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Postdoctoral Research Associate - CVD of High Temperature Ceramic Nuclear Fuel Coatings

Date: Nov 25, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37909

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9367 


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 Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Particle Fuel Forms Group, Nuclear Fuel Development Section (NFD) in the Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division (NEFCD), Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate (FFESD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The Postdoctoral Research Associate will work on the development of ceramic coatings produced by chemical vapor deposition for nuclear fuel applications, including space nuclear propulsion.


The PFF Group is a global leader in coated particle fuel research for advanced reactors and emerging nuclear technologies (e.g., space nuclear propulsion). The PFF group supports activities related to both fabrication and post-irradiation examination of coated particle fuel and fuel forms. This position would support the fabrication of ceramic coatings by static and fluidized bed chemical vapor deposition in support of DOE and NASA-funded programs. The primary focus will be the development of high-temperature ceramic coatings through the understanding of the impact of deposition conditions on the microstructure, uniformity, and physical properties of the materials produced and compatibility with uranium bearing materials. The successful candidate will strongly collaborate with staff within the PFF and the Nuclear Fuel Development section to drive innovation on CVD and the development of novel ceramic materials for nuclear applications.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Synthesize high-temperature ceramics by CVD.
  • Characterize the microstructure, composition, and mechanical properties of the materials produced.
  • Correlate the deposition conditions to the microstructure, physical properties, and performance of the coatings produced.
  • Propose improvements to the depositions system or processing route to achieve the desired performance.
  • Participate in the development of new ideas and projects.
  • Present and report research results and publish results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality assurance requirements.
  • Effectively communicate and collaborate with other technical staff and interface with staff outside of the home organization to meet research objectives.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in materials science, chemistry, nuclear engineering, chemical engineering, or a related field completed within the last 5 years


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in gas phase deposition: CVD, CVI or ALD.
  • Experience with ceramic materials synthesis and characterization
  • 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


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.

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Special Requirements

Export control, no clearance:  This position requires access to technology that is subject to export control requirements. Successful candidates must be qualified for such access without an export control license.


Visa Sponsorship: Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


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.

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