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R&D Associate - Nuclear Security Scientist - Materials Chemistry

Date: Jun 10, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 5643 


The Process and Material Characterization Group within the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division seeks applications for an Associate R&D Staff Member, responsible for advancing the field of fuel cycle materials research. The group leads the field in the application of scientific principles and methods to support the characterization of nuclear fuel cycle process and materials.  The group is responsible for delivering cutting edge research in the fields of actinide chemistry, materials science, and leverages extensive knowledge in fuel cycle processes, for the betterment of the nuclear nonproliferation mission space.  Fulfillment of this position seeks to broaden the group’s expertise in the fields of analytical chemistry as applied fuel cycle materials.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

The successful candidate will lead research to understand the chemical and physical evolution of materials commonly associated with fuel cycle operations, particularly carbon composite and high-strength metal alloys. It is expected that the candidate will demonstrate advanced knowledge of degradation due to operational effects such as temperature and pressure.  The successful candidate will lead the development and execution of experiments and methods in order to facilitate a greater understanding of the degradation kinetics and the formation of novel chemistries at the solid-gas interface of fuel cycle processing equipment. The results of these investigations are expected inform future research directions within the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division.


Job Description:

The successful candidate will use a variety of laboratory-comp methods to fully explore the chemical and structural evolution of materials utilized during nuclear fuel cycle processes.  The position requires the development of novel analytical methods in order to facilitate research applicable to identifying, characterizing, and quantifying relationships between process-effects and materials properties.  Additionally, the position requires the ability to maintain ongoing interactions with the group’s computational chemistry efforts, to substantiate empirical observations with theoretical structural evolutions.  In doing so, the ideal candidate should have experience working in a dynamic team environment.  The position is expected to lead materials discovery and application, and be able to produce high-impact science, delivered in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as conference and university engagements.  Demonstrated excellent communications skills are required. 



Basic Requirements:

  • Doctoral Degree in Chemistry or related field
  • Two or more years’ experience in the modeling of solid-state systems
  • Demonstrated record of publishing scientific results in peer-reviewed journals
  • Expertise in gas-phase analytical equipment including chromatography, spectrometry, and spectroscopy


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in polymer chemistry or composite materials characterization
  • Experience with pyrolysis, thermal desorption, and/or evolved gas analysis


Special Requirement:

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 dug 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.

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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