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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Post Doc Research Associate - Thermomechanical/Friction Stir Processing in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311397

Directorate: Energy and Environment

Division: Energy Processes & Materials

Group: Applied Materials and Manufacturing

Job Description

Are you interested in state-of-the-art approaches to metals manufacturing? The Applied Materials and Manufacturing Group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is seeking a materials scientist or engineer to support research in friction stir processing of materials. Friction stir processing can be used to modify microstructure in castings and to impart superior material properties locally. This post-doctoral position requires someone who wants to be “hands on” with machinery and develop industrially relevant processes to generate materials with specific microstructure. This assignment will focus on friction stir processing of aluminum and magnesium castings, mainly developing innovative solutions to expand the processing envelop of friction stir processing to enhance mechanical properties. Research will also focus on microstructural characterization such as optical and electron microscopy, and mechanical property testing such as tensile and fatigue to evaluate the processing-structure-property correlation. Applicants should have a strong background in metallurgy and mechanics of materials but should also have some knowledge of thermomechanical processing methods so they can work with engineers to define processing approaches and specify conditions.

The position holder will contribute to the development and application of high performance materials and innovative processing approaches. They will:

  • Research, plan, design, and conduct experiments involving friction stir processing (e.g., optimizing processing parameters and developing new tool designs)

  • Collaborate with others to conduct structural characterization (optical microscopy, XRD, SEM, EDS, EBSD, and TEM) and mechanical property evaluation (hardness, tensile, and fatigue).

  • Interpret the data and correlate it to mechanical properties.

  • Document the results in reports, compare them with the published literature, and write high-quality peer-reviewed journal publications.

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, metallurgy, mechanical engineering, or related field

  • Experience in friction stir processing, friction stir welding, surface processing, or other processes involving severe plastic deformation

  • Expertise in physical and mechanical metallurgy of Al and/or Mg alloys. Familiarity with non-ferrous metal solidification and castings is a bonus.

  • Experience in characterization techniques such as SEM, EDS, EBSD, XRD, TEM, and differential scanning calorimetry.

  • Experience in mechanical testing methods such as hardness, tensile and fatigue. Familiarity with various ASTM testing standards is a plus.

  • Expertise in interpretation and the subsequent analysis of characterization data.

  • Basic understanding of finite element modeling and commercially available software. Familiarity with SolidWorks software is a bonus.

  • Strong team player and an ability to conduct independent and inter-dependent research. Ability to provide innovative solutions.

  • Ability to perform work with the level of quality and timeliness to meet required project and client expectations.

  • Appropriate analytic, task management, and communication skills (both oral and written) to clearly articulate research objectives and outcomes.

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: 2020-11-18

Closing Date: 2020-12-18