Share this Job

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Computational Materials Science

Date: Jan 7, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 3353 



The Nuclear Security Modeling (NSM) Group within the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division (NND) at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) seeks applications for a postdoctoral position focused on the ab-initio modeling of nucleation and condensation phenomena in far-from-equilibrium systems. The project will be a collaboration with the Fuel Cycle Materials Characterization group and will involve the use of modern computational tools to carry out calculations at the electronic, molecular and continuum scale of processes relevant to the group’s nuclear forensics efforts.




Major Duties/Responsibilities:

This postdoctoral position will focus on developing multiscale models to probe the nucleation and growth of uranium-bearing materials from the gas phase. The successful candidate will work to build new multiscale models through the development of an atomistic description of relevant systems and the calculation and extrapolation of thermodynamic properties from these models. The successful candidate will be expected to interface with laboratory personnel as well as sponsors, both within and outside of ORNL. The candidate is expected to work well both in a team environment and independently and to fully document work performed in technical reports, papers, and presentations. The candidate will be responsible for contributing to and expanding NSM’s capabilities and scientific impact through proposals and other program development.




Basic Requirements:

A PhD in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, or related field is required. The successful candidate will have experience with one or more computational chemistry/theoretical physics methods, including density functional theory, molecular dynamics, kinetic Monte Carlo, statistical mechanics, and thermodynamics. The successful candidate will require strong communication skills and the ability to present research findings to scientists with diverse backgrounds.




Preferred Qualifications:

Experience with both gas phase and condensed matter calculations is extremely advantageous. Proficiency in at least one modern coding language is preferred; experience using Python is highly desirable.



This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a clearance from the Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.


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