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Requisition Id 8486 


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 Thermal Hydrulics Group in the Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division (NEFCD), Fusion and Fission Energy Science Directorate (FFESD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The Postdoctoral Research Associte will focus on developing and applying multi-phase computational fluid dynamic models for energy and process modeling applications. As part of our research group, you will work to advance the field of knowledge in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), develop and qualify new components and related systems, and apply them to advance the state-of-the-art for clean energy technologies. Our group members have the opportunity to work collaboratively with diverse subject matter experts from across the laboratory to solve challenging and important problems related to the development, construction, and operation of fission and fusion energy technologies, carbon-free energy technologies, and ORNL scientific facilities. Members are expected to perform work consistent with Environment, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality (ESH&Q) requirements and business rules. Further, members are part of a diverse and inclusive work environment where every employee feels safe, heard, and appreciated—a workplace that sets an example for the broader community.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Develop, implement, and apply multi-phase reacting and non-reacting CFD models to support research programs in various key areas such as carbon-free technologies and chemical and nuclear reactors
  • Complete large-scale multi-phase Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) or Large Eddy Simulations (LES) simulations of reactor cores, heat exchangers, pumps, pressurizers, condensers, etc.
  • Complete simulation verification, model validation, uncertainty quantification and documentation to optimize system and component designs for performance and safety
  • Collaborate on the advancement of multi-phase CFD and multi-physics capabilities for high-performance computing
  • Be an active member of professional organizations and contribute to the advancement of the nuclear energy data science professional communities, and
  • Lead the development of journal and conference articles and technical reports documenting research results


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in chemical, mechanical, or nuclear engineering, engineering physics, or a related field completed within the last 5 years


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong fundamental understanding of the principals of fluid mechanics and heat transfer, and demonstrated experience in applying and extending CFD codes for application to chemical, nuclear or similarly complex thermal energy systems
  • Strong understanding of multi-phase reacting and non-reacting CFD modeling
  • Experience modeling devices that involve molten salts, chemical reactions, electrochemistry, and transport in porous media, for example, electrolyzers, fuel cells, two-phase cooling, building exfiltration, etc.
  • Experience with modeling and simulation software such as STARCCM+, FLUENT, OpenFOAM, COMSOL, and CONVERGE
  • Knowledge of Python, Julia, C++, Fortran, MATLAB and/or other relevant languages
  • 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.

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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.

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.