Share this Job

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Building Envelope Materials Research

Date: Sep 19, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9081 


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 for a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Building Envelope Materials Research (BEMR) Group, Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC) with the Buildings and Transportation Sciences Division (BTSD), Energy Science and Technology Directorate (ESTD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  BEMR research supports the U.S. DOE Building Technologies Office and other customers by 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.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

The successful candidate will:

  • Conduct research in advanced building envelope designs; thermal energy storage (TES) systems using phase change materials (PCMs); and integrated TES and novel building envelopes, HVAC systems, and sensors and controls, and how these components are combined into optimized systems.
  • Characterize PCMs to evaluate their performance in TES, design large TES systems including heat exchangers, and evaluate the energy performance of novel building envelopes that are connected to TES systems through thermal loops.
  • Independently conduct thermal transport and fluid flow analysis of TES and building envelope systems using finite element methods.
  • Develop experimental designs, conduct experiments, and analyze results.
  • Collaborate in multidisciplinary teams composed of researchers from various areas of expertise at ORNL (e.g., building science, material science, automation, and sensors and controls).
  • Interact and collaborate with researchers from universities, national laboratories, and private industry.
  • Present research results to ORNL staff, DOE, industry, and academia in the form of invited talks, conference papers, and peer-reviewed journal papers with high impact factors.
  • Assist in the development and preparation of proposals.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, materials science/engineering, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Solid academic and research record in heat transfer, thermodynamics, and mass transfer, with emphasis in modeling and experimental research.
  • Knowledge of building envelope materials, TES, and energy efficiency in buildings.
  • Experience developing experimental designs and setting and conducting laboratory experiments.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to support team building.
  • Ability to work individually and as part of a diverse team.
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong relationships through active participation in professional societies.
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever-changing needs
  • Strong, proven publication record.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Proficiency with detailed heat transfer modeling and whole building energy simulations using EnergyPlus.
  • Experience programming in Matlab, LabVIEW, Python, C++ or similar tools is a plus.
  • Experience designing and evaluating heat exchangers.
  • Experience designing and implementing control systems is beneficial.
  • 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


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


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.


Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at


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