Polymer Synthesis and Characterization - Technical Associate Staff Member

Date: May 22, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10803 



Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.


We are seeking a Technical Professional (TP) staff member to coordinate lab operations and support research efforts in the polymer synthesis and characterization laboratories. The position resides in the Macromolecular Nanomaterials Group, Nanomaterials Synthesis Section at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


The group works to develop leadership in understanding the synthesis, function, and integration of unique soft materials into next generation energy technologies. The TP will be involved in managing the laboratories, conducting experiments, and maintaining instrumentation that is critical to the synthesis and characterization of polymer systems, and will work with CNMS users and staff to execute research and development projects.  The position will require scientific and technical experience in polymer characterization, such as: NMR, MALDI-TOF, IR, UV-Vis, Fluorescence, Raman, GPC, HPLC, GC-MS, and a host of other state of the art organic molecular and macromolecular characterization methods. Some of the projects will take advantage of unique capabilities and collaborations within CNMS and ORNL’s Neutron Scattering Directorate. As part of our team, you will be working with a highly interdisciplinary team of scientists at the CNMS and across other ORNL divisions, including the Chemical Sciences Division, with complementary expertise in neutron scattering experiments (neutron reflectometry, small-angle neutron scattering, and neutron spin-echo).


The TP will coordinate with CNMS operations staff and other research professionals to manage chemistry lab spaces, coordinate installation of new instrumentation, and manage utilization of the group’s laboratory space.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Involved in maintaining and developing instrumentation for characterization and synthesis of organic polymer and small molecules through addition, condensation, catalysis, and living polymerization reactions
  • Perform Characterization and manage a select subset of instrumentation from instruments that include NMR, GPC, MALDI, IR, Raman, light scattering, etc.
  • Work with groups across the CNMS on the integration of characterization and synthesis approaches within flow reaction systems, automated flow reactions, and ultimately autonomous experiments
  • Design and plan research projects with other CNMS staff and supervise projects with users 
  • Oversee operations within CNMS chemistry laboratories; particularly with respect to monitoring and reporting instrumentation needs and maintenance issues
  • Participate in generating research results and publishing in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain a strong commitment 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 Ph.D. in Chemistry, Polymer Physics, Materials Science, Physics, or a closely related science discipline; a Master’s degree with at least 1 year of experience; or a B.S. degree with at least 2 years of experience


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A background in the characterization of organic and polymer materials with knowledge and interest in the development of flow reactions.
  • Specific experience in chemical characterization that may include some subset from the following: gel permeation chromatography (GPC), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), light scattering, thermal characterization, and/or viscoelastic measurements. The applicant will identify skills during application and interview.
  • Familiarity with polymerization methods, microscopic and spectroscopic characterization soft materials, and multiphase systems in micelles, particles, and solid-state
  • A record of running and maintaining research equipment and facilities or participation in creative research endeavors.
  • The ability to be a self-starter, to work independently, and to participate creatively in a collaborative team environment
  • Proven ability to function well in a dynamic research environment, set priorities, multi- task, and adapt to ever changing needs


Special Requirements:

Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. Letters can be uploaded directly at the time of application (directions below) or emailed to psdrecruit@ornl.gov with the position title in the subject line.  


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

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


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 ORNLRecruiting@ornl.gov.

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.

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