Los Alamos National Laboratory Veterans Jobs

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Job Information

Los Alamos National Laboratory Computational Physical Science Postdoc for Explosive Applications in Los Alamos, New Mexico

What You Will Do

The Shock and Detonation Physics group is seeking a postdoctoral candidate (US Citizenship REQUIRED) to perform research related to the physics and chemistry of energetic material thermal ignition, thermal decomposition and melting, and shock initiation. The successful candidate will develop and employ high-fidelity finite-element models using the COMSOL Multi-physics software suite and the Los Alamos National Laboratory High-Performance Computing resources for reactive flow hydrodynamic problems. The COMSOL models will incorporate heat transfer effects, electromagnetic energy interactions, plasma physics and multi-step chemical kinetics. The hydrodynamic problems will include the application of novel, physically-aware reactive flow models and high-fidelity mesoscale models. This work has potential for both publications in physics and chemistry journals as well as applications in projects with national security missions. Although the position is mainly theory and modeling, the candidate will perform hands-on experiments with energetic materials.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

  • Expertise in finite element analysis and software, with prior experience theory and modeling of heat transfer in systems with exo- and/or endothermic chemical reactions.

  • Experience with high-performance computing systems/clusters, Python programming environment, and low-level computer command-line interfaces such as Unix and shell scripts.

  • Demonstrated communication and language skills, as evidenced by publications and the cover letter, demonstrated independent problem solving, and excellent organizational skills.

  • Highly self-motivated, with a demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative environment in shared laboratory space. This includes active interfacing with colleagues (internal and external) to push forward results into publication format as well as modifying materials for practical applications.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience using the COMSOL Multiphysics software suite for advanced problems using heat transfer, mass transfer, electromagnetic, plasma physics, chemical reactions.

  • Experience with computational hydrodynamic reactive flow problems using supercomputers or other high-performance computing resources, including clusters.

  • Hands-on experience and interest in energetic materials.

  • Experience working in an experimental laboratory.

  • Willingness to handle sensitive high explosive materials in a rigorous safety environment. However, no previous high explosive handling experience is required – training will be provided.

Education Required: A PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics, or related field is required. The candidate must have completed all Ph.D. requirements by commencement of the appointment and be within 5 years of completion of the Ph.D.

Note to Applicants:

Interested applicants are required to apply online and upload a cover letter and resume. The cover letter must address the candidate experience and how it applies to the opening.

Where You Will Work

Located in beautiful northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security.

Dynamic Experiments (M) Division is responsible for ongoing and expanding explosive science and shock physics efforts. We support National Security through the invention and application of energetic materials and application of our dynamic compression science capability for understanding dynamic material response to address conventional, nuclear, and homeland defense needs. The Division is in charge of the execution of two significant upcoming capability investments: the Energetic Materials Characterization Facility (EMCF) and the Dynamic Equation of State (DEOS) facility for gas gun collocation.

M-9, the Shock and Detonation Physics Group, serves the Laboratory and nation by providing the knowledge base in precision data acquisition, advanced diagnostics, and high-fidelity modelsfor dynamic properties of energetic and inert materials to Los Alamos National Laboratory and the nation.

The candidate will work in close collaboration with the Q-5 High Explosives Science and Technology Group. Q-5 serves the Laboratory and the Nation providing the knowledge base in High Explosives (HE) for the Nuclear Weapons Program and other critical national security areas. The Group's capabilities include chemical synthesis of new explosives and energetic and inert materials; preparation of composite energetic materials; reactive materials research; complete analytical and physical characterization services; small-scale safety, sensitivity, and performance testing of energetic materials; and applied problem solving. Additional capabilities include expertise in the materials science and physics of energetic materials, and high explosive engineering responsibility for the cradle to grave care of the explosives and energetic materials developed and used by Los Alamos. Q-5 is also responsible for engineering and manufacturing precision high explosives and mock components for a diverse R&D customer base to meet present and future national security needs in a safe, secure and efficient manner.

Our generous benefits package includes:

§ PPO or High Deductible medical insurance with the same large nationwide network

§ Dental and vision insurance

§ Free basic life and disability insurance

§ Paid maternity and parental leave

§ Award-winning 401(k) (6% matching plus 3.5% annually)

§ Learning opportunities and tuition assistance

§ Flexible schedules and time off (paid sick, vacation, and holidays)

§ Onsite gyms and wellness programs

§ Extensive relocation packages (outside a 50 mile radius)

Additional Details

Q Clearance: Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements

  • for access to classified matter.

  • Eligibility requirements: To obtain a clearance, an individual must be at least 18 years of age; U.S. citizenship is required except in very limited circumstances. SeeDOE Order 472.2for additional information.

New-Employment Drug Test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a new-employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing.

Candidates may be considered for a Director's Postdoc Fellowship and outstanding candidates may be considered for the prestigious Richard P. Feynman, Darleane Christian Hoffman, J. Robert Oppenheimer, or Frederick Reines Distinguished Postdoc Fellowships.

For more information about the Postdoc Program, go to https://www.lanl.gov/careers/career-options/postdoctoral-research/index.php .

Equal Opportunity: Los Alamos National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. All employment practices are based on qualification and merit, without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or preference, marital status or spousal affiliation, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, pregnancy, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or citizenship within the limits imposed by federal laws and regulations. The Laboratory is also committed to making our workplace accessible to individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, for individuals to participate in the application and hiring process. To request such an accommodation, please send an email to applyhelp@lanl.gov or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.

Appointment Type



Contact Details
Contact Name
Work Telephone
Vacancy Name: IRC81896
Organization Name Q-5/High Explosives Science and Technology
Minimum Salary
Maximum Salary
Req ID: IRC81896
Category: Postdoc