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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Polymer Processing
Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Knoxville, Tennessee
Date Posted 09/15/2021
Admin-Laboratory and Research
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled

Requisition Id 6552 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Advanced Composites Manufacturing Group in the Manufacturing Science Division, Energy Science and Technology Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the area of sustainable manufacturing with expertise in polymer processing related to composite materials with relevant experience in an industrial manufacturing setting. 


Our research team carries out high quality R&D focused on the sustainable composite manufacturing for applications in aerospace, automotive, and marine/shipbuilding industries, as well as trending areas of international composite research in material science, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, and automation.


The selected candidate will conduct experimental research on the processing of novel composite systems using a variety of methods, such as additive manufacturing, twin-screw extrusion, injection molding, compression molding, etc., as well as develop and manage advanced polymer processing equipment. The candidate will be expected to simultaneously execute multiple projects, contribute to development of new initiatives in their area, interact with ORNL staff, industry, and academic partners.


As part of our research team, the candidate will develop novel and hybrid processing techniques for polymer and composite manufacturing. The candidate must have large-scale polymer processing experience and is expected to develop and optimize novel composite and polymer manufacturing processes from existing standard techniques and equipment. The candidate will create new connections and maintain existing relationships with industrial and academic collaborators to create innovate, efficient, and sustainable polymer and composite manufacturing solutions. The candidate will be expected to simultaneously execute multiple projects, contribute to development of new initiatives in your area, and interact with ORNL staff, industry, and academic partners. The successful candidate will support research in hybrid polymer and composite processing design, scale-up, and innovation as well as connect with new collaborators to solve current industrial problems; publish original peer-reviewed research articles; and supervise students.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Perform composite and polymer processing utilizing twin-screw extrusion, injection molding, compression molding, etc. of novel material systems
  • Design and innovate hybrid composite and polymer processing techniques based on existing technologies
  • Conduct mechanical, thermal, and morphological characterization of novel hybrid material systems
  • Establish and manage relevant research collaborations and projects with new industrial partners
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Help to support team goals and work with other team members
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, Polymer Science and Engineering, Chemistry, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • A record of productive and creative research proven by publications in peer-reviewed journals and/or conference presentations


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with and understanding of composite and polymer processing techniques
  • Understanding of microstructure-composite property relationship and matrix-filler interactions in composites
  • Experience and expertise with analytical characterization techniques is plus such as DSC, FTIR, TGA, DMA, EDS, XRD, Rheology, electron and optical microscopy
  • Experience with modifying and maintaining industrial composite and polymer processing equipment
  • Ability to maintain current connections and network within the composite and polymer manufacturing industry
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory 
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.


Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at



This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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