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R&D Associate - Physical Chemist

Oak Ridge National Lab
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Closing date
Oct 8, 2019

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Field of specialization
Work Function
Job Type
Full time

Job Details


We are seeking an R&D Physical Chemist who will focus on developing apparatus, methods and performing accurate and defensible physical / chemical measurements for a variety of gas phase molecules including newly synthesized, novel molecules.  Physical / chemical properties may include, but not limited to, viscosity, thermal conductivity and diffusivity over a wide range of temperature and pressure.  This position resides in the Isotope Chemistry Group in the Chemical Sciences Division, Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at ORNL and will support other groups associated with the DOE Isotope Program at ORNL.  


As part of our group, you will work with a multi-disciplinary team to advance the science and engineering of isotope enrichment technologies, especially those that depend on feedstock chemicals in the gas phase.  The stable isotope portfolio at ORNL involves production and dispensing operations of rare, highly valued, enriched stable isotopic materials that have been separated by various enrichment technologies at ORNL.  These materials are dispensed to academic, medical and government researchers pursuing a wide variety of projects of critical importance to the nation.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Design, fabricate/procure, commission, test and utilize gas phase viscosity, thermal conductivity apparatus to obtain accurate, reliable and defensible physical / chemical property data over a wide range of temperature, pressure and number densities
  • Develop external collaborations, as appropriate, to leverage a wide array of measurement capabilities
  • Collaborate with computational modelers and experimentalists to further basic and applied understanding of how changes in the physical properties of a gas impact various processes
  • Participate in collaborations with other Isotope Program researchers in developing novel stable isotope enrichment technologies and proposals for new projects
  • Mentor and develop BS and MS level chemical technicians
  • Present and report research results to sponsor and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner to refine existing published datasets for select chemicals and establish datasets for new compounds
  • Present results at scientific meetings
  • 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 Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Applied Physics or a related discipline.
  • A minimum of 2 years of experience and demonstrated publication record in the measurement of physical / chemical parameters such as viscosity, thermal conductivity and/or diffusivity
  • The ability to access to technology that is subject to export control requirements without an export control license
  • The ability to obtain and/or maintain a DOE Q clearance from the Department of Energy


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in handling air and moisture sensitive materials and highly reactive gases
  • Experience in measurement and calculations of thermodynamic properties
  • 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


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). 


This position requires that you have the ability to obtain and/or maintain a DOE Q clearance from the Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.


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.


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the US Department of Energy's largest multi-program science and energy laboratory, with scientific and technical capabilities spanning the continuum from basic to applied research. Located in the city of Oak Ridge, ORNL is in the eastern part of Tennessee in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

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.

Company info
1 Bethel Valley Rd.
Oak Ridge

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