Share this Job

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Environmental Degradation of Structural Materials

Date: Aug 30, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 6471 

Position Level: PDAA



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 Radiaton Effects and Microstructrual Analysis (REMA) Group in the Materials in Extremes section in the Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory(ORNL).  The position will focus on environment-sensitive degradation of structural materials in power generation systems.


As part of our research team, you will conduct materials science research related to environmental degradation with in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) as the primary tools. An important aspect of the research will be generating a mechanistic understanding of various degradation mechanisms in order to develop improved material processing and/or improved alloys to resist degradation in demanding environments.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Coordinate and conduct in-situ TEM/STEM experiments on the effects of operating environment on microstructural and microchemical phenomena in structural alloys
  • Use range of other material characterization techniques to complement TEM/STEM techniques
  • Develop mechanistic understanding and models for material degradation and lifetime assessment for long-term applications
  • Work with staff researchers to maintain and operate microscopy capabilities of MSTD
  • Communicate and coordinate experimental results with other organizations to facilitate collaborations
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timelymanner
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Materials Science or a related discipline completed within the last 5 years
  • A minimum of 2 years of experience in research on relevant topic
  • Demonstrated experience with in situ TEM/STEM applied to structural metallic materials used in power generation systems.
  • Demonstrated experience and understanding of TEM, STEM, EDXS, electron diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and focused ion beam techniques, and application of these techniques to structural alloys.
  • Experience with TEM specimen preparation techniques.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of ferrous physical metallurgy and various materials degradation phenomena including stress corrosion cracking and hydrogen embrittlement.
  • Knowledge of irradiation-induced degradation of structural materials.
  • Knowledge of oxidation and corrosion of Fe- and Ni-base alloys
  • An excellent record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an internationalscientific audience
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative andfrequently interacting teams of researchers
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple taskswithin deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


Please provide a list of publications when applying for this position.


Two letters of reference are required and can be uploaded to your profile or emailed directly to Please include the title of the position in the subject line.


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 up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and 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