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Microstructure and Mechanical Characterization of Additively Manufactured Superalloys

The National Energy Technology Laboratory's (NETL's) record of success has been built on understanding the future of energy and the technologies required to make that future possible. We’ve long touted our success in developing the technologies that took on acid rain in the 1970s and mercury in the early 2000s. More recently, NETL has a leading role in President Biden’s ambitious climate goals, including a carbon emission-free power sector by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050.

Program Goals

The Professional Internship Program is designed to introduce undergraduate students and recent Bachelor's graduates to the challenges of conducting energy research, and enable graduate students to further build off their studies an experience as they join the scientific community. Participants interact daily with assigned mentors who guide research and project activities during the internship, while they become integral members of project teams.

The program goals include providing the opportunity to participants to:

  • Develop skills and knowledge in their field of study
  • Engage with new areas of basic and applied research
  • Transition classroom theory into hands-on experience
  • Network with world-class scientists
  • Exchange ideas and skills with the Laboratory community
  • Use state-of-the-art equipment
  • Contribute to answers for today's pressing scientific questions
  • Collaborate with the broader scientific and technical communities

Project Details

Through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), this posting seeks a recent Bachelor's graduate or student researcher to engage in projects with the Research Innovation Center (RIC) at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in the area of Advanced Materials Development, under the mentorship of Chantal Sudbrack. This project will be hosted at the NETL Albany, OR campus.

Additive manufacturing (AM) shows great promise in fabricating high-temperature load-bearing parts with complex geometries for advanced energy applications, such as turbine engines. As a powerful emerging directed energy deposition (DED) technique, wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) can build large near-net-shaped components using fast deposition rates and is attracting growing interest due to its potential for both cost and schedules savings. Haynes 282 is a Ni-based superalloy that has wide application within turbine engines due to its high strength, corrosion resistance, processability and good creep performance up to 900C. To achieve an optimized processing conditions for high-quality WAAM Haynes 282 superalloys requires a systematic understanding of the WAAM processing, including travel speed, wire feed, and shielding gas. The aim of the project research is to understand the effect of processing conditions on microstructure and mechanical properties of the WAAM Haynes 282.

The objective of the project will be to characterize the microstructure and tensile behavior of a set of Ni-base superalloys fabricated by WAAM additive manufacturing to understand the effect of varying processing parameters (wire feed, travel speed, shielding gas). The student researcher will: (a) meet with a mentor to establish a plan, identify tasks, and establish responsibilities; (b) participate in team meetings on a regular basis to monitor progress and present research results; (c) use establish research techniques to gather materials related results, including metallography, optical microscopy, electron microscopy (TEM, SEM-EDS, EBSD), microhardness, surface roughness measurements and quantitative microstructural analyses; and (d) produce a final report with experimental methods used, data, data analysis, and interpretation of research results. The results may be included in a conference presentation or journal

Peer-reviewed publication is strongly encouraged and will be supported by the mentor and other collaborators, as it an important step for emerging researchers to establish themselves and contribute to the advancement of the state-of-understanding in their field of endeavor. It is not, however, a requirement for this opportunity.

Stipend: Participants receive a biweekly stipend based on their educational level. Stipend payments are taxable as an educational benefit. Stipends for full-time participation start at:

  • $450 per week - $620 per week for undergraduate students
  • $690 per week - $770 per week for recent Bachelor's graduates
  • $690 per week - $1,050 per week for graduate students

Deliverables: To document the effectiveness of the program, participants are required to submit a pre-appointment and post-appointment survey, as well as a reflection on their appointment experience when they renew or end their appointment. The reflection should summarize their project(s), additional activities, and overall experience. Details are provided as the appointment end date approaches.
Participants may also have the opportunity to contribute to manuscripts, journal articles, book chapters, conference presentations, posters, patents, and other publications as a part of their appointment. Such achievements should also be reported to ORISE; additional details are provided after an offer has been accepted.


The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory system, is owned and operated by the DOE. NETL supports the DOE mission to advance the energy security of the United States. This is an educational opportunity offered by NETL and administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. Participants in the program are not considered employees of NETL, DOE, the program administrator, or any other office or agency.