Researcher in Separations Chemistry

Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Discussed upon interview.
Nov 19, 2018
Dec 19, 2018
Field of specialization
Job Type
Full time


We are seeking chemist with a background in separations to perform research in separations chemistry in a variety of projects, ranging from fundamental research on novel molecular-recognition chemistry to applied efforts taking care of problems such as recovery of critical materials, recycle of used nuclear fuel, treatment of waste, water purification, and sensing of trace contaminants. This position resides in the Chemical Separations Group in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

The Chemical Separations Group consists of a multidisciplinary team of scientists focusing on a range of problems in chemical separations from fundamental questions to development and implementation of technologies for energy-related applications. The team includes specialists in theory and computations, organic synthesis, separations, thermodynamics, spectroscopy, X-ray and neutron scattering, and materials characterization.

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Work with a diverse team of scientists seeking both to advance scientific understanding of chemical recognition and separation phenomena, as well as to put this understanding to use in solving real world problems
  • Design and perform hands-on separations experiments utilizing solvent extraction, ion exchange, crystallization, and other methods to meet project goals
  • Develop new research directions and contribute to preparing proposals
  • Responsible for operation of a separations laboratory equipped with radiometric instrumentation
  • Work with both computational chemists and experimentalists to support the design of new receptors and characterize their separation properties
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics

Basic Qualifications:

  • PhD in Chemistry or a closely related science discipline
  • PhD or post-PhD research experience involving separations chemistry using at least one of the following techniques: solvent extraction, ion exchange, adsorption, or crystallization

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong record of productive and creative research including published peer-reviewed research articles on separation of ionic species in solution and presentations at scientific conferences
  • A foundation in inorganic, physical, and analytical chemistry with a proven working knowledge of thermodynamics and kinetics
  • Working knowledge of basic instrumental techniques such as ICP-AES, ion chromatography, and potentiometric titrimetry, as well as NMR, FTIR, and UV-vis spectroscopies
  • Experience in coordination chemistry, molecular recognition, or supramolecular chemistry
  • Familiarity with solution-structure methodology, X-ray spectroscopy (EXAFS), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), or neutron scattering (SANS)
  • Experience in carrying out radioanalytical methods
  • Experience in the chemistry of actinides, lanthanides, and fission products
  • Proven experience in proposal development and leading research projects
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and oral and written communication skills to have effective interactions with technical peers, program managers, and sponsors
  • Excellent record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate to an international, scientific audience
  • 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

Special Requirement:

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.

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

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