Joint Research Faculty at ORNL (JFO) - HHF Materials

Date: Jul 10, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 13167 


The University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute (UT-ORII) is assembling a team of Research Faculty and ORNL staff to collaborate in Fusion Materials as part of the UT-ORII Convergent Research Initiative on Accelerating Fusion Technology. 


UT-ORII was founded in 2019 by the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to help the US maintain prominence as a global leader in innovation and discovery, and to create a robust talent pipeline in areas of growing national need and demand. UT-ORII is funded by the Department of Energy and the State of Tennessee.


Roles and Responsibilities:

Join us at UT-ORII, where your career will thrive in collaboration with esteemed researchers from both the UT and ORNL. This early-career position is located at ORNL and will be Joint-Research Faculty at ORNL (JFO) with both institutions.  As an integral part of the team, you will engage in a dynamic blend of activities, from theoretical explorations and laboratory experiments to crafting comprehensive reports and impactful proposals. Your innovative ideas will find a home here, shaping ongoing research projects and leaving a lasting mark. Your role goes beyond the lab. Mentorship will be a key aspect, guiding and inspiring graduate and undergraduate students. As a valued, emerging researcher in the ORNL Physical Sciences Directorate and the UT-OR Innovation Institute, you'll have access to a rich network of resources, including seminars, training opportunities, and collaborations that will propel your career forward.


Moreover, the position provides opportunities and eligibility for funding streams outside of Department of Energy (DOE) grants, like National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Health (NIH) and others.


The team to be constructed will have complementary skills but will be primarily focused on development of nuclear batteries.


More About UT-ORII:

The University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute is a partnership of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and UT created to prepare interdisciplinary leaders in energy, science, and technology and develop a world-class workforce for industry, government, and academia that will drive innovation and create the industries of the future. More information is available at University of Tennessee - Oak Ridge Innovation Institute ( Today’s energy economy is driven by disruptive technologies and swift change. The US is in a global competition for jobs, talent, and investment. To successfully compete, we must develop leadership talent in research and development (R&D), encourage entrepreneurship, and create an educational environment that promotes rapid innovation and attracts skilled professionals. Leveraging a 75-plus-year UT-ORNL partnership, UT and ORNL have developed joint institutes, joint facilities, interdisciplinary PhD programs, and comprehensive joint faculty arrangements, including 17 Governor’s Chairs recruited for the significance of their impacts in their fields. UT-ORII’s overall goal is to become a center for convergent research and talent development, helping maintain US prominence as a global innovation leader and providing tangible benefits to Tennessee.


More About Oak Ridge National Laboratory:

Since its establishment in 1943, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been delivering scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs needed to realize solutions in energy and national security and provide economic benefit to the nation. More than 6,000 employees representing 60+ nations apply unique facilities, sophisticated tools, and signature strengths in neutron science, high-performance computing, advanced materials, biology and environmental science, clean energy, fission and fusion science and engineering, isotopes, and national security research to benefit science and society. In addition, ORNL’s wide range of partnerships with other US Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories and programs, universities, and industry have enabled outstanding contributions to science. Over the years, ORNL researchers have received Nobel Prizes, contributed to the discovery of elements, received hundreds of R&D 100 Awards, and more


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Develop materials and materials integration technologies that enable robust thermal management of high heat flux components, such as divertor modules and blanket first walls, for fusion energy systems
  • Assist or lead establishing innovative high heat flux test capabilities and methods of research utilizing them
  • Coordinate and conduct experiments on heat transfer, thermophysical, and thermomechanical properties of materials and performance of fusion high heat flux components
  • Use range of material characterization techniques to complement techniques in high heat flux testing
  • Develop mechanistic understanding and models for materials and components
  • Design and build prototype divertor modules for performance evaluation
  • 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
  • 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:

  • A PhD in Materials Science, Applied Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, or a related discipline
  • A minimum of 2 years of experience in research on relevant topics
  • Demonstrated experience with materials processing and/or characterization of materials, specifically in high temperature application
  • Demonstrated hands-on experience and understanding of thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, heat capacity, thermal expansion, and/or other transport properties and application of these techniques to materials related to high temperature components or systems


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of thermostructural materials, their transport properties, and measurements
  • Knowledge of materials processing such as alloys, ceramics, joining, and advanced manufacturing
  • Knowledge of instrumentation and measurement techniques
  • Knowledge of thermostructural design and analysis, and device prototyping
  • An excellent record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • 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
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience


Special Requirements:

Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You may upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


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 the following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life 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.


If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email:


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