Postdoctoral Research Associate - Polymer Composites

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


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to support our Carbon and Composites Group. In this role, you will focus composite materials processing and evaluation to enhance cost-effective performance of advanced structural materials in addressing a variety of areas where composites will impact energy missions of national interest.  As a postdoc, you will conduct experimental research around constituents and final product forms comprising fiber-reinforced polymer-based composite materials.  This position resides within the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

The Carbon and Composites Group advances the science and technology base for manufacturing of polymeric

materials and composite products by conducting innovative research and development for a broad spectrum of programs. In this role, you will perform experimental research and development and work with internal researchers and external partners to advance composite materials science and technology for applications in energy missions such as transportation, compressed gas storage, wind turbine blades, etc. where high speed, high volume composite manufacturing is at a premium. The immediate projects develop technologies for tailoring fibers, fillers, resin systems, and intermediates such as prepreg, preforms, compounds, sheet Molding or Bulk Molding Compounds (SMC or BMC) for advanced manufacturing of structural composites. Experience in fundamental research and development in composite processes such as molding, pultrusion, filament winding, tape laying/fiber placement, advanced curing techniques as well as characterization of constituents primarily for mechanical and physical properties will be advantageous.

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

• Development and evaluation of composite intermediates such as s prepreg, preforms, compounds such as Sheet Molding or Bulk Molding Compounds (SMC or BMC) for advanced manufacturing of structural composites

• Development of improved constituent and intermediate product forms and packaging

• Utilize materials and process composite engineering for a wide variety of manufacturing technologies, such as extrusion, injection molding, resin transfer molding, compression molding and blow molding

• Design of polymer composites structures, development and testing of new materials

• Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely fashion

• 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 Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Engineering Mechanics, or a related discipline completed within the last five years

• Experience with composites, fiber reinforcement, composite intermediates, and/or advanced non-metallic manufacturing

Preferred Qualifications:

• Experience with manufacturing/fabricating and characterizing polymer composites and underlying constituents

• Experience development of improved constituent and intermediate product forms and packaging

• Experience with design of polymer composites structures, development and testing of new materials

• Experience with mechanical, physical, and analytical characterization techniques such as Differential Scanning Calorimentry (DSC), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA), electron microscopes and Rheology

• An excellent record of productive and creative research as proven by publications in peer-reviewed journals

• Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience

• Self starter, capable of creative research with minimal supervision and the ability to work collaboratively in a team

environment and interact effectively with a broad range of colleagues

• Ability to function well in a dynamic research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever-changing needs

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.

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.

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.
For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at


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.