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Postdoctoral Res Assoc.

Job ID 2378 Date posted 11/27/2020

Brookhaven National Laboratory ( delivers discovery science and transformative technology to power and secure the nation’s future. Brookhaven Lab is a multidisciplinary laboratory with seven Nobel Prize-winning discoveries, 37 R&D 100 Awards, and more than 70 years of pioneering research. The Lab is primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science. Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA) operates and manages the Laboratory for DOE. BSA is a partnership between Battelle and The Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University.

Organizational Overview

The mission of the Chemistry Division is to conduct basic and applied chemical research with an emphasis on new energy conversion pathways. Primary research subjects include catalysis and electrocatalysis for sustainable fuel synthesis and use, solar energy conversion to fuels, fundamental gas and condensed phase molecular dynamics, radiation chemistry, and advanced chemical separations for energy applications. 

Position Description

The Chemistry Division has an opening for a research associate position in computational catalysis within the Catalysis group. The group focuses on heterogeneous catalysis for fuel synthesis and conversion by elucidating catalytic properties of surfaces, films, nanostructures and powder catalysts. The group is a leader in coordinated theoretical modeling and in situ experimental studies, including recent high impact studies in conversion of methane and carbon dioxide, and methanol synthesis. Research pursues microscopic understanding of reaction mechanisms and active sites for complex catalysis and enables the discovery of advanced catalysts. The theoretical studies for this position involve understanding of catalytic activity/selectivity, often in close coordination with experimental observations, and providing guidance for rational catalyst optimization. The work will be under co-supervision of Dr. Ping Liu and Dr. Jingguang Chen.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Analysis on the geometries and catalytic behaviors of unsupported and supported nanostructures under reaction conditions, e.g. activation of carbon dioxide and light alkanes
  • Identification of reaction mechanism and active sites
  • Extraction of design principles and optimization of catalysts, in strong interaction with the experimental scientists

Position Requirements

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • PhD degree in physics, physical chemistry, chemical engineering or closely related fields
  • Strong background in heterogeneous catalysis
  • Experience in applying electronic structure theory, Transition State Theory (TST) and microkinetic modeling or Kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) methods in catalysis

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Electronic structure simulations of metal/metal compound surfaces and nanostructures 
  • Extraction of design principles using methods, e.g. sensitivity analysis, or machine-learning based tools
  • Collaboration with experimental groups

BNL policy requires that research associate appointments be made to individuals who have received their doctorate within the past five years.

At Brookhaven National Laboratory we believe that a comprehensive employee benefits program is an important and meaningful part of the compensation employees receive. Our benefits program includes, but is not limited to:

  • Medical, Dental, and Vision Care Plans
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Paid Time-off and Leave Programs (vacation, holidays, sick leave, paid parental leave)
  • 401(k) Plan
  • Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Tuition Assistance, Training and Professional Development Programs
  • Employee Fitness/Wellness & Recreation:  Gym/Basketball Courts, Weight Room, Fitness Classes, Indoor Pool, Tennis Courts, Sports Clubs/Activities (Basketball, Ping Pong, Softball, Tennis)

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but interested candidates are encouraged to apply prior to

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) 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.

BNL 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

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 486.1. 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:

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