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Accelerator Physics Research Associate

Job ID JR101085 Date posted 04/05/2024


The mission of the Collider-Accelerator Department (C-AD) is to operate, maintain, improve, and upgrade the suite of electron, proton, and heavy ion accelerators used to carry out a program of accelerator-based experiments at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). To support this program, the C-AD must design, fabricate, assemble, test, install, and operate unique research equipment to generate, transport, transfer, accelerate, focus, track, collide, and absorb high intensity particle beams up to energies of 250 GeV.  This includes a combination of custom designed and built parts and vendor produced components developed by a collaboration of the C-AD scientific, engineering, and technical staff. The C-AD supports an international user community of over 1,500 scientists. The C-AD performs all these functions in an environmentally-responsible and safe manner, under a rigorous conduct of operations approach.


The Collider-Accelerator Department has an opening for a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will use precision simulations and machine learning to improve the beam quality and accelerator performance for polarized protons and polarized helions in RHIC accelerator chain and in the Electron Ion Collider (EIC).  In this role, you will apply similar techniques to beam for the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) and be part of a team that already uses machine learning to improve online accelerator models and that develops correction algorithms for accelerator operations.  This role has a high level of interaction with an international and multicultural scientific community.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Developing physics models of accelerators and beams using standard simulation tools, including polarization and resonant extraction

  • Adaptation of modern Machine Learning techniques to accelerator modeling and operation

  • Preparing, performing, and reporting on beam experiments

  • Use of accelerator modeling, Machine Learning, and beam experiments to establish digital twins of the hadron-injector chain, including NSRL and the AGS

  • Understanding polarized hadron beams and their acceleration in RHIC’s accelerator chain, both theoretically and experimentally

  • Understanding the slow extraction system and high-quality beam extraction methods used to prepare the beams for NSRL, both theoretically and experimentally

  • Working with the control systems at C-AD and analysis of accelerator data

  • Learning how to measure and correct the beam quality for different systems and using machine learning to develop virtual diagnostics

  • Taking a leadership role in the modeling, verification, and improved performance of the accelerator subsystems at C-AD

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ph.D. in Accelerator Physics, Physics, or related area

  • Experience with accelerator and beam simulation and modeling tools such as MADX and Bmad

  • Knowledge & Experience with machine learning methods and tools

  • Knowledge & Experience in statistical data analysis

  • Demonstrated interpersonal communication skills

  • A record of working successfully with other scientists and engineers

  • Research experience demonstrated through publications and/or presentations

  • Demonstrated understanding of basic accelerator physics principles for beamlines, synchrotrons, and storage rings, including the theory of polarized beams

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of slow extraction theory and practice

  • Knowledge & Experience with digital twins of particle accelerators

  • Experience working in a physics/particle accelerator research environment

  • Experience performing beam experiments at a particle accelerator

  • Experience simulating synchrotrons using standard modeling tools (e.g., MADX, Bmad)

  • Knowledge of accelerator instrumentation

  • Experience working in UNIX/Linux environments

  • Knowledge of magnet design and methods of measuring magnetic fields


  • Brookhaven Laboratory is committed to providing fair, equitable and competitive compensation. The full salary range for this position is $70200 - $116200 / year. Salary offers will be commensurate with the final candidate’s qualification, education and experience and considered with the internal peer group.


  • This is a fully onsite position located at BNL

  • This position is for a 2-year research project

  • BNL policy requires that after obtaining a PhD, eligible candidates for research associate appointments may not exceed a combined total of 5 years of relevant work experience as a post-doc and/or in an R&D position, excluding time associated with family planning, military service, illness or other life-changing events

  • Candidates must have received a Ph.D. in Accelerator Physics, Physics, or related area and/or have completed all Ph.D. requirements by the commencement of employment.

Brookhaven employees are subject to restrictions related to participation in Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs, as defined and detailed in United States Department of Energy Order 486.1A. You will be asked to disclose any such participation at the time of hire for review by Brookhaven. The full text of the Order may be found at:

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

Brookhaven Science Associates is an equal opportunity employer that values inclusion and diversity at our Lab. We are committed to ensuring that all qualified applicants receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, status as a veteran, disability or any other federal, state or local protected class. BSA takes affirmative action in support of its policy and to advance in employment individuals who are minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities. We ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

*VEVRAA Federal Contractor

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