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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Polymer Chemistry for Manufacturing

Requisition Id 7200 
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.
We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Soft Matter Group in the Chemical Sciences Division, Physical Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) who will focus on synthesis and characterization of vitrimers and carbon-fiber reinforced polymers, their manufacturing for vehicles and gas-pipe rehabilitation, roll-to-roll manufacturing, and various additive manufacturing technologies. 
The research will be focused on tailoring polymer chemistry especially for the synthesis of vitrimers and their fabrication of vitrimer-based carbon-fiber composites, identifying a polymer composite formulation for robotic gas-pipe rehabilitation, conducting roll-to-roll manufacturing of self-healable barrier films, developing a new binder for binder jetting, as well as conducting various other additive manufacturing (DIW, FFF, SLA) of novel polymer systems. The polymer composite projects focus on synthesis of new type of resins and functionalization of carbon fibers to enable mechanically robust yet rapidly processed carbon-fiber reinforced polymers for vehicle applications, and demonstration of rapid gas pipe rehabilitation with a polymer composite lining by a robotic deposition system. Barrier film project aims to demonstrate roll-to-roll manufacturing of self-healable barrier films for vacuum insulation panels. Furthermore, several other topics involve additive manufacturing of new polymeric materials. This research will be complemented by collaborations and interactions with other polymer scientists and mechanical engineers.
Major Duties/Responsibilities: 
  • Synthesis and characterization of new vitrimers
  • Functionalization of carbon fibers and fabrication of their composites
  • Investigate the processability of carbon-fiber reinforced polymers, and composite resins for gas-pipe rehabilitation
  • Develop a formulation for 3D printing of novel polymers and composites with understanding its processability.
  • Characterization of polymers by standard methods including SEC, NMR, FTIR, TGA, DSC, DMA, tensile, rheology etc.
  • Establish the relationships between the structure, mechanical properties and processability in various manufacturing technologies.
  • Present and report research results and publishing scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics
Basic Qualifications:
  • A Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering, Polymer Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering or a closely related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Expertise in polymer synthesis, characterization, and manufacturing methods
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Knowledge and expertise in synthesis of polymers and resin formulation
  • Knowledge and expertise in mechanical and viscoelastic characterization of polymers, composites and polymer solutions
  • Knowledge and expertise in polymer processing and manufacturing
  • Knowledge and expertise in additive manufacturing
  • An excellent record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journalsExcellent 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
Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.
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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 for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.
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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.