Postdoc- High Temperature Materials Mechanical Performance Evaluation via Finite Element Modeling

Date: May 1, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12027 


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 support the Deposition Science and Technology Group in the Manufacturing Science Division (MSD), Energy Science and Technology Directorate (ESTD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).   The Postdoctoral Research Associate will contribute to the establishment of constitutive modeling frameworks and development of computationally efficient physics emulators. These analyses will be combined with experimental data and used towards the evaluation of additively manufactured and conventionally manufactured high temperature materials. A strong background in mechanical behavior of materials is required.  Demonstrated experience in the implementation of nonlinear constitutive models in commercial finite element (FE) codes is required.  Strong background with probability and statistics is required. You will be expected to collaborate with research staff and industry partners focused on both conventionally fabricated and additively manufactured materials and to assist with material qualification through computational modeling.


As part of our research team, you will engage with researchers with various backgrounds (e.g., materials science, mechanical behavior of materials, heat transfer) and interact closely with industry partners. These engagements will play a vital role in ensuring success of programs and the adoption by project sponsors, and in developing your network across academia and industries. You will also be involved in proposal writing with our scientists while taking the lead in publishing high impact papers.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Participate in the development, calibration, and implementation of constitutive modeling frameworks for cast Ni-based superalloys and additively manufactured refractory metals.
  • Establish physics-based emulators (surrogates) for localized meso-scale mechanical simulations.
  • Perform statistical analysis to quantify behavior of simulated material response.
  • Collaborate within a multi-disciplinary research environment consisting of computational scientists, experimentalists, and engineers conducting basic and applied research in support of the Laboratory’s missions.
  • Present and report research results at workshops and conferences and publish key findings in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner.
  • Support senior staff in the development and execution of projects that provide valued and timely deliverables to the various stakeholders.
  • 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 and engineering, mechanical engineering, or a related field completed within the last 5 years


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A background in mechanical behavior of materials is required.
  • Experience in the development and implementation of constitutive models within commercial finite element software, e.g., ANSYS, Abaqus is required.
  • Demonstrated expertise in multi-physics FE simulations is preferred.
  • Strong background in probability and statistics.
  • Excellent record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals.
  • 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