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Computational Geochemist - Senior R&D Staff

Date: Jan 13, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4829 


We are seeking a senior computational geochemist who uses atomic-scale computational simulation methods to understand structure, dynamics and reactivity of minerals, amorphous solids and liquids of geochemical interest.  This position resides in the Geochemistry and Interfacial Sciences Group in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


As part of our research team, this position offers tremendous opportunity to develop cutting-edge R&D programs directed at improving our understanding of reactivity in the near subsurface.  The position also provides ample opportunities to lead research and collaborate with not just geochemists, but other specialists at ORNL who are developing computational chemical methods (e.g., density functional tight binding, quantum Monte Carlo). This position has a unique opportunity in working with experimentalists focused on neutron and X-ray scattering and various microscopies and spectroscopies, when used in concert these can both improve the interpretation of the experimental data and the computational models. The successful candidate will be expected to take advantage of the powerful computational resources at ORNL, in particular Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) and Compute and Data Environment for Science (CADES). Research at ORNL is highly collaborative and crosscutting research is routine between the Chemical Sciences Division and other Divisions at ORNL.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 


  • Develop a multi-disciplinary geochemical research program funded by external sponsors that supports the research of both the candidate and other staff members
  • Help mentor and guide a team of early career staff and post-doctoral researchers to foster a successful and multi-faceted research program
  • Quantify atomic structure, dynamics and reactivity of minerals, amorphous phases, nanoporous geomaterials, and liquids using atomic-scale simulation
  • Validate and/or constrain models by comparison to experimental data
  • Apply theoretical models of geochemical processes to interpret observations
  • 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
  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Geological Sciences, Geochemistry, Physical or Environmental Chemistry, or a related discipline and 6 years of experience
  • Demonstrated leadership in computational geochemistry research


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience in proposal development and leading research projects in fundamental and/or applied geochemistry
  • An excellent track record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals and/or issued patents
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently as well as demonstrate leadership to creatively participate in research project 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.


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