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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Reactor Materials

Date: Jan 10, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9826 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking a candidate for a Postdoctoral Research Associate focused on irradiation effects in structural materials for nuclear reactors . This position resides in the Nuclear Fuel Performance Group in the Nuclear Fuel Development Section, Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division, Fusion and Fission Energy System Directorate at ORNL. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will conduct research related to post-irradiation examination and advanced mechanical testing of non-irradiated and irradiated metals and advanced materials. Systems of interest include metals, metallic alloys, ceramics, and other materials employed in the nuclear plant design. Research objectives are varied but will include developing structure-property correlations through innovative experimental design, advanced mechanical testing of the modern alloys for various nuclear energy applications. It is anticipated that a successful candidate will develop and utilize experimental, engineering, and modeling skills to achieve the above aims.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Perform experimental work in radiological materials laboratories centered on the post-irradiation characterization of metals, metallic alloys, and composite materials
  • Produce high impact publications in key peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations in the field of nuclear material science and advanced mechanical testing
  • Work with team members in the areas of irradiation design, post-irradiation examination, modeling, and other relevant areas to advance science-based understanding of nuclear materials
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.
  • Perform work according to specific rules and requirements for quality assurance, nuclear material control, radiological work, and general laboratory safety.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in materials science, nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering, or a closely related field completed within the last 5 years. Applicants must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment.
  • Experience with mechanical testing demonstrated by peer-reviewed publication
  • Experience with scanning electron microscopy demonstrated by peer-reviewed publication
  • Strong written and oral communications skills demonstrated by peer-reviewed publication history


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong background in microstructure and property relationship of metals and alloys. Experience in Radiation Material Science (radiation effects of Fe-based and Zr-based alloys) will be considered as a key advantage
  • Strong knowledge of mechanical testing methods; skills and knowledge in physics of plasticity
  • Expertise in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) is highly desirable
  • Knowledge of modern experimental approaches for mechanical testing like Digital Image Correlation (DIC) is desirable
  • Knowledge of modern engineering tools like SolidWorks


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.


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Special Requirements:

Export control, no clearance: 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.

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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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