Applied Separations Chemist - Senior R&D Staff

Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Feb 16, 2021
Mar 18, 2021
Field of specialization
Engineering, Polymers
Work Function
Job Type
Full time


We are seeking a Senior Applied Separations Chemist or chemical engineer with a strong background in technology development and process design to expand the breadth of research in chemical separations by supporting the development of world-class applied research programs. The successful candidate will focus on applied questions in crystallization, liquid-liquid extraction, ion exchange, adsorption, and membranes related to such problems as desalination, carbon capture, environmental cleanup, and nuclear fuel recycle. Research will be conducted in the context of a multidisciplinary team including specialists in theory and computations, separations, organic synthesis, thermodynamics, spectroscopy, and materials characterization. The candidate will be deeply involved in developing new and exciting ideas for proposals and establishing world-class research in coupling fundamental discovery with practical applications. This position resides in the Chemical Separations Group, Separations & Polymer Chemistry Section, Chemical Sciences Division, Physical Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Work with a diverse team of scientists seeking to advance the scientific understanding of complex separation systems and to put this understanding to use in real-world applications
  • Develop and lead new world-class research directions in the field of applied separations and contribute to research proposals to compete for internal and external funding
  • Perform experiments to employ separation methods, such as crystallization, solvent extraction, ion exchange, membranes, and other methods and to meet the applied project goals
  • Help team members with process design and development, process intensification, and techno-economic analyses
  • Train group postdocs, students, and visiting scholars in separations methodologies developed in the group
  • Take responsibility for operation of a separations laboratory and associated analytical instrumentation
  • Independently formulate research problems and design research strategies, working with computational chemists and experimentalists to guide 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:

  • A Ph.D in Chemical Engineering or a related discipline with a minimum of 6 years of experience
  • Experience developing new programs and attracting external funding

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Proven record of high quality research in chemical separations as reported in scientific publications
  • Experience in developing separation technologies using at least two of the following techniques: solvent extraction, ion exchange, adsorption, membranes, and crystallization
  • Demonstrated ability to work with industrial partners, patent inventions, and commercialize technologies
  • Working knowledge of basic instrumental techniques such as ICP-AES, ion chromatography, potentiometric titrimetry, and radiometric methods as needed to evaluate separation performance
  • Excellent record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Extensive experience facilitating industry engagement into research and expanding the thechnology readiness level
  • 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 Requirements

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.