Technical Professional - Polymer Characterization (Temporary)

Date: Jan 31, 2024

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12288 

* 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 Technical Professional in the area of sustainable manufacturing with expertise in managing a polymer characterization and processing laboratory space. As part of this role, the candidate will be tasked to lead the management, development, maintenance, and repair of a variety of characterization equipment. The ideal candidate should be comfortable working across interdisciplinary teams of people with multiple areas of expertise and designing experiments to answer specific research questions. The candidate will need to have familiarity with different types of materials including polymers, metals, and others and will need to characterize the quality of products. The candidate should be self-driven and have a vested interest in keeping equipment running and managing/prioritizing projects to meet deliverables. The candidate will be expected to simultaneously execute multiple projects, contribute to development of new initiatives in their area, interact with ORNL staff, industry, and academic partners. 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 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 serve to characterize a variety of materials, including polymers, composites, metals, and others. The candidate must have experience developing procedures for equipment usage, serving as the main user for that equipment, and keeping equipment running with regular maintenance and repairs. The successful candidate will support research in a variety of areas and support staff in publishing original peer-reviewed research articles.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:  

  • Running analytical characterization techniques such as DSC, FTIR, TGA, DMA, EDS, XRD, rheology, and electron and optical microscopy
  • Prioritizing multiple research projects at once to meet strategic goals and deliverables
  • Serving as laboratory space manager
  • Designing experiments to characterize new, innovative materials for a variety of properties
  • 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
  • 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:

  • B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, Industrial and/or Systems Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Polymer Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Sustainability, or a related discipline
  • Experience as a laboratory space manager or related role


Preferred 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 is preferred.
  • 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