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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Polymer Science and Engineering
Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Date Posted 01/12/2022
Postdoctoral-Researcher Other
Employment Type Full-time
Application Deadline Open until filled

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Polymer Science and Engineering

Requisition ID : 7336


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 Building Envelope Materials Research Group (BEMR) in the Building Technologies Research and Integration Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

BEMR conducts research for the U.S. DOE Building Technologies Office and other customers that focuses on developing state-of-the-art and cost-effective building envelope technologies that make new and existing buildings energy efficient, low carbon, durable, comfortable, and grid-interactive.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will work in multidisciplinary projects that integrate the expertise of researchers from BEMR and the Soft Matter Group in the Chemical Sciences Division at ORNL. Projects include the development of polymeric foam insulation materials with very high effective thermal resistivity and polymeric facers for foam insulation materials.

Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Develop polymeric facers for foam insulation materials
  • Characterize the diffusion coefficient of foam facers and adhesion properties between the foam and facers
  • Develop polymeric foam insulation materials with very high effective thermal resistivity
  • 3D print polymer foams with controlled morphology
  • Determine the relationship between the morphology, mechanical properties and processability that are obtained from various manufacturing processes for foam insulation
  • Reduce flammability of polymeric materials for the building applications
  • Collaborate in several projects that study polymeric materials for various building envelope applications
  • Interact and collaborate with researchers from various ORNL groups, universities, national laboratories, and private industry
  • Present research results to ORNL staff, DOE, industry, and academia in the form of presentations, conference papers, and peer-reviewed journal papers with high impact factors
  • Assist in the development and preparation of proposals
  • Ensure compliance with environmental, safety, health, and program requirements
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and continuation of ORNL’s values and ethics

Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Polymer Science/Engineering, Materials Science/Engineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Expertise in polymer synthesis, characterization, and manufacturing methods
  • Understanding of the relationship between morphology and material properties in polymeric materials
  • Understanding of diffusion of gases through polymers and other barrier materials is advantageous
  • Experience with experimental studies and data analysis
  • Demonstrated strong publication record

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with technoeconomic analysis
  • Successful proposal writing experience
  • 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.

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

More information about BEMR, the Buildings Technologies and Research and Integration Center, and the Soft Mateer Group may be found by visiting the following links:

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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