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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Computational Fluid Dynamics

Date: Nov 25, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9365 


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 Blanket and Fuel Cycle Group in the Fusion Energy Division (FED), Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate (FFESD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The Postdoctoral Researcher will be responsible for conducting direct simulation Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics modeling to provide input for the design of cryogenic pumps pertinent to the fusion fuel cycle to develop technology supporting the direct internal recycling of fusion exhaust gas. This technology is essential for feasibility of fusion energy from a tritium inventory and safety standpoint.


This work is part of the group’s mission to develop technology necessary for the realization of fusion power as a viable source of energy.


This position is located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Conduct computational fluid dynamic modeling of fusion device exhaust gas streams traveling through a series of cryogenic pumps using direct simulation Monte Carlo methods
  • Molecular dynamics modeling to determine desublimation rates of constituent material of typical machine exhaust
  • Collaboration with a broad and diverse team, including experimentalists, design engineers, and computational scientists
  • Timely dissemination of research results through publications and presentations at scientific conferences and workshops
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in mechanical or nuclear engineering, physics, or a closely related field completed within the last 5 years.
  • Experience in computational fluid dynamics with the direct simulation Monte Carlo method for rarefied gases.
  • Scientific research ability demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications and/or presentations at technical conferences.
  • Experience with Python, or other science relevant programming languages.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Previous experience in using OpenFOAM’s dsmcFOAM package
  • Strong interest in contributing to the pursuit of fusion energy to enable a sustainable energy future
  • 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.


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.

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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