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R&D Associate - Designing Composites for Modeled Performance

Date: Nov 14, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9498 



We are seeking a R&D Associate who will focus on modeling of advanced fiber reinforced composites.  This position resides in the Carbon and Composites Group in the Separations and Polymer Chemistry Section, Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Phsyical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


The Carbon and Composites Group advances the science and technology base for manufacturing of polymeric materials and composite products by conducting innovative research and development for a broad spectrum of programs. As part of our research team, you will be tasked with modeling and designing composites for enhanced performance and embedded sensing applications. Key objectives include detailed modeling of conventional and alternative materials manufacturing approaches to predict and optimize performance while evaluating resulting failure modes and failure surfaces to assess performance gains and remaining deficits.  This requires in-depth understanding and application of integrated materials mechanics, interfaces, and design principles as well as demonstrated experience with micro-mechanics and numerical structural design tools.  In addition to providing the team with design leadership, a key desired output will be identification of areas where performance deficits can be offset with new materials advances in group R&D. 


You will be responsible for developing roll to roll fiber modification and fabricating fiber reinforced composites with subsequent mechanical and electromechanical characterization. It is expected that you be independently capable of developing multi-scale composite models  and have the knowledge to experimentally validate the models by developing new protocols to characterize the mechanical and electromechanical properties of composites to optimize the system-level performance.



Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Develop models to design and evaluate the multi-faceted performance of composite materials and structures using state-of-the-art modeling tools augmented with internally derived/validated cutting-edge materials data and driven by full appreciation of both the opportunities and limitations presented by advanced composites.
  • Utilize modeling tools and overall composite background to advance fiber-reinforced composite manufacturing science and technology
  • Perform destructive and non-destructive mechanical characterization of fiber reinforced composites
  • Evaluate additional functional properties of the composites using electromechanical characterization tools
  • Perform thermal, morphological, and chemical characterization (e.g. TGA, DSC, DMA, FTIR, SEM, optical microscopy, and rheology)


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD degree in Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Structural Engineering or a related discipline
  • A minimum of 2 years of experience in a postdoctoral research environment


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Significant experience with composite materials and structures design and analysis using industry standard modeling tools with demonstrated understanding of underlying materials limitations.
  • Training in signal processing for embedded sensing applications
  • Experience with experimental work on composite fabrication and fiber-matrix interface characterization (e.g., atomic force microscopy)
  • Knowledge of polymer processing via 3D printing or melt shear mixing
  • Possess a good understanding of ferroelectric materials
  • Experience with electrospinning polymer nanofibers
  • Publish papers in key journals after intellectual property has been protected
  • 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






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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville