Postdoctoral Research Associate - Molten Salt Characterization

Date: Sep 13, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11613 


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. The Nuclear and Extreme Environments Measurements (NEEM) Group within the Fuel Development Section (FDS), Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division (NEFCD), Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), seeks applicants for a post-doctoral position with emphasis in experimental and theoretical molten salt characterization. The NEEM group fabricates and qualifies experiments for reactor components, systems, and materials. This group focuses on the development of extreme environment experiments impacting technology maturation, characterizing performance and properties of nuclear fuels and materials, and generate the data to advance physical modeling and simulation.

The primary function of this open position is to perform and optimize molten salt thermophysical property measurements, develop and utilize theoretical models and frameworks to predict salt properties, molten salt thermophysical property database expansion and development, and dissemination of data and findings at conference presentations and through reports and journal publications.


Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform high temperature measurements of density, viscosity, and thermal conductivity of molten salts
  • Analyze and assess recent and legacy thermophysical property data, compile and organize into large database files
  • Leverage database of thermophysical properties and theoretical modeling frameworks to generate molten salt property predictions
  • Attend conferences, publish journal articles, prepare reports for sponsors, communicate lab capabilities with on-site visitors


Qualifications Required:

  • Candidates must have a PhD in chemical engineering, nuclear engineering, or another relevant field
  • Experience in designing and conducting high temperature experiments for property characterization, high temperature effects testing, or extreme environment effects testing.
  • Proficiency in Python, C++, or other similar languages for data analysis, model testing, and database development


Qualifications Desired:

  • Previous experience with experimental molten salt characterization, which may include thermophysical characterization, thermochemical characterization, radiolysis, or structure determination
  • Demonstrable understanding of molten salt chemistry, which may include concepts such as corrosion mechanisms, phase equilibria, coordination environments, relationship between molecular structure and macroscopic properties
  • Ability to draft high quality technical documents and give technical talks to the scientific community


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.

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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