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: 310703

Directorate: Energy and Environment

Division: Nuclear Sciences

Group: Reactor Materials and Mechanical Design

Job Description

The Materials Dynamics Team within the Reactor Materials and Mechanical Design Group is seeking a postdoctoral associate to perform simulation and modeling research to study radiation damage in advanced oxide-dispersion-strengthened reduced activation ferritic/martensitic steels for fusion energy applications. Energetic neutrons produced from the fusion plasma cause atomic displacement damage and nuclear transmutation in materials. Solid transmutation products as well as helium and hydrogen gases are generated in the material. The aim of this research is to provide fundamental understanding of microstructural changes in steels under fusion-relevant neutron irradiation conditions. The overarching objectives are 1) understanding the accumulation behavior of helium and displacement damage in steels, since the formation of large helium bubbles may promote void swelling and degrade the mechanical property of the materials and 2) understanding the effect of helium and displacement damage on the precipitation behavior of secondary phases, e.g. alpha prime, and on the stability of the oxide nanoparticles.

The selected candidate will support federally funded research programs in Fusion Materials at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Initial assignments include performing density-functional-theory (DFT) calculations to study the migration of various defect species and material constituents and the interaction among them. Subsequent assignments may include modeling of microstructure evolution using large-scale simulation methods. Candidates with experience in machine-learned interatomic potential development, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, and/or mesoscale methods such as kinetic Monte Carlo, Cluster Dynamics, and Quasi-Continuum are also encouraged to apply. The associate is expected to be able to work independently, publish scientific findings in high-impact peer-reviewed journals as well as present work at professional conferences.

The position is immediately available for 12 to 24 months, with the potential for an additional 12 months or transition to a permanent position, dependent upon available funding and sustained performance.

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

Must have experience in DFT and/or MD simulations.

Doctoral degree in Materials Science, Condensed Matter Physics, or related field. 3.75 GPA or higher is preferred

A strong publication and presentation record.

Experience in computer programming, interatomic potential development, machine learning, cluster dynamics, and quasi-continuum method

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 Mat. & Mech. Design

Opening Date: 2020-03-25

Closing Date: 2020-04-15