to address the safe and compliant use of ionizing, non-ionizing and electromagnetic radiation at NU (Has a dotted line report to the VP for Research in maintaining NU's Broad scope license);

Supervises, mentors, and develops four to five HPS staff including one individual specifically dedicated to non-ionizing radiation and electromagnetic radiation (EMR);

Oversees the role of contract personnel in the compliant delivery of radioactive materials, waste collection and inventory and recordkeeping in support of the HPS program;

Serves on institutional committees involved in research safety including Radiation Safety (RS), Laser Safety (LS) and others, as appropriate;

Helps to set the agendas, prepare submissions, set goals and objectives, report on metrics and engage in a process of continuous improvement;

Works in collaboration with the respective ORS Campus Directors helping to identify and understand the safety implications in the use of ionizing radiation, non-ionizing radiation and EMR in training ORS personnel;

Participates in the design review process for new installations or renovations according to accepted standard and internal SOPs;

Participates in external review activities to ensure the sufficiency of controls, training and oversight in place;

Identifies, registers and oversees the safe use of ionizing radiation in all aspects of the University's teaching and research activities under its broad scope license;

Uses radionuclides, x-ray devices, irradiators, sealed sources and NORM materials;

Maintains full responsibility for research registration, inspection, audits, general and site specific training, personal protective equipment (if required) and equipment decommissioning in accordance with accepted standards;

Develops and maintains internal and campus-wide standard operating procedures (SOPs), and all other documentation sufficient to demonstrate adequate control and oversight of ionization radiation by the institution;

Develops specific SOPs for emergency response, first response to accidents or injuries;

Ensures Northwestern University's compliance with its Broadscope License to use ionizing radiation (IL 01879-01);

Participates in emergency response activities of the University;

Participates in leadership activities within and external to the University;

Performs related duties as required or assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

A master’s degree in health physics (or an allied science discipline) or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired;

At least ten years of progressively responsible work as a health physicist in a capacity that demonstrates leadership and management experience ideally in higher education or the biomedical/ pharmaceutical industries;

Must be physically capable of emergency response including the use of a self-contained breathing apparatus;

Must be willing to carry a pager and cell phone after hours for emergency response.

Preferred Qualifications:

A PhD or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired;

Certification as a health physicist or laser safety officer;

Involvement in professional societies, academic publications, regulatory oversight;

Working at Northwestern University:


Beyond being a place to learn and grow professionally, Northwestern is an exciting and fulfilling place to work! Northwestern offers many benefit options to full and part-time employees including: competitive compensation; excellent retirement plans; comprehensive medical, dental and vision coverage; dependent care match; vacation, sick and holiday pay; professional development opportunities and tuition reimbursement.


Northwestern greatly values work/life balance amongst its employees. Take advantage of recreational, cultural, and enrichment opportunities on campus. Employees also receive access to childcare solutions, retail discounts, and other work/life balance resources.


Northwestern University is an equal opportunity employer and strongly believes in creating an environment that welcomes students, faculty and staff of all races, nationalities and religions. In doing so, we offer our students the opportunity to learn and grow in diverse communities preparing them for successful careers in an increasingly global and diverse work force.


For consideration, please click on the link below. You will be directed to Northwestern University's electronic recruiting system, eRecruit, where you will search and apply for current openings. To apply for this position in eRecruit, enter the Job Opening ID number in the appropriate search field. Once you apply, you will receive an email confirming submission of your resume. For all resumes received, if there is interest in your candidacy, the human resources recruiter or the department hiring manager will contact you. Job Opening ID number for this position is 22937.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities.


How To Apply

You can apply for this position online at