Postdoc Associate - Material Scientist with Emphasis on Polymer Science and Additive Manufacturing

Date: Feb 4, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12026 


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will be part of the Building Envelope Materials Research (BEMR) Group in the Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  BEMR conducts research for the U.S. DOE Building Technologies Office and other customers that focuses on developing state-of-the-art and cost-effective building envelope technologies that make new and existing buildings energy efficient, low carbon, durable, comfortable, and grid interactive. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will work in multidisciplinary projects that integrate the expertise of researchers from BEMR and the Soft Matter Group in the Chemical Sciences Division at ORNL (  Projects include the development of polymeric foam insulation materials with very high effective thermal resistivity and polymeric facers for foam insulation materials.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Develop and formulate polymeric binder systems for additive manufacturing processes.
  • Formulate composite systems using polymer binders and inorganic fillers.
  • Characterize the physical properties of the components and composite system.
  • Develop an understanding of composition on processability, physical and mechanical properties.
  • Develop an understanding of composition & processing on flexural properties.
  • Characterize moisture & thermal properties using industry test standards.
  • Determine the relationship between morphology, mechanical & thermal properties and processability that are obtained from various additive manufacturing processes.
  • Characterize fire performance of the composite systems in accordance with industry standards.
  • Reduce flammability of the composite systems for building applications.
  • Collaborate in several projects that study polymeric materials and additive manufacturing processes for various building envelope applications.
  • Interact and collaborate with researchers from various ORNL groups, universities, national laboratories, and private industry.
  • Present research results to ORNL staff, DOE, industry, and academia in the form of presentations, conference papers, and peer-reviewed journal papers with high impact factors.
  • Assist in the development and preparation of proposals.
  • Ensure compliance with environmental, safety, health, and 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 PhD in Polymer Science/Engineering, Materials Science/Engineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or a related field completed within the last 5 years


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Expertise in polymer synthesis, characterization, and manufacturing methods.
  • Understanding of the relationship between morphology and material properties in polymeric materials.
  • Understanding of diffusion of gases through polymers and other barrier materials is advantageous.
  • Experience with experimental studies and data analysis.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced research environment in which the researcher must set priorities independently to accomplish multiple tasks for parallel deadlines.
  • Demonstrated strong publication record.
  • Experience with the development of low carbon materials.
  • Successful proposal writing experience.
  • 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.


Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can 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: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Life Insurance, Pet Insurance, 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