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R&D Associate Staff Member - Sustainable and Circular Manufacturing

Date: Sep 12, 2021

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 6216 


We are seeking an R&D Associate staff member in the area of sustainable manufacturing with experience in sustainable manufacturing practices related to composites and the development of circular economies. The candidate will conduct and propose experimental research around development of bio-based feedstocks and composites recycling technologies such as compounding and re-pelletizing, chemical recycling, enzymatic recycling, and thermochemical recovery as well as propose and investigate other methods of creating sustainability in manufacturing processes. 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 performs R&D work focused on sustainable composite material development for aerospace, automotive, and marine/shipbuilding industries as well as in the areas of international composite research in material science, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, and automation. As part of our research team, the candidate will innovate new methods for creating sustainability and circularity in composites manufacturing. The candidate must have previous experience with thermomechanical, chemical, and/or enzymatic recycling technologies. Additionally, the candidate will contribute to the development of bio-based materials for composites and polymer manufacturing and integrate these materials into recycling technologies. Experience with lifecycle and technoeconomic analyses is a plus. The candidate will be expected to simultaneously execute multiple projects, contribute to development of new initiatives, and interact with ORNL staff, industry, and academic partners. The successful candidate will lead and support research in designing, creating, and demonstrating innovative methods for creating sustainability and circularity in composites manufacturing; 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 PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Polymer Science and Engineering, Chemistry, or a related discipline
  • Experience with polymer processing, composites, and polymer chemistry
  • A minimum of one year of post-academic experience in applied research in a post-doctoral or industry position
  • A record of productive and creative research-proven by publications in peer-reviewed journals and/or conference presentations



  • Experience with and understanding of composites recycling technologies
  • Experience with lifecycle and technoeconomic analyses
  • Experience with polymer and composites processing techniques
  • Expertise in analytical characterization techniques such as DSC, FTIR, TGA, DMA, EDS, XRD, rheology, and 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