Postdoctoral Research Associate - Advanced Mobility and Vehicle Systems Research

Date: Jul 10, 2024

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12965 


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.


The Applied Research in Mobility Systems (ARMS) group within the Buildings and Transportation Science Division (BTSD) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking applicants for the position of Postdoctoral Research Associate.  The Applied Research in Mobility Systems group focuses on accelerating the development of advanced vehicles and complex mobility systems through advances in connected and autonomous vehicle technologies, communications, systems integration, simulation frameworks, and decision science.  The objective of the hiring group is to provide leadership in advanced mobility systems decision science, transportation infrastructure deployment roadmaps, development of national transportation systems decarbonization (through electrification) blueprints, associated hardware-in-the-loop research, and simulation frameworks, to accelerate the development of transportation technologies from component-level to full vehicle and ultimately to system applications.


The ARMS Group is comprised of both senior and junior researchers, and it maintains strong collaborations with researchers in numerous other groups within ORNL as well as across the broader scientific ecosystem throughout the U.S. and world. Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest of the U.S. Department of Energy’s multipurpose national laboratories. Its scientific programs span the spectrum from basic science to applied research and development. This includes energy (transport, buildings, manufacturing, conversion, and storage), Earth systems science (land, water, ecosystems, and biodiversity), and human dynamics, as well as various other research domains ranging from advanced materials and nuclear science to high-performance computing and national security. Climate change, decarbonization, and sustainability are cross-cutting themes across the laboratory. ORNL’s National Transportation Research Center (NTRC) is accelerating the pace of research and development for efficient, safe, secure, and environmentally friendly transportation solutions while creating economic opportunity for the nation.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Support and appropriately lead conventional and electrified (hybrids, EV, and hydrogen) powertrain, advanced vehicle systems and ecosystems/infrastructure analysis efforts using physics-based modeling and data assimilation
  • Advanced analytics of vehicle components/systems and ecosystems/operations/energy optimizations in freight mobility systems or networks providing recommendations on when/where/implications the technology is appropriate (paybacks, TCO, benefits, heat maps, efficiency gains, etc.) using novel big data sources and techniques
  • Deep dive analytics on powertrain, vehicle and infrastructure sub-system components, risk assessments, and sensitivities to variations
  • Assist in the development of technology roadmaps/signposts of mobility systems with focus on vehicle systems decarbonization, safety, and automation, as well as extension into aligned fields
  • Improve and/or develop internal tools, frameworks, and interfaces for co-simulation of various modeling and simulation platforms and packages
  • Support efforts to establish key test platforms to drive data for hypothesis and analysis validation for the above
  • Collaborate with all internal partners (within ORNL) and University/Industry partners for best practices in model development, system optimization and the business opportunity model/solutions development
  • Utilize standard best practices (such as Six Sigma processes) and methodologies, including completing projects as well as using appropriate tools as part of work.
  • Support activities required for successful technology handoff to key stakeholder teams
  • Cross-functional training and support per needs.
  • Translating results into terms and results meaningful for communication and dissemination of knowledge. 
  • Maintain thorough documentation and disclosure of appropriate R&D activities. Working with R&D staff to develop, prepare reports, publications, and journal articles based on going research.
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Programming environments: MATLAB, Simulink, Python or C++


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Proficient with MATLAB/Simulink
  • Proficient with vehicle powertrain components and systems
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • 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
  • Demonstrated publication record of scientific results in either peer-reviewed journals, or presentations at national meetings, are expected.


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 for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people! The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.


Other benefits include: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Life Insurance, Pet Insurance, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.


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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville