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Postdoctoral Research Associate - National Transportation Research Center

Date: Nov 21, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9546 


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 and Development Scientist/Engineer who will support the Fuel Science and Engine Technologies Research Group in the Building and Transportation Science Division (BTSD), Energy Science and Technology Directorate (ESTD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The postdoc will investigate advanced engine and combustion strategies to enable clean and efficient energy conversion systems and decarbonization of hard-to-electrify transportation sectors.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

The selected candidate will be responsible for conducting, coordinating, and reporting multi-disciplinary research projects within the NTRC including computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling and complimentary experimental research activities.  Primary responsibilities will focus on numerical, multi-physics simulations of combustion engines and other engineering systems using high-performance computing (HPC) resources.  Ability to lead or support experimental efforts which support and compliment the modeling efforts is also desired. 


Responsibilities will include planning research activities, developing high-fidelity multi-physics CFD engine models (including specialized user-defined functions and submodels), executing simulations on scheduler-based unix-like HPC clusters, analyzing and visualizing data, and presenting and publishing results.  The selected candidate may also lead or support experimental research activities that compliment the numerical research.  The work will involve interacting and collaborating with researchers from universities, other national laboratories, and private industry.  The individual will be expected to publish papers in peer-reviewed journals.


The selected candidate must be able to resolve any unusual technical problems that may occur during research and develop requisite changes. The applicant must possess excellent written and oral communication skills to report results to industry and government sponsors and at technical conferences. The applicant must be able to work well individually and in a team environment.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Mechanical or Chemical Engineering, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • A background in numerical and experimental research of combustion systems
  • Have the background, education, and experience to develop multi-physics CFD models, execute numerical simulations in an HPC environment, and use simulation results to evaluate and develop new understanding of advanced combustion processes and performance
  • Expertise with the commercial codes CONVERGE-CFD and GT-Suite, unix-like operating systems, scheduler-based HPC environments, and 3D data visualization tools (e.g., Tecplot, ParaView, etc.)
  • Demonstrated a firm understanding of state-of-the-art simulation approaches for combustion engine systems including multi-physics modeling of flow, spray, turbulence, combustion and chemical kinetics, conjugate heat transfer, and thermal barrier coatings
  • Experience developing new user-defined functions (UDFs), submodels, and scripts
  • Have familiarity with experimental approaches and data collection and analysis to be able to use experimental measurements and data to inform the development and validation of numerical models and to compare and evaluate model results


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience and background in design, setup, and execution of experimental research activities to support and compliment numerical research
  • 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


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
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  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


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.


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.

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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.

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