Postdoctoral Research Associate - Physical Metallurgy and Advanced Processing

Date: Dec 2, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10599 


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 associate who will focus on high magnetic field processing and advanced characterization of ferrous and aluminum alloys with the aim of understanding the fundamental mechanisms governing the thermodynamic and kinetic processes during heat treatment in applied magnetic fields. The primary project consists of a multidisciplinary, multiinstituitional consortium funded by the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) (formerly AMO) at the Department of Energy (DOE). This position resides in the Alloy Behavior and Design (ABAD) Group in the Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


As part of our research team at ORNL, and under the mentorship of materials and neutron scientists, you will conduct thermomagnetic processing experiments, conduct experiments using a custom insert for in situ neutron scattering characterization, contribute to the fabrication and development of the novel characterization techniques, and analyze resulting data.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Plan and execute high magnetic field processing experiments
  • Develop custom insert for neutron scattering characterization
  • Characterize alloys and correlate to microstructural evolution
  • Identify, document, and report potential intellectual property and novel discoveries
  • 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 commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Demonstrated hands-on experimental work experience
  • An excellent record of productive and creative research 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
  • Ability to work with a measure of autonomy and a willingness to participate creatively in a collaborative team environment


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with advanced characterization techniques (neutron and x-ray scattering)
  • Experience with alloy development, analysis of phase equilibria and transformation pathways
  • Experience with the operation of high temperature processing and heat-treatment equipment and related analysis of structure property relationships
  • Experience with or basic understanding of SEM, TEM, and XRD equipment and related analysis
  • Experience with ferrous and/or aluminum alloys
  • Basic understanding of neutron scattering
  • Experience/working knowledge of magnetic processing (not required)
  • 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


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.

For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at


Special Requirements

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.


Visa Sponsorship: Visa sponsorship is not available.


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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