Share this Job

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Metal Hydrides for Nuclear Applications

Apply now »

Date: Nov 24, 2020

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4184 


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to conduct research and development of metal hydrides for nuclear applications, with the primary focus on processing and characterization of zirconium hydrides and yttrium hydrides, potentially suitable for high performance moderator application in nuclear fission reactors. This position resides in the Radiation Effects and Microstructural Analysis (REM) Group in the Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


The FRE group at ORNL uses experimental characterization methods (microscopy, thermophysical and mechanical properties) closely coordinated with computational modeling to advance the science and engineering in the understanding of radiation effects on materials for nuclear fusion and fission reactor applications. This project will explore the processing parameters controlling the quality of the metal hydrides with an eventual goal of fabricating crack-free monolithic material with desired geometries and dimensions; and explore the hydrogen absorption and desorption kinetics. Measurement of basic physical, mechanical, thermal, and neutronics properties of the fabricated metal hydrides will be conducted using various techniques including XRD, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and mechanical property testing. Neutron irradiation response of the metal hydrides will also be investigated. This project will provide the urgently-needed database of metal hydrides for their deployment in the nuclear reactors.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Conduct studies on the processing of metal hydrides
  • Conduct microstructural and thermo-mechanical properties examination of the metal hydrides
  • Coordinate and conduct neutron irradiation experiments of the metal hydrides
  • 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


Basic Qualifications:

  • PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, or Nuclear Engineering, or a related discipline completed within the last five years
  • Experience in material processing


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Background and hands-on experience in processing and characterizing metal hydrides
  • Strong background in nuclear materials
  • Experience in gas diffusion kinetics modeling
  • Excellent record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • 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


Special Requirements:

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.


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.


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.


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