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Postdoctoral Research Associate Robotic beamline development

Job ID 3241 Date posted 06/12/2022

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.

Organizational Overview

The Data Science and Systems Integration (DSSI) team at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) develop scientific software for experimental orchestration including controls systems, automation, networks, data management and analysis. The team is developing robotic controls using the Robotic Operating System (ROS) that interface with the Bluesky software suite for experiment planning and data acquisition.

Position Description

The selected candidate will lead the development of the critical technologies required to realize self-driving beamlines with human-AI-facility integration to accelerate scientific discovery at NSLS-II. The candidate will work with the DSSI team under the supervision of Phillip Maffettone. This position is available as a fully on-site or partial telework role.

This position is an excellent opportunity to gain expertise in open-source software engineering, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Spearhead the effort to develop a prototype self-driving beamline that integrates flexible automation, AI models, and scientific insight from experts.
  • Develop open-source software that will be integrated into the Bluesky experimental planning and data acquisition framework at NSLS-II.
  • Collaborate with scientists and software engineers to implement the best strategies and approaches for sample manipulation, data acquisition, visualization, and analysis.
  • Publish and present the results of these studies to the community.

Position Requirements

  • PhD in computer science, engineering, physical sciences, materials science, or a related discipline.
  • Proficiency in Python or C++ programming.
  • Demonstrated record of scientific excellence through publications and talks.
  • Excellent communications and interpersonal skills to be able to interact effectively with a diverse group of scientists, engineers, and technical staff.
  • Self-motivated and able to work in a team environment.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (experience in one or more of the following):

  • Robotics and automation technologies, preferably with the Robotic Operating System (ROS)
  • Dacquisition and analysis at a synchrotron light source, neutron source or other major scientific user facility.
  • Developing and deploying AI models.
  • Computer vision or positioning systems.
  • User interface development.
  • Total scattering and PDF methods.
  • Demonstrated record of collaborative software development, especially in distributed teams.
  • Familiarity with version control (Github, etc.) and contributions to open-source projects.

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.

 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).

Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Energy and Photon Sciences Directorate are committed to your success. We offer a supportive work environment and the resources necessary for you to succeed.

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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