Catalytic Chemist

Date: Sep 3, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10921 



We are seeking a catalytic chemist with a background in utilizing and understanding external stimuli-assisted such as electrification of chemical transformations in the conversion of evolving energy feedstocks including CO2, water, natural gas, biomass and plastics into valuable chemicals and fuels. External stimuli approach includes but is not limited to electrocatalysis, plasma catalysis, Joule heating, microwave catalysis etc.  This position resides in the Surface Chemistry and Catalysis (SCC) Group in the Chemical Transformation Section, Chemical Science Division, Physical Science Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


As part of our team, this position offers tremendous opportunity for undertaking cutting-edge R&D  directed at developing design and synthesis of new class of catalytic materials targeted for complex reactions in the conversion of renewal resources. The role also provides ample opportunities for collaborating and interacting with synergistic basic and applied catalysis teams at ORNL. Arrays of techniques for characterizing physical and catalytic properties are in place or are currently being developed within the group. You’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of resources at ORNL, and in particular, at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) and neutron scattering at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) as well as other national user facilities such as synchrotron light sources.  The environment at ORNL is highly collaborative and crosscutting research exists between the Chemical Sciences Division and other Divisions at ORNL.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Perform reaction kinetics and mechanistic studies in the conversion of renewal resources and wastes into chemicals and fuels via heterogeneous catalysis and electrification routes
  • Perform and develop in situ/operando studies of reaction mechanisms
  • Participate in developing a multi-disciplinary research program funded by external sponsors in the areas of heterogeneous catalysis and electrocatalysis
  • Collaborate with ORNL postdocs and staff who are involved in the synthesis, characterization and catalytic testing of catalysts and train new postdocs and student in catalytic chemistry
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • 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:

  • A Ph.D. in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science or a related discipline


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A strong background in the study of kinetics and mechanisms of external stimuli-assisted/electrified heterogeneous catalysis and/or electrocatalysis
  • Expertise in in situ/operando investigation of catalysts, catalytic reactions, and electrification process
  • Experience in synthesis and characterization of a variety of catalytic materials
  • An excellent track record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals and/or issued patents
  • Experience in leading and contributing to the preparation of highly innovative proposals in basic and applied catalysis
  • 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:

Three 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.


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.


Other benefits include: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Pet Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.




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