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R&D Associate Staff, Thermal Energy Storage (Geothermal)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Full-time salaried position plus full benefits and retirement plan.
Closing date
Mar 16, 2024

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Geochemistry, Hydrology
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Requisition Id 11403 

ORNL is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, with an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,200 people! ORNL’s decadal vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation. Come join us and help solve the world's most challenging energy problems!



The Thermal Energy Storage Research Group in the Buildings and Transportation Science Division (BTSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking qualified candidates to fill a researcher position. The work in this group supports the U.S. DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office, Building Technologies Office, and other customers.


Major Duties / Responsibilities

The successful candidate will be responsible for conducting, coordinating, and reporting complex research assignments related to geothermal energy technologies, including (1) geothermal applications for heating and cooling, (2) subsurface thermal energy storage, (3) innovative uses of geothermal energy, especially in buildings and industrial processes, (4) thermal use of oil/gas wells, (5) geothermal resource exploration and assessment, and (6) enhanced geothermal systems. This will involve the design, fabrication, measurement, analysis, and modeling of novel geothermal energy systems and components.


The work will involve developing experimental setups, problem-solving, conducting experimental campaigns, performing geophysical and thermodynamic analysis, modeling geothermal systems, analyzing results, preparing technical documents and research publications, and developing proposals for research funding. The work will also involve interacting and collaborating with researchers from universities, national laboratories, and private industry.


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 encouraging a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.



You will have earned an M.S. or Ph.D. in hydrogeology, geology, geophysics, geochemistry, or a related engineering field. A minimum of three years of previous research work experience (including industry, postdoctoral, other academic, and/or research fellowship) is highly desired, especially in the field of geothermal energy. The candidate should possess a strong background of training (or other direct experience) in geothermal energy technologies. Knowledge of how geothermal energy systems are installed and operated in the field is also desirable. The candidate should possess the necessary background and experience in (a) innovating thinking and problem-solving, (b) geophysical and thermodynamic modeling, (c) design and operation of geothermal energy systems, (d) fluid dynamics and heat and mass transfer, and (e) instrumentation for measurements and process controls.


You should have the ability to lead teams of engineers and technicians to successfully design, build and evaluate advanced geothermal energy systems. Required qualifications include good communication skills (oral and written) to synthesize research results into reports, conference papers, and refereed journal articles, as well as strong interpersonal skills to support team building, partnering, and leadership. The ability to develop and/or maintain strong relationships through active participation in geothermal industry organizations and events is required. Finally, you should demonstrate a strong, proven publication/patent record. For more information, please contact Xiaobing Liu (


UT-Battelle is recognized by our employees and the community as an inclusive environment where diversity is valued and individuals and teams are inspired to contribute fully to the organization's success. ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.


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.


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the Department of Energy system. ORNL’s scientific programs focus on materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology and national security. ORNL partners with the state of Tennessee, universities and industries to solve challenges in energy, advanced materials,manufacturing, security and physics. The laboratory's science and technology innovations are translated into applications for economic development and global security. The laboratory is home to several of the world’s top supercomputers and is a leading neutron science and nuclear energy research facility that includes the Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor. ORNL hosts a DOE Leadership Computing Facility—home of the Titan supercomputer; one of DOE’s nanoscience centers—the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences; the BioEnergy Science Center—one of DOE’s Energy Research Centers; and the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light-Water Reactors, a DOE Innovation Hub.

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