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Carbon Precursor Processing - Technical Associate Staff Member

Date: Jul 18, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8644 


We are seeking an Associate Technical Professional Staff Member to support research efforts in carbon precursor fiber and composites processing and characterization. This position resides in the Carbon and Composites Group in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The candidate will be responsible for independently solving technical problems associated with the processing carbon precursor, carbon fiber and other reinforcements, and composite materials and constituents using experience and knowledge. Research and development problems are technically complex in nature and have solutions which require some level of experience, and an understanding of the technical competencies in the areas of carbon fiber and polymer composite manufacturing. The work is supervised for overall accuracy and quality of results.


The Carbon and Composites Group advances the science and technology base for manufacturing of polymeric materials and composite products by conducting innovative research and development for a broad spectrum of programs. In this research, the staff member will work in a team environment on experimental studies on processing and evaluating carbon precursor, carbon fiber and other reinforcements, and composite materials and constituents. The research will focus on development of precursors for carbon fibers and support other composites-related activities. A successful candidate will have a basic level of knowledge and experience in applying technical principles, theories, and competencies in the areas of carbon fiber manufacturing, will interact with technical and research staff personnel effectively, both within and outside of ORNL.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Supports senior technical staff on establishing structure-processing-property relationship of precursor in preparation of high strength fibers.

  • Analyze spinnability of carbon precursors and conduct spinning and conversion of precursor fibers to carbon fibers.

  • Analyze fiber conversion strategies and characterize fibers and composites by thermal analysis (DSC, TGA) and mechanical testing (DMA, tensile testing), microscopy (Optical microscopy, SEM).

  • Work in a team environment with co-workers, principal investigators, and other staff members as well as independently to follow procedures for preparation of carbon fibers and polymer composites and in the future, independently develop new processing methods.

  • Fully document work performed in the laboratory and present results in group meetings, to sponsors and at national meetings.

  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements

  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • A BS degree in Materials Science or Engineering with at least 2 years relevant experience; an MS degree with at least 1 year of experience; or a PhD in the same areas


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in pitch and PAN-based carbon precursor processing for preparation of carbon fibers

  • Experience in fiber spinning and post-spinning operations including conversion to carbon fibers

  • Experience in various polymer characterization and testing methods

  • Experience in composite processing

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

  • Motivated and safety conscious

  • Ability to work independently with minimal oversite and a willingness to participate creatively in a collaborative team environment

  • Ability to work on multiple tasks in a limited amount of time and to independently set priorities to accomplish numerous tasks to meet deadlines

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory 

  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


Special Requirements:

Two letters of reference are required and can be uploaded to your profile or emailed directly to  Please include the title of the position in the subject line.


Work involves various physical requirements and working conditions. As such, a pre-hire physical will be required after offer.


Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


This position requires access to technology that is subject to export control requirements. Successful candidates must be qualified for such access without an export control license.




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