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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Manufacturing Process Simulation & Structural Design Optimization

Date: Jun 2, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 5950 



We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will focus on design optimization and manufacturing process optimization via a macro-level simulation for composite materials including but not limited to fiber-reinforced polymers. The generated data will be utilized and integrated  into a machine learning framework. The candidate will (1) perform optimization research from material property measurement to the experimental verification on the final optimized design and the optimized manufacturing process, (2) develop a computational framework for manufacturing process simulation and performance prediction using a finite element method, (3) set up a close communication system between the computational framework and the processing equipment via sensor data, and (4) train a machine learning framework. This position resides in the Manufacturing Science Group in the Energy and Transportation Science Division (ETSD), Energy and Environmental Sciences (EESD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). 




Our research division carries out high quality R&D focused on the strategic composite material needs of the aerospace, automotive, and marine/shipbuilding industries as well as trending areas of international composite research in material science, mechanical and chemical engineering, and automation. The successful candidate will conduct research in the area of polymer composite manufacturing, specifically on the manufacturing process optimization for the advancement of current technologies, the implementation of new processes, and the development of unique material systems.

The candidate is expected (1) to interface with other researchers and technical staff in the modeling, production, and characterization of these materials, (2) publish original peer reviewed research articles, (3) write invention disclosures and reports, and (4) supervise students/interns.




• Perform manufacturing process simulations for various composite manufacturing techniques including additive manufacturing, injection molding, and compression molding.

• Implement thermo-mechanical models to solve practical problems.

• Advance constitutive models and simulation tools used for additive manufacturing, injection molding, and composites processing simulation.

• Perform design optimization at a structural level.

• Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner.

• Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.

• Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.




• A PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Polymer Science and Engineering, or a related discipline completed within the last five years.

• Experience with computational solid mechanics.




• Experience in commercial finite element analysis tools such as Abaqus, ANSYS, and Autodesk.

• Experience in manufacturing process simulation.

• Experience in structural design optimization including topology optimization.

• Experience in programming languages such as Fortran, C++, Python.

• Experience in polymer processing such as extruder, injection molding, compression molding.

• Experience in thermomechanical property characterization of polymers.

• 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 international scientific audience.

• Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative and frequently interacting teams of researchers.

• 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.


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


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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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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