Postdoc - Manufacturing Science for PEM Fuel Cell and Electrolyzer Materials and Components

Date: Sep 11, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11594 


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.


The Energy Storage and Conversion Manufacturing Group in the Electrification Section of the Energy Science and Technology Directorate (ESTD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking applicants for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to conduct research on the development of electrocatalysts, inks/slurries and electrodes for low-temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) and advanced alkaline water electrolysis (AWE) fuel cells and electrolyzers. The successful candidate will be expected to write high impact papers, conduct data analysis, and work with electrocatalysts synthesis, coating, fuel cell, electrolyzer, and roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing professionals. This position resides in the Department of Energy (DOE) Battery Manufacturing R&D Facility (BMF) at ORNL (Knoxville, TN, USA).


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Perform synthesis of electrocatalysts for ORR, OER and HER for both alkaline and acidic media. Expertise in synthesis of PGM and PGM-free materials is required.
  • Perform electrocatalyst ink formulation and characterization studies for PEM fuel cell and PEM/AWE electrolyzer anodes and cathodes.
  • Develop prototype and R2R coating methods for scaling continuous anodes and cathodes for PEM/AWE fuel cells and electrolyzers.
  • Investigate Ti porous transport layer (PTL) performance and microporous layer (MPL) composition and addition for PEM electrolyzer anodes.
  • Interface with other team members of the Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck (M2FCT) and H2 from the Next-Generation of Electrolyzers of Water (H2NEW) Consortia.
  • Develop techniques and strategies for electrochemical measurements and post-test analysis.
  • Write high impact papers on transformational PEM fuel cell and electrolyzer technologies.
  • Network and develop collaboration with other groups and divisions internally and with other national labs, industry, and utilities.
  • Supervise students.
  • 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 Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Electrochemistry, Materials Science, or a related field completed within the last 5 years


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong ability/aptitude to contribute to proposal writing, write reports, nd publish journal papers and patents
  • 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