Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Post Doc Research Associate - Polymer Aging and Degradation in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311227

Directorate: Energy and Environment

Division: Energy Processes and Materials

Group: Applied Materials and Manufacturing

Job Description

We seek an outstanding researcher to join our team with expertise in plastics and polymer composite materials, with an emphasis on testing and understanding and predicting structure/performance relationships during material aging and degradation. The Applied Materials & Manufacturing Group at PNNL develops high performance materials and innovative manufacturing processing approaches. We work to reduce the impact of materials and their manufacture on the environment, and we also research the impact of the working environment on material performance. This position will support business lines associated with nuclear and renewable energy electrical cable insulation, medical product sterilization, bio-based materials, lightweight vehicle components, and other markets where predictive understanding of the structure and properties of polymer materials over their service life are of interest to the Department of Energy and other sponsors.

This position will be hands-on and involve sample preparation, testing, and characterization of polymers and composite materials. The position holder will explore degradation of polymers and elastomers in challenging environments, such as ionizing radiation and elevated temperature. The primary responsibility of the position holder will be to characterize material chemical, physical, and mechanical properties and to help evolve models and methods to understand and predict material condition. Development of material-specific methods, protocols and parameters for testing will be required. The successful candidate can expect to prepare manuscripts for publication, communicate research context and findings internally and externally, and develop new ideas for research.

The position holder will:

  • Research, plan, design, and conduct experiments involving evaluation of plastic materials, test samples and products or components

  • Collaborate with others to develop individual steps and combined processes for sample production and testing

  • Relate microstructure and properties of materials to processing conditions and external environmental factors.

  • Analyze and predict material lifetime performance from experimental conditions

  • Document the results in reports, presentations and peer-reviewed publications

Candidates must have:

  • Experience in chemical, physical and mechanical testing of polymeric and/or elastomeric materials using standard methods, testing equipment, data analysis:

  • For properties such as tensile, flexural, density, electrical, color

  • Using techniques such as thermal analysis, microscopy, spectroscopy

  • Demonstrated proficiency in accurate data collection, analysis, and reporting at a level acceptable for publication in scientific journals

Demonstrated ability to communicate research motivation, results, and details

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must have received a PhD within the past five years (60 months) or within the next 8 months from an accredited college or university.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in materials science, materials engineering, mechanical engineering, composites engineering, or related field

  • Proficiency with data acquisition, analysis, presentation and modeling tools such as R, MATLAB, ANSYS, COMSOL Multiphysics, LabView

  • Proficiency with hands-on test design and assembly, signal monitoring and data acquisition

  • Strong understanding of structure/property relationships in polymer systems

  • Strong desire to publish research results

In addition, the following will be helpful for success:

  • Drive for self-improvement, new job skill development and continuous learning

  • Ability to plan and execute daily work independently and resourcefully

  • Good oral and written communications skills, including ability to clearly communicate goals, key details, and outcomes of research

  • Ability to work in teams with a diverse set of research staff, deliver on project tasks, and accommodate rapid and sometimes demanding schedules

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. If you are offered a position at PNNL and are currently a participant in a foreign government talent recruitment program you will be required to disclose this information before your first day of employment.

Other Information

The position holder will work in research laboratories, which are inherently hazardous working environments. Exposure to mechanical hazards, chemicals, etc., are kept to a minimum and mitigated through the use of controls and the maintenance of a safety-conscious work environment.

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Post-Graduates and Post-Docs

Group: Applied Materials & Manufactur

Opening Date: 2020-09-24

Closing Date: 2020-10-24