Senior Research Scientist for Industrial Decarbonization

Date: Jun 27, 2024

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12428 


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!



Iron and steel, cement and lime, chemicals and petroleum refining, and food and beverage are critical materials and products for U.S. economic security and public health; however, large production volumes coupled with high-energy manufacturing processes result in these industries accounting for over half of the U.S. industrial sectors energy-related CO2 emissions.  Due to the large energy consumption and GreenHouse gas emissions from these industries, they are referred to as “energy- and emissions-intensive industries”.  Research and development is needed to decarbonize these industries by reducing energy consumption and GreenHouse gas emissions while maintaining economic competitiveness and production volumes.


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking an experienced leader for research and development of the decarbonization of energy- and emissions-intensive manufacturing.  The position will be in the Manufacturing Sciences Division, but the candidate will be expected to collaborate across ORNL with a diverse array of scientists.  In this role, the successful candidate will build and execute research programs that leverage core science strengths at ORNL to address challenges for manufacturing processes.  In addition, the candidate will be expected to collaborate closely with industry partners to implement the resulting gained knowledge and advanced technologies at U.S. manufacturing facilities to achieve real-world energy and emissions reductions.


Since a key challenge associated with decarbonization of energy- and emissions-intensive industries is their scale, candidates with experience translating research outcomes to tangible improvements at industrial scales are of interest.  ORNL is also interested in candidates with experience in the decarbonization of processing heating since over 7,000 TBtu of heat energy is consumed annually by the energy- and emissions-intensive industries.  Overall, multiple technologies and strategies will be needed to address the challenges with decarbonizing the industrial sector, and ORNL encourages candidates to apply that have experience in one or more of the following areas: (1) industrial process research and development, (2) processing heating technologies and thermal engineering, (3) electrification of process heating, (4) energy efficiency for industrial processes, (5) low-carbon feedstocks and fuels, (5) capture and utilization of CO2, and (6) scale up of research concepts to commercial scales.


Manufacturing science is a historic core strength of ORNL which is the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest Office of Science laboratory.  ORNL is home to two user facilities in manufacturing – the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility ( and the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility ( – as well as signature user facilities in high performance computing, neutron sciences, and other areas (  Located in the beautiful foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, ORNL is also strategically positioned in a robust manufacturing region.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Execute research programs in manufacturing science
  • Secure research funding through proposals and program development
  • Coach and mentor staff with diverse backgrounds and experience levels
  • Publish results in peer-reviewed journals
  • Represent ORNL and research program at technical conferences, project reviews, and workshops

  • Serve as technical liaison to sponsors, industry stakeholders, and technical teams representing government-industry partnerships

  • 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:

  • Ph.D. degree in a science or engineering field and a minimum of six years of experience or a Masters degree and a minimum of 12 years of relevant experience in manufacturing science at either a research or industrial entity

  • A record of excellence in manufacturing research and development as evidenced through peer-reviewed journal publications, patents, technology implementation, and/or professional society leadership

  • Demonstrated experience coaching and mentoring scientists, engineers, and/or manufacturing personnel with diverse backgrounds and experience levels
  • Demonstrated experience building and executing high-impact research and development programs


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