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Group Leader, Mechanical Properties & Mechanics

Date: Sep 13, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8310 


We are seeking a Group Leader for the Mechanical Properties & Mechanics Group in the Materials in Extremes Section, Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  The group conducts fundamental and applied materials research, focusing on mechanical properties and the underlying physical processes, for a range of applications including energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation, conservation, fossil energy, fusion energy, nuclear power, and space exploration.


As a group leader, you will manage and mentor group members including research staff, technical staff, post-doctoral fellows, and students.  You will be responsible for promoting and maintaining a culture with high ideals for safety, security, and ethics.  As a science leader, you will lead multi-disciplinary and multi-organizational teams to develop world-leading research programs, execute world-leading research projects and communicate project results to the international research community.  As a researcher, you will employ state-of-the-art technology and research equipment to enable the next generation of durable and reliable structures for power generation and for the conversion, utilization, and storage of energy.  Example research topics:

  • Durability and reliability of structural components for power generation
  • Time-dependent and fatigue behavior of materials and components at elevated temperatures in extreme environments
  • Structural integrity of spent nuclear fuel, nuclear fuel cladding and nuclear pressure vessels and components
  • Structural integrity of subsurface wells for geothermal energy and gas and oil production
  • Structural integrity of pipelines


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Group leader is responsible for managing and mentoring the group (~10%) but also developing and leading a relevant research portfolio (~90%)
  • Lead the preparation of research proposals
  • Coordinate and/or conduct research
  • Communicate and coordinate experimental results with other organizations to facilitate collaborations
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Exceed expectations for the safe conduct of research.  Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, Structural Mechanics or a related discipline and a minimum of 6 years of experience
  • Knowledge of solid and structural mechanics, mechanical properties, and materials science


Preferred Qualifications:

  • An outstanding record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Demonstrated success in proposing research
  • Experience writing successful proposals to government sponsors
  • Demonstrated extensive knowledge on solid mechanics and mechanics of materials
  • Demonstrated extensive knowledge on experimental and fracture mechanics
  • Experience with viscoplastic modeling of materials
  • 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 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.


This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a clearance from the Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.




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