Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Post Doc Research Associate - Computational Materials Science in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 310275

Directorate: Energy and Envirnment

Division: Nuclear Sciences

Group: Reactor Materials and Mechanical Design

Job Description

The Reactor Materials and Mechanical Design Group (RMMD) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) advances fundamental materials science and provides the scientific basis for fusion and fission reactor materials development, light water reactor life extension, safe storage of spent fuel, and design of materials and systems for extreme operating conditions. RMMD is a world-class materials science and mechanical engineering organization with more than 40 highly qualified and experienced staff—including internationally recognized scientists and Fellows of professional societies—delivering impactful research for multiple sponsors.

This postdoctoral associate will simulate atomic structures created by radiation damage in nickel (Ni) and zirconium (Zr) with molecular dynamics (MD), use MD and mesoscale modeling, such as Potts model kinetic Monte Carlo, to understand microstructural changes and their effects on hydrogen and lithium diffusion; validate the modeling with density functional theory (DFT) results and experimental observations that are available in the literature; and develop new insights into the experimentally observed radiation response of Ni and cladding materials (Zr-based alloys). The candidate must be capable of correlating atomic scale physical and chemical phenomena to the performance of materials under extreme operating conditions. Initial job responsibilities will include running atomistic simulations and data analysis algorithms on workstations and high-performance computer clusters. The incumbent will work closely with other scientists performing fundamental and applied research relating chemistry, stress, radiation damage, and elevated temperature to the performance of materials. An emphasis for this position is on the basic science study of atomic scale and nanoscale phenomena in materials subjected to elevated temperature and radiation damage.

This position will involve research that covers a wide of range of physical and chemical phenomena and is interdisciplinary in nature. Activities in this group address materials research needs related to atomic transport relevant to corrosion, high-temperature degradation, stress corrosion cracking, hydrogen compatibility, and radiation effects in materials. The group publishes high quality research manuscripts, contributes oral and written papers at conferences, and participates in workshops on degradation mechanisms in materials. The position involves routine research activities as well as independent problem solving. Innovative approaches to materials research are prized.

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

  • Strong computational background in modeling radiation effects in alloys is desired.

  • Knowledge of alloy degradation mechanisms is preferred.

  • Background in high performance computing or mesoscale modeling is preferred.

  • The candidate must be capable of coordinating a variety of theory and modeling efforts within PNNL and at other national laboratories/universities.

  • The candidate must be capable of interpreting experimental results based on the findings of theory and modeling.

  • Training in computational materials science is necessary.

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.

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Post-Graduates and Post-Docs

Group: Reactor Matl's & Mech Design

Opening Date: 2020-01-09

Closing Date: 2020-01-30