Applied Catalytic Chemist - Senior R&D Staff

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


We are seeking an Applied Catalytic Chemist who will focus on developing  a world-class research program in applied catalysis in the conversion of evolving energy feedstocks including biomass, natural gas, CO2 and plastics into valuable chemicals and fuels.  This position resides in the Surface Chemistry and Catalysis (SCC) Group in the Chemical Transformation Section, Chemical Science Division (CSD), Physical Science Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  

As part of our research team, this position offers tremendous opportunity for undertaking cutting-edge R&D  directed at developing design and synthesis of new class of catalytic materials targeted for complex reactions in the conversion of renewal resources. The position also provides ample opportunities for collaborating and interacting with synergistic basic and applied catalysis teams at ORNL. This position has the unique opportunity in transforming the fundamental catalytic breakthrough in catalysts and reactions obtained from the BES catalysis projects at the SCC group into applied stages, processes and scale up. Arrays of techniques for characterizing physical and catalytic properties are in place or are currently being developed within the group. This position will take advantage of resources at ORNL and in particular at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) and neutron scattering at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) as well as other national user facilities such as synchrotron light sources. The environment at ORNL is highly collaborative and crosscutting research exists between the Chemical Sciences Division and other Divisions at ORNL.

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Develop a multi-discplinary research program funded by external sponsors in the area of applied heterogeneous catalysis, electrocatalysis as well as fundamental catalysis Lead a team of early career researchers working on heterogeneous catalysis  and develop capabilities and state-of-the-art catalysis laboratory Develop research leadership in key thrusts areas of catalysis including thermal and electrocatalytic conversion of renewable resources 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 commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.

Basic Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D in Chemcial Engineering,  Physcial Chemistry, Materials Science or a related discipline with a minimum of 10 years of experience Experience in heterogeneous catalysis and/or electrocatalysis research and development

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated leadership in heterogeneous catalysis and/or electrocatalysis Strong expertise in developing catalytic materials and investigating the kinetics and mechanisms of complex reactions involved in the conversion of renewal resources using state-of-the-art tools including in situ/operando approaches Demonstrated experience in proposal development and leading research projects in applied catalysis. An excellent track record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals and/or issued patents  Excellent written and oral communication skills Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently as well as demonstrate leadership to creatively participate in research project 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.

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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.