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: 311522

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 develop machine-learning interatomic potentials (MLPs) to study helium and hydrogen retention in nano-structured ferritic alloys (NFAs). In particular to develop Fe-(Y-Ti-O)-He-H MLPs for simulating He and H accumulation in Y-Ti-O nanoclusters embedded in bcc Fe matrix. The simulation will then be used to extract He and H retention model as a function of cluster size and stoichiometry. This effort is part of the long-term modeling research to develop predictive model of radiation damage in NFAs as structural materials for fusion energy applications. Energetic neutrons produced from fusion plasma cause atomic displacement damage, and nuclear transmutation producing solid transmutation products as well as helium and hydrogen gases. In addition, radioactive tritium generated in the blanket may permeate to the structural materials and trapped at the nano-structured, raising a safety concern. The overarching objectives are 1) understanding the accumulation behavior of helium and displacement damage, since the formation of large helium bubbles may promote void swelling and degrade the mechanical property of the materials, 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, and 3) understanding the retention of H isotopes.

Must have experience in machine learning potential development.

The selected candidate will support federally funded research programs in Fusion Materials at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Candidates with experience in machine-learned interatomic potential development are 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 with an initial assignment for 12 months, and can be extended up to 36 months or transitioned 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

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

A strong publication and presentation record.

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 having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Post-Graduates and Post-Docs

Group: Reactor Mat. & Mech. Design

Opening Date: 2021-03-03

Closing Date: 2021-04-17