Date: Aug 4, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11088 


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.

The Chemical Sciences Division (CSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) invites outstanding applications for a postdoctoral research associate to conduct research on simulating precipitation, dissolution, and phase transformation of minerals in porous and fractured media. As a postdoc, you will work with a team of scientists in the CSD to model experimental tomography and porosity distribution data to improve our capabilities to predict how porosity and permeability evolve in geochemical systems in response to mineral reactions, particularly nucleation and growth. The position supports research on understanding and analyzing chemical reactions at solid-fluid interfaces and resides in the Geochemistry and Interfacial Sciences Group in the Chemical Sciences Division, Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Conduct independent research using pore-scale simulation approaches of geochemical reactions in idealized and natural porous media
  • Collaborate with ORNL researchers on the design and execution of chemical imaging and reactive transport experiments
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific findings 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
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.

Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Physical Sciences or Chemical Engineering, Geochemistry, Chemistry, Materials Science. or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Experience in the design and implementation of numerical algorithms in one or more high-level computing languages (e.g., C++, Python)

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong background in reactive transport simulation, multiphysics simulations, and model development. Experience with finite volume and finite element methods software such as OpenFOAM, MOOSE, Chombo-Crunch, etc.
  • Experience with simulating porous systems (especially pore-scale) and dual porosity systems, such as fractured porous media
  • Record of collaboration with experimentalists, especially comparison to observations of mineral precipitation/dissolution and fluid compositions
  • Excellent record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • The abilities to be a self-starter, to work independently and to participate creatively in a collaborative team effort
  • Background in simulating precipitation and dissolution of minerals and effluent water composition
  • Knowledge of methods to model interface: Level-Set, Volume of Fluid, Arbitrary-Lagrangian-Eulerian method, etc.
  • Knowledge of classical nucleation and crystal growth theories
  • Strong skills to work with Linux or other Unix-like operating systems
  • Experience working with high-performance computing and hybrid parallelism for example using MPI, OpenMP, or CUDA
  • Excellent 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.

Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document

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.

Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.

Other benefits included: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Life Insurance, Pet Insurance, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.

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

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.

Apply now »

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