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R&D Associate - High Temperature Corrosion

Date: Jan 20, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9901 


We are seeking an R&D Associate who will focus on the performance and degradation of candidate materials for nuclear energy applications, especially accident tolerant fuel cladding and advanced nuclear reactors.  The candidate will employ state-of-the-art research techniques and characterization to enable the next generation of high efficiency low-carbon power generation and transportation systems.  Structural and functional materials for current and future nuclear energy reactors will be subject to extreme environments during normal operation and accident conditions, such as high temperature, corrosive coolant and fast neutron flux, which may degrade their physical and mechanical properties. For example, in the first year, this job will involve research activities ranging from hydrothermal corrosion to simulate light water reactor conditions to high temperature burst testing of new fuel cladding concepts.  This position resides in the Corrosion Science and Technology (CST) Group in the Materials in Extremes Section, Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Coordinate and/or conduct laboratory experiments in controlled environments
  • Communicate and coordinate results with other organizations to facilitate collaborations
  • Use range of analysis techniques to characterize the performance of metallic and ceramic materials exposed in extreme environments
  • Develop a pathway for predictive lifetime performance models
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific findings in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics
  • Foster collaboration with researchers and technicans inside and outside MSTD


Basic Qualifications:

  • PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, Nuclear Engineering (Materials), or a closely related field.
  • Background in evaluating materials in high temperature environments
  • 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, which requires U.S Citizenship


Preferred Qualifications:

  • An excellent record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Demonstrated experience and understanding of the basic principles of high temperature oxidation research
  • Experience in conducting hydrothermal corrosion experiments
  • Experience utilizing microstructural characterization tools including, but not limited to, light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, electron probe microanalysis and transmission electron microscopy
  • Experience with predictive modeling of material performance
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative and frequently interacting teams of researchers
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs
  • Ability to meet security/clearance requirements immediately or in foreseeable future


Letters of Recommendation:

Three letters of reference are required and can be uploaded to your profile or emailed directly to  Please include the title of the position in the subject line.


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.

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