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R&D Associate Staff Member - Polymer Chemistry

Date: Jun 7, 2022

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8406 



We are seeking an R&D Associate Staff member in the area of sustainable manufacturing with expertise in polymer chemistry who will focus on the development of novel recyclable thermoplastic and thermoset systems, with an emphasis on use of sustainable feedstocks. The candidate will conduct experimental research around the synthesis, chemical modification, and recycling of these polymer systems, with additional work on leveraging these materials in manufacturing applications. The staff will be expected to collaborate amongst groups focusing on basic and applied research in various fields applicable to the current projects. This position resides in the Advanced Composites Manufacturing Group in the Manufacturing Science Division (MSD), Energy and Transportation Sciences Directorate (ETSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The candidate will be expected to simultaneously execute multiple projects, contribute to development of new initiatives in your area, interact with ORNL staff, industry and academic partners.




As part of our research team, the candidate will develop novel recyclable thermoplastic and thermoset systems which include features such as dynamic bonding. These materials will also be scaled up for use on a variety of manufacturing equipment. Candidate will also be expected to functionalize existing systems to introduce recyclability and enhance properties. Expertise in polymer chemistry, materials, and benchtop chemistry is critical for this position. You will be expected to simultaneously execute multiple projects, contribute to development of new initiatives in your area, and interact with ORNL staff, industry, and academic partners. The successful candidate will lead and support research in design, synthesis, and modification of thermoplastic and thermoset resin chemistries, as well as scaling up of these techniques; publish original peer-reviewed research articles; and supervise students, post-doctoral researchers, and junior staff.



  • Perform hands-on synthesis and characterization of polymer materials
  • Design novel thermoplastic and thermoset polymer systems with inherent recyclability
  • Modify existing thermoplastic and thermoset systems to introduce recyclability
  • Scale up developed chemistries for large scale applications.
  • Incorporate materials into manufacturing processes
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Help to support team goals and collaborate with other team members
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics




  • A PhD in Chemistry, Polymer Chemistry, Polymer Science and Engineering, and Materials Science, or a related discipline
  • A record of productive and creative research proven by publications in peer-reviewed journals and/or conference presentations



  • Post-academic experience in applied research in a post-doctoral or industry position
  • Experience with sustainable feedstocks and their use in polymer materials
  • Experience with analytical characterization techniques such as DSC, FTIR, TGA, DMA, XPS, Solid/liquid state NMR, etc.
  • Extensive hands-on laboratory synthesis experience, including organic and/or polymer synthesis
  • Design of novel thermoplastic and/or thermoset polymer materials
  • An excellent record of productive and creative research as 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 self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative and frequently interacting teams of researchers 
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


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