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R&D Staff Member - Sustainable and Circular Manufacturing

Date: Sep 12, 2021

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 6218 


We are seeking an R&D staff member in the area of sustainability to expand and improve circular economies and sustainability in manufacturing and related industries. The candidate will identify, propose, and conduct research related to improving and creating new pathways for sustainable manufacturing in current areas of interest such as composites, thermoplastics, thermosets, tooling, and 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 strategic sustainable composite material and manufacturing needs of the aerospace, automotive, and marine/shipbuilding industries as well as trending areas of international composite research in material science, mechanical and chemical engineering, and automation. As part of our research team, the candidate will identify and investigate new pathways for creating sustainability and circularity, beyond recycling, in composites manufacturing. The candidate will develop new processes and product designs and identify pathways to reduce processing waste and increase energy efficiency for current and future composite manufacturing technologies. Experience with life cycle and techno economic analysis is a plus. 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 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.



  • Create digitalization for workflow to capture supply chain innovation and materials and product tracing
  • Engage with industry to identify new areas of research in sustainability
  • Develop automation and digitalization in workflow for better manufacturing design for materials at end of life
  • Design production monitoring and notification systems into current equipment to eliminate waste
  • Create and implement digital tools (RFID, SCADA, MES, ERP, etc.) into manufacturing systems
  • Identify new supply chains and waste streams for utilization in polymer and composite processing
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Help to 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 Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Industrial Engineering Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineer, Chemistry or a related discipline
  • A minimum of seven or more years post-academic experience in applied research and development
  • A record of productive and creative research proven by publications in peer-reviewed journals and/or conference presentations



  • Experience and knowledge of composite manufacturing technologies
  • Experience with life cycle and techno economic analysis
  • Experience with polymer processing techniques
  • Strong understanding and implementation of the framework for sustainability
  • Knowledge and previous of experience utilizing strategies for circularity
  • 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