Postdoctoral Researcher

Date: Jun 29, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 13133 


We are seeking a Postdoc who will focus on microstructural characterizations of nuclear ceramics and mechanistic modeling of the material degradation behavior under nuclear reactor relevant environments. This position resides in the Nuclear Energy Materials Microanalysis in the Materials in Extremes section, MSTD, PSD, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


The Postdoctoral Research Associate will contribute to the development of novel modeling and characterization frameworks that will be based on 1) simulation or characterization of the microstructures of ceramics using 3D characterization techniques, 2) establishing connections between material structure and mechanical properties, 3) predicting the behavior of ceramics under extreme environments. Moreover, the candidate will contribute to the constitutive modeling frameworks and develop image-based models for high-temperature ceramics. Knowledge and experience of relevant characterization techniques, including x-ray computed tomography, scanning electron microscopy, or other microscopy 3D techniques, is desirable. These modeling and microscopy approaches will be combined with experimental data to evaluate various ceramic materials. Demonstrated experience in implementing nonlinear constitutive models in commercial finite element (FE) codes is desirable. You will be expected to collaborate with research staff and industry partners focused on material research and development through computational modeling and multimodal characterization.


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Contribute to the microstructural characterization and/or development of constitutive modeling frameworks of image-based models for high-temperature ceramics.
  • Research and microanalysis of high-temperature ceramic materials.
  • 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.
  • 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 degree in Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical enginering, Nuclear engineering, or a related discipline


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Fundamental understanding of ceramic materials
  • Experience with experimental data-informed finite element simulations
  • Familiarity with the basic structure-property relations of high-temperature ceramics
  • Expertise in microscopy and image reconstruction or segmentation methods
  • 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 up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding.


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You may 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


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.


Other benefits include the following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.


If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email: 





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