Carbon Fibers and Composites - R&D Associate

Carbon Fibers and Composites - R&D Associate

Overview:  We are seeking an R&D Associate to focus on the development, processing and characterization of carbon fibers and other carbon products derived from various precursors, primarily from pitches.  This position resides in the Carbon Materials Technology Group in the Material Science and Technology Division, Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


The Carbon Materials Technology Group advances the science and technology base for manufacturing of carbon materials and composites by conducting innovative research and development for a broad spectrum of programs and applications.  

Specifically, the group is looking for dynamic early to mid-career researcher with a proven record in developing and executing carbon 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.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

The candidate will be responsible for leading and expanding our current R&D portfolio in the field of carbon fiber production and for 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 carbon-carbon composites and their uses in hypersonics, thermal protection, and other 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 pitches and other carbon precursors.
  • Apply and advance various techniques including melt-extrusion, melt-blowing, reactive compounding, etc. to create new carbon-based materials and structures.
  • Characterize and develop fundamental understanding of various carbon precursors, including rheological and thermophysical 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 report research results and publishing scientific 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


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Materials Science, Materials Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, or a related field
  • 2 years of experience in carbon fiber science and technology or related fields


Preferred Qualifications:

  • 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 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


Special Requirements:

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. 


Please provide a list of publications when applying for this position. Three letters of reference are required and can be emailed directly to [email protected] Please include your name and the title of the position in the subject line.



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 [email protected]

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.

 TO APPLY FOR THIS JOB: https://jobs.ornl.gov/job/Oak-Ridge-Carbon-Fibers-and-Composites-R&D-Associate-TN-37831/621388000/?locale=en_US



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