James Clerk Maxwell Fellowship

Sandia National Laboratories

Albuquerque, NM

ID: 7075884 (Ref.No. 675394)
Posted: March 10, 2021
Application Deadline: May 1, 2021

Job Description

What Your Job Will Be Like
Do you want to perform innovative research impacting radiation, electrical and high energy density sciences? Are you interested in developing transformational pulsed power capabilities at one of the world’s premier pulsed power facilities? Are you passionate about research that impacts a broad range of problems of national importance? If so, you could be the first Maxwell Fellow at Sandia to join our dynamic team!
We are now accepting applications for the Sandia Maxwell Fellowship, named after James Clerk Maxwell, who formulated the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation that is core to the science of pulsed power, radiation, electrical and high energy density sciences. This is a prestigious research fellowship with funding from Sandia’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program. As a Sandia Maxwell Fellow, you will:
• Address complex problems in support of broad-ranging national security areas,
• Collaborate with highly motivated and talented researchers on challenging research questions using state-of-the-art resources, and
• Present your work at leading publication and conference venues.
We seek exceptional and highly motivated new Ph.D. scientists and engineers with a background and interest in the broadly defined domains of pulsed power physics and engineering and of radiation, electrical, and high energy density sciences. LDRD funding will be provided by the Assured Survivability and Agility with Pulsed Power (ASAP) Mission Campaign. The primary goal of ASAP is to develop pulsed power technologies that are needed for a next generation pulsed power facility with ten times the energy of Sandia’s Z Machine and enable new science capabilities for assessing survivability of electronics and other components in extreme radiation environments. Thus we are particularly interested in applicants excited by the prospect of developing models, simulations, components, diagnostics, novel system designs, or entirely new technologies that will be transformational for pulsed power.
Specific areas that are currently of interest to ASAP include, but are not limited to:
• Pulsed Power Switches: Multi-MV triggered and self-breaking switches with lower jitter, better reliability, and don’t employ strong greenhouse gases such as SF6.
• Advanced diagnostics for extreme environments: Radiation, electrical, and optical diagnostics that are spatially and temporally resolved
• Modeling and simulation: In the context of ultra-high current density electrical power delivery with melting conductors, we are interested in self-consistent multi-scale plasma physics modeling advances to bridge gaps between kinetic and fluid regimes. We are also particularly interested in validation of these physics models and other simulation approaches.
• Novel diagnostics, theory and integrated models for thermal desorption, melt, and plasma formation in conductors with terawatt scale heating.
• Advancement of our understanding in the engineering response of materials and electronics in harsh environments including neutrons, X-rays, kinetic debris, and electromagnetic fields
• Novel concepts, material advances, and engineering approaches for line replaceable units in pulsed power systems to increase shot rate, flexibility & agility
• Novel power flow designs and concepts for debris mitigation and increased target standoff in large scale fast pulsed power systems
The selected Fellow will receive a one-year appointment with the option for a second and possibly a third year, and includes a highly competitive salary, moving expenses and a generous professional travel allowance.
You will be expected to pursue a combination of both self-directed research in your topical area and integration with existing Sandia R&D projects, under the guidance of Sandia staff mentors. A proposal on your research plan will be requested as part of the application process. You are expected to publish the results of your work in leading journals and present your work at top-tier conferences.
Sandia National Laboratories is committed to nurturing a culture compatible with a broad group of people and perspectives. Consistent with this commitment, we seek applicants from diverse backgrounds and we foster an inclusive research community.
Submit a single PDF file containing your cover letter, CV, and a 3-5 page research proposal by April 30, 2021 to this posting. Have three letters of recommendation submitted to MaxwellFellowship@sandia.gov with "2021 Maxwell Fellowship" as the subject line. Questions about the Maxwell Fellowship can be addressed to this same email account.
For more information, please visit:
Qualifications We Require
• You have, or are pursuing, a Ph.D. in a field relevant to pulsed power or to its use in radiation, electrical, and high energy density sciences, conferred within the past three years, or anticipated completion of Ph.D. requirements by commencement of appointment
• Your background includes the appropriate research experience, as evidenced by a strong record of research publications and presentations
• Development and submission of a compelling research proposal aligning with the objectives of the ASAP Mission Campaign described above
• No previous postdoctoral appointments at a national laboratory
• Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q security clearance
Qualifications We Desire
Ideally, your background would also include: (not all areas are expected of every candidate)
• Proven ability to advance the state-of-the-art in pulsed power science and technology
• Experience in pulsed power, radiation, electrical and/or high energy density sciences
• Excellent written and oral communication skills
• Ability to work in a dynamic environment and demonstrated interest and/or experience in service to the nation
• Ability to conduct self-directed research
• Ability to work in collaborative, interdisciplinary research environments on problems comprising diverse application domains
• Proven research community leadership through activities such as participation in student or professional organizations, outreach activities, etc.
• Related professional experience such as internships in industry or at other national labs, participation in visiting research programs, etc.
• A commitment to fostering an inclusive culture, as demonstrated in your application materials
• International recognition for your research with one or more high-impact publications
• Ability to travel for business and research purposes
About Our Team
One of the country's largest research facilities, Sandia employs over 13,000 people in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Livermore, California, in an exciting and highly collaborative multidisciplinary work environment. Our mission areas include nuclear weapons, energy, nonproliferation, defense, infrastructure, homeland security, counterterrorism, and cybersecurity. We serve as stewards of important capabilities for the nation in radiation, electrical and high energy sciences and we have some of the world’s most powerful pulsed power facilities including Z, HERMES III and Saturn (see Sandia National Laboratories: Pulsed-Power Science and Technology).
About Sandia
Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs:
• Challenging work with amazing impact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide
• Extraordinary co-workers
• Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world
• Career advancement and enrichment opportunities
• Flexible work arrangements for many positions include; 9/80 (work 80 hours every two weeks with every other Friday off) and 4/10 (work 4 ten-hour days each week) compressed workweeks, part-time work and telecommuting (a mix of onsite work and working from home)
• Generous vacations, strong medical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance*
World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers. Learn more about Sandia at: http://www.sandia.gov
*These benefits vary by job classification.
Security Clearance
Sandia is required by DOE to conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Applicants for employment need to be able to obtain and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance, which requires U.S. citizenship. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted.
Applicants offered employment with Sandia are subject to a federal background investigation to meet the requirements for access to classified information or matter if the duties of the position require a DOE security clearance. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause a clearance to be denied or terminated by DOE, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status.


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