Research Professional - Sustainable Manufacturing Systems (Temporary)

Date: Jan 31, 2024

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12283 

*This position is a temporary 24-month position with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.*


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, with an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,200 people! ORNL’s decadal 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. Come join us as we solve the nation's biggest challenges!



We are seeking a research professional in the area of sustainable manufacturing with significant experience in designing, developing and maintaining manufacturing processes and factories.  You will have lead teams multidisciplinary teams of engineers to enable mass production of a variety of products and have worked with designing and understanding manufacturing processes and process flows starting from raw materials through to finished products.  You should demonstrate a passion for sustainability and the development of the circular economy and have experience with helping a factory and company meet sustainability targets through implementation of new technologies, equipment and procedures in the manufacturing process while maintaining productivity and cost of the manufacturing line. You will bring knowledge of design of manufacturing plants and processes to combine them with the research and development capabilities of Oak Rige National Laboratory (ORNL) to generate new ideas and concepts for real world implementation of new sustainable and circular technologies, equipments and processes. You will have the opportunity to interface with industry to find opportunities for ORNL to help them implement said strategies to improve their factory’s circularity and sustainability. You will work with the team to help determine direction and areas of focus for future research into sustainable and circular manufacturing. This position resides in the Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies Group in the Manufacturing Science Division (MSD) of the Energy Science and Technology Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).



Our research team carries out high quality R&D focused on the sustainable 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, you will play a key role in expanding our understanding of modern manufacturing processes and how sustainability and circularity can be implemented within them. ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) will serve as our testing ground for implementing and experimenting with these cutting edge technologies and processes.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:  

  • Interface with industrial partners with respect to improving the sustainability and circularity of their manufacturing processes and to understand the current roadblocks that can be addressed by leveraging ORNL’s R&D capabilities
  • Work with the group to help develop the vision of how the current and future technology developed can be implemented in current manufacturing processes with minimal impacts on producitivty and costs
  • Work with group to develop future programs of work to build the technologies to enable manufacturing as a whole to become more sustainable and circular.
  • 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:

  • M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, Industrial and/or Systems Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Polymer Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Sustainability, or a related discipline.
  • At least 10 years of industrial experience work in design and/or modification of manufacturing processes and factories for mass production applications.
  • Systems, Process, Manufacturing or Mechanical Engineering background or relevant work experience
  • Broad understanding of manufacturing from raw materials to final production parts


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Candidate is preferred to have a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Industrial and/or Systems Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Polymer Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Sustainability, or a related discipline.
  • 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
  • Work in implementing and executing on sustainability inititiaves within manufacturing industries.
  • Work in mass production of technically complicated product lines.


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