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Postdoctoral Research Associate for Advanced Laser and Particle Accelerator Research

Job ID 3311 Date posted 08/01/2022

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. BSA salutes our veterans and active military members with careers that leverage the skills and unique experience they gained while serving our country. Our organization fully supports service members transitioning from active duty to civilian life and pledge’s our commitment to actively hire veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Military personnel who have been formally trained or have relevant experience obtained while in service may meet educational requirements and are encouraged to apply for job opportunities at BSA.

Organizational Overview

The Accelerator Test Facility (ATF) is the flagship user facility for DOE’s Accelerator Stewardship Program and serves as a focal point for the laboratory’s advanced Accelerator Science and Technology efforts.  The facility supports fundamental accelerator and laser science research as well as advanced technology development in these areas. The ATF currently provides three major capabilities for users:  a high brightness electron linear accelerator with associated user beamlines; a suite of near infrared (NIR) and long wave infrared (LWIR) lasers, anchored by the ATF’s state-of-the-art multi-terawatt CO2 laser operating at 9.2 microns; and a developmental Ultrafast Electron Diffraction (UED) facility for materials science research.  A sophisticated suite of diagnostics is available for each of these capabilities. The ATF’s high brightness electron beam and laser capabilities can be used individually or in combination – a unique feature of the ATF’s scientific reach. The ATF team is aggressively pursuing advances in each of these capabilities to ensure continued ATF leadership in advanced accelerator and laser R&D. 

The ATF is part of Brookhaven’s Advanced Technology Research Office (ATRO) which consolidates core staff, research programs, and infrastructure in accelerator, detector, and related technologies to partner with industry and serve as an incubator for cross-cutting initiatives to advance U.S. Department of Energy science, energy, and security missions. 

Position Description

The ATF has an opening for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to participate in the research effort to advance long-wave infrared (LWIR) laser capabilities. In particular, the successful candidate will engage in the study of nonlinear materials, development of pulse compression methods, and the design of systems to generate and deliver sub-picosecond, multi-Terawatt, high quality LWIR laser beams.  These laser pulses in conjunction with the high-quality linac-driven electron beam at ATF will enable novel research into next-generation methods for producing particle and intense x-ray radiation in addition to the exploration of laser-plasma interaction (LPI) in the novel long-wave infrared regime. The highlights of this research program include high-gradient acceleration of electrons, ions, and positrons in plasma and photonic structures, generation of bright x-ray radiation via inverse Compton scattering, and basic research of LPI phenomena such as backwards Raman amplification and plasma instabilities. The successful candidate will also support users in their experiments at the facility. The appointment will initially be for 2 years with a possibility for extension to a 3rd year. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Execute a science and technology research program with ATF scientists to develop ultra-fast LWIR laser capabilities for advanced accelerator and laser applications 
  • Operate the ATF’s laser systems to support facility users in their research programs
  • Contribute to ongoing upgrades of the ATF’s laser systems 
  • Support ATF users in both the scientific and technical aspects of their experiments 
  • Give presentations and report ongoing work
  • Present technical papers at conferences and publish research results in scientific journals

Position Requirements

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ph.D. degree in Physics, Optics, Electrical Engineering, or equivalent field with a concentration in laser physics or laser applications 
  • Experience working with high energy, ultrafast laser systems 
  • Experience working in an experimental/laboratory environment 
  • Knowledge of one or more programming languages for physics simulations and data analysis
  • Ability to perform detailed data analysis and modelling of the physical processes being studied

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Research experience with nonlinear materials and nonlinear optics applications
  • Working knowledge of mid-wave and/or long-wave infrared laser technology
  • Familiarity with optics modeling packages such as Zemax OpticStudio and SNLO 
  • Research experience in laser performance, laser-plasma interactions, laser-material interactions and/or particle beam physic
  • Working knowledge of particle accelerators and familiarity with emerging particle acceleration techniques and technologie
  • General knowledge of instrumentation and controls for lasers and particle beam
  • Working knowledge of the Python programming language 

Other Information:

  • BNL policy requires that after obtaining their 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.
  • The initial two-year term appointment is subject to renewal contingent on performance and funding

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, Tennis, Softball, Table Tennis)

Brookhaven Science Associates requires proof of a COVID-19 vaccination for all employees. Proof of full vaccination as recognized by the CDC and/or WHO, inclusive of the two-week waiting period, is required at the start of your employment.

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 486.1A. 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:

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