Postdoctoral Research Associate – Novel Carbon Precursors and Polymers

Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Sep 11, 2020
Oct 11, 2020
Field of specialization
Work Function
Laboratory, Research-Applied
Job Type
Full time


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to support research efforts in the investigation and implementation of new carbon precursors. 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 carbon forming polymers and small molecule systems. Additionally, the research will employ controlled synthetic methods to produce well-defined polymers tailored to a variety of applications and processes. Physico-chemical properties and structural characterization including GPC, DMA, TGA, DSC, SEM, rheology, XRD, SEM, filament formation from melt or solution, high temperature processing and tensile testing will be performed during this research.

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Conducts chemical synthesis and modification of polymeric carbon precursor materials.
  • Develops alternative carbon precursors and methods for their 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.
  • 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.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Expertise in polymer chemistry, synthesis, processing, and characterization.
  • Expertise in GPC, DMA, TGA, DSC, SEM, rheology, and tensile testing
  • Experience in synthesis and characterization of carbonaceous materials, thin film or fiber fabrication from melt or solution and melt/solution rheology.
  • 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.

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.

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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.

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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.