Postdoctoral Research Associate - Energy Efficient and Low Carbon Building Envelopes

Date: Feb 18, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11511 


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 for a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Building Envelope Materials Research (BEMR) Group in the Building Technologies Research and Integration Center 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: 

  • Conduct research in advanced building envelope designs and how these components are integrated into optimized systems.
  • Perform simulations and laboratory and field experiments on heat and mass transfer through building envelope materials, assemblies, and systems.
  • Improve, develop, and use first-principles numerical modeling tools for thermal components and systems.
  • Develop experimental setups, 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.
  • 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 mechanical engineering, civil engineering, materials science/engineering, or a related field completed within the last 5 years


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Solid academic and research record in relevant heat transfer, thermodynamics, and mass transfer, emphasizing modeling and experimental research.
  • Knowledge of building envelope materials, construction, and energy efficiency in buildings.
  • Experience 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/or 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.
  • Self-motivated.
  • Proficiency with Energy Plus, WUFI and/or COMSOL.
  • Experience programming in Matlab, LabVIEW, Python, C++, or similar tools.
  • Experience with data acquisition hardware and software.
  • Experience with life cycle assessments is beneficial.


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: or call 1.866.963.9545.


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