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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Novel Preceramic Polymers
Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Date Posted 09/21/2020
Admin-Laboratory and Research
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled

Requisition Id 4061 

Overview:   We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to support research efforts in the investigation and implementation of preceramic polymers. This position resides in the Carbon and Composites Group in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).   


This research will focus on experimental studies of ceramic forming polymers such as polycarbosilane and polysiloxane. Additionally, the research will employ fiber or film formation, controlled pyrolysis and characterization of the derivatives. Physico-chemical property characterization including GPC, DMA, TGA, DSC, SEM, rheology, filament formation from melt, high temperature processing and mechanical testing will be performed during this research.



Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Conducts chemical synthesis and modification of preceramic polymers.
  • Develops methods for their thermal crosslinking and processing (filament formation and high temperature carbonization).
  • Performs chemical characterization (e.g., spectroscopy, thermal analysis, morphological characterization by scattering and microscopy tools, polymer rheology/extrusion, and data analysis).
  • Works with others to maintain a high level of scientific productivity.
  • Responsible for preparing, presenting and reporting research and development results and publishing scientific results in key peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner.
  • Maintains a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.



Basic Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering, Polymer Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, or closely related fields completed within the last 5 years.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Expertise in synthesis, processing, and characterization.
  • Expertise in chemical characterization by NMR, and other spectroscopic tools.
  • Understanding of molecular structure and theoretical understanding of structural transformation of the carbosilanes during thermal processing.
  • An excellent record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience.
  • Motivated and safety conscious.
  • Ability to work with a measure of autonomy and a willingness to participate creatively in a collaborative team environment.
  • Ability to work on multiple tasks in a limited amount of time and to independently set priorities to accomplish numerous tasks to meet deadlines.


Special Requirements:

This position requires access to technology that is subject to export control requirements. Successful candidates must be qualified for such access without an export control license, which requires U.S. Citizenship or LPR (Lawful Permanent Residence).


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 up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding.


Please provide a list of publications when applying for this position.  Three letters of reference are required and can be uploaded to your profile or emailed directly to  Please include the title of the position in the subject line.




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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