Computational Physical Science Postdoc for Explosive Applications

Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos, New Mexico
October 08 2020
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in science and engineering on behalf of national security. The Shock and Detonation Physics group is seeking a postdoctoral candidate (U.S. 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 Multiphysics 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.

In this role, you will address hydrodynamic problems, including the application of novel, physically aware reactive flow models and high-fidelity mesoscale models. Your work will have the potential to be included in physics and chemistry journals, as well as applications in projects with national security missions. Although the position is mainly theory and modeling, you will perform hands-on experiments with energetic materials.


  • Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics or related field. (You must have completed all Ph.D. requirements by the commencement of the appointment and be within 5 years of completion of the Ph.D.)
  • Expertise in fine element analysis and software, with prior experience theory and modeling of heat transfer in systems with exo- 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, language and organizational skills and independent problem-solving
  • Demonstrated self-motivation and ability to work in a collaborative environment in shared laboratory space, including active interfacing with colleagues to push forward results into publication format, as well as modifying materials for practical applications
  • Ability to meet active DOE Q Clearance

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience using COSMOL Multiphysics Software suite for advanced problems using heat transfer, mass transfer, electromagnetic, plasma physics and chemical reactions
  • 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 (no previous experience is required—training will be provided)

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Los Alamos National Laboratory is more than a place to work. It is a catalyst for discovery, innovation and achievement. It’s one of the reasons we attract world-class talent who contribute greatly to our outstanding culture. Professional development, work/life balance and a diverse and inclusive team foster lasting career satisfaction. Our onsite cafeterias and medical, fitness and breastfeeding facilities, education assistance and generous compensation and benefits reflect our commitment to providing our people with all they need for personal and professional growth.

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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 regards 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 or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.