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Sr. Scientist for Fiber Manufacturing Research

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Date: Nov 19, 2020

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4299 



We are seeking an R&D scientist who will lead the development, processing and characterization of silicon carbide (SiC) fibers and other advanced fibers derived from various precursors.  The candidate will conduct experimental research around chemical modification of polymers, polymer dynamics, and fibrillar materials with additional work on new fiber development and processing. The staff will be expected to collaborate amongst groups focusing on basic and applied research in various fields applicable to the current projects. This position resides in the Advanced Fibers Manufacturing Group in the Manufacturing Science Technology Division in the  Energy Science Technology Directorate Sciences Directorate (ETSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


The Advance Fibers Manufacturing Technology Group advances the science and technology base for manufacturing of advanced fibers and its composites by conducting innovative research and development for a broad spectrum of programs and applications.  Specifically, the group is looking for a dynamic researcher with a proven record in developing and executing advanced fibers, primarily silicon carbide fibers, and composite materials research in critical energy and/or national security mission areas such as: Transportation Materials Technologies, Wind Energy, Energy Storage, Off-Shore Oil and Gas, Industrial Processes, Aerospace and Defense, and Infrastructure.



As a leader in our research team, you will advance the science of advance fibers manufacturing science with emphasis on polymer chemistry and processing. You will be performing research and development of advanced fiber manufacturing at scale including intermediate processes for its composite’s material processing. Expertise in specialty polymer materials, composite materials, process modeling, and molecular simulations is critical for this position. You will be expected to simultaneously execute multiple projects, contribute to development of new initiatives in your area, interact with ORNL staff, industry and academic partners, and mentor and coach other staff. Of special interest to our group is the development of new precursor materials that can be transformed into fibers with excellent mechanical and functional properties through chemical modification and interface engineering to nanoscale structure. The successful candidate will lead and support research, designing, synthesis and modification of silicon carbide fiber, fiber surface chemistries and interfaces; publish original peer reviewed research articles; and supervise technicians and staff.


Major Duties/Responsibilities

The candidate will be responsible for leading and expanding our current R&D portfolio in the field of advanced fiber production and resolving technical issues related to deploying these fibers into a multitude of applications. The candidate will also be responsible for identifying new opportunities to implement advanced carbon technologies in emerging industries.  Finally, the candidate will be responsible for developing and growing research areas related to advanced fiber composites and their uses in defense and aerospace applications. 


  • Work with a diverse team of engineers and scientists seeking to advance scientific understanding of structure-property relationship of carbon materials, and participate in project planning and execution
  • Perform fundamental and applied research into the characterization and understanding of the properties that affects the processability of various advanced fibers and other precursor material
  • Apply and advance various techniques including melt-extrusion, melt-blowing, oxidation, carbonization, etc. to create new  advanced fiber materials and structures
  • Characterize and develop fundamental understanding of various carbon precursors, including rheological and thermophysical, physical, and mechanical properties
  • Characterize and develop fundamental understanding of materials by a variety of methods including thermal analysis, mechanical testing, x-ray and neutron scattering, microscopy, rheology, spectroscopy, and data analysis
  • Apply and discover new chemical modification of various precursor materials and establish structure-property-processability relationships
  • Work in a collaborative team environment and regularly interact with senior scientists, program managers, group members, and industrial partners
  • Present and publish scientific research results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner, after intellectual property has been protected
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics
  • Design, develop, and scale-up breakthrough silicon carbide fiber technology from fundamental theory, lab-scale testing, and scale-up to commercialization
  • Improve process yields of the large-scale silicon carbide processes by developing fundamental understanding of the physics/chemistry of the deposition exploiting the combined power of lab-scale (DOE), process modeling, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation
  • Provide fundamental understanding of chemical kinetics, thermodynamics phase equilibrium, mass and heat transfer, physical phenomena and their applications
  • Support the manufacturing process increasing efficiency, product quality, reduce energy, and manufacturing costs



  • A PhD in Materials Science, Materials Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, or a related field
  • A mimimun of 10 years of post-PhD experience in silicon carbide science and technology or related fields



  • Extensive hands-on experience in conducting and directing research activities and a proven record with both R&D success as well as conceiving ideas and successfully attracting and developing R&D projects.
  • The ability to effectively collaborate with both internal and external researchers to the organization
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate to an international, scientific audience
  • A record of productive and creative research demonstrated by patents, publications in peer-reviewed journals and/or presentations at scientific conferences
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to the production of research proposals.
  • Motivated and safety conscious
  • 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


Other Information:

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. 


Work involves various physical requirements and working conditions. As such, a pre-hire physical will be required after offer.


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