Share this Job

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Polymer Composite Materials and Manufacturing

Date: Dec 23, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 7117 


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 who will focus on advanced material development and composite manufacturing with relevant experience in wind turbine blade design and manufacturing. The candidate will conduct research on (1) structure design and manufacturing for, but not limited to, wind turbine blade, (2) the development of thermally and electrically conductive composites, and (3) computational analysis in polymer composite structures. The candidate will be expected to simultaneously execute multiple projects, contribute to development of new initiatives in their area, interact with ORNL staff, industry, and academic partners. This position resides in the Advanced Composites Manufacturing Group in the Manufacturing Science Division (MSD), Energy Science and Technology Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


Our research team carries out high quality R&D focused on the advanced composite manufacturing for applications in aerospace, automotive, and renewable energy industries, as well as trending areas of international composite research in material science, mechanical engineering, and automation. As part of our research team, the candidate will conduct research in the area of polymer composite manufacturing, specifically related to wind turbine blade technologies, the implementation of new processes, and the development of unique material systems.

The candidate is expected to (1) interface with other researchers and technical staff in the manufacturing, 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.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Design and innovate new materials and on-site manufacturing of composite structures including, but not limited to, wind turbine blades
  • Perform hands-on composite manufacturing including additive manufacturing, injection molding, thermoforming and compression molding
  • Perform computational structure analyses using a finite element method (FEM)
  • Obtain and calibrate simulation parameters from experiments
  • Interface between experimental and simulation teams
  • Establish and manage relevant research collaborations and projects with industry partners
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Support team goals and work with other team members
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Polymer Science and Engineering or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Expertise in computational solid mechanics and structural mechanics
  • Experience with polymer composite manufacturing


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in composite design and manufacturing for wind turbine blades
  • Experience in novel composite material development
  • Experience in advanced manufacturing techniques
  • Experience in formulating constitutive equations for the deformation of beams, plates, and shells
  • Experience in commercial finite element analysis tools such as Abaqus, ANSYS, and Autodesk
  • Experience in computer-aided design (CAD) tools such as SolidWorks, CATIA, and AutoCAD
  • Experience in characterization techniques such as DSC, FTIR, TGA, DMA, EDS, XRD, Rheology, SEM, and optical microscopy
  • An 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


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
  • View Profile
  • 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.

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




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