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R&D Associate Staff Member - Polymer Processing

Date: Sep 12, 2021

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 6214 


We are seeking an R&D Associate staff member in the area of sustainable manufacturing with expertise in polymer processing related to composite materials with relevant experience in an industrial manufacturing setting. The candidate will conduct experimental research on the processing of novel composite systems using a variety of methods, such as additive manufacturing, twin-screw extrusion, injection molding, compression molding, etc., as well as developing and managing advanced polymer processing equipment. 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. This position resides in the Advanced Composites Manufacturing Group in the Manufacturing Science Division (MSD), Energy Science and Technology Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).



Our research team carries out high quality R&D focused on the sustainable composite manufacturing for applications in aerospace, automotive, and marine/shipbuilding industries, as well as trending areas of international composite research in material science, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, and automation. As part of our research team, the candidate will develop novel and hybrid processing techniques for polymer and composite manufacturing. The candidate must have large-scale polymer processing experience and is expected to develop and optimize novel composite and polymer manufacturing processes from existing standard techniques and equipment. The candidate will create new connections and maintain existing relationships with industrial and academic collaborators to create innovate, efficient, and sustainable polymer and composite manufacturing solutions. The candidate 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 hybrid polymer and composite processing design, scale-up, and innovation as well as connect with new collaborators to solve current industrial; publish original peer-reviewed research articles; and supervise students, post-doctoral researchers, and junior staff.



  • Perform composite and polymer processing utilizing twin-screw extrusion, injection molding, compression molding, etc. of novel material systems
  • Design and innovate hybrid composite and polymer processing techniques based on existing technologies
  • Conduct mechanical, thermal, and morphological characterization of novel hybrid material systems
  • Establish and manage relevant research collaborations and projects with new industrial partners
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Help to support team goals and work 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 Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, Polymer Science and Engineering, Chemistry or a related discipline
  • At least 2 years of relevant industry experience
  • A record of productive and creative research proven by publications in peer-reviewed journals and/or conference presentations



  • Experience with and understanding of composite and polymer processing techniques
  • Understanding of microstructure-composite property relationship and matrix-filler interactions in composites
  • Experience with modifying and maintaining industrial composite and polymer processing equipment.
  • Ability to maintain current connections and network within the composite and polymer manufacturing industry
  • Experience and expertise with analytical characterization techniques is plus such as DSC, FTIR, TGA, DMA, EDS, XRD, Rheology, electron and optical microscopy
  • 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