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Postdoctoral Researcher on sPHENIX Offline Software

Job ID 1906 Date posted 10/04/2019

Brookhaven National Laboratory is a multipurpose research institution funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Located on the center of Long Island, New York, Brookhaven Lab brings world-class facilities and expertise to the most exciting and important questions in basic and applied science—from the birth of our universe to the sustainable energy technology of tomorrow. We operate cutting-edge large-scale facilities for studies in physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, applied science, and a wide range of advanced technologies. The Laboratory's almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 4,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Our award-winning history, including seven Nobel Prizes, stretches back to 1947, and we continue to unravel mysteries from the nanoscale to the cosmic scale, and everything in between. Brookhaven is operated and managed by Brookhaven Science Associates, which was founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.

The Nuclear and Particle Physics Software (NPPS) Group in the BNL Physics Department is an international leader in scientific software development at the most challenging scales. The group collaborates on a growing number of experiments including the STAR, PHENIX and sPHENIX experiments at BNL's RHIC heavy ion collider; the future electron-ion collider (EIC); the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe; the Belle II experiment at the SuperKEKB accelerator in Japan; and the DUNE neutrino experiment at FNAL.

sPHENIX is an experiment under development at RHIC, a major upgrade of the PHENIX detector, scheduled to begin datataking in 2023. It will be equipped with with high rate, large acceptance, hadronic and electromagnetic calorimetry and precision tracking, enabling an extremely rich jet and beauty quarkonia physics program addressing fundamental questions about the nature of the strongly coupled quark-gluon plasma, discovered experimentally at RHIC to be a perfect fluid. sPHENIX has been designed so that it could serve as the foundation for a detector at a future electron ion collider (EIC) at RHIC.

BNL’s NPPS group has an opening for a postdoctoral researcher to play a central role in sPHENIX software, developing code throughout the offline software and contributing to BNL’s responsibilities to ensure proper coordination and continuity in the development and support of sPHENIX software. A further closely coupled task is to contribute to EIC software, leveraging sPHENIX software work for EIC and advancing the usability and adoption of new software by the EIC community. A primary objective of the NPPS group is to cultivate sharing of software and expertise across experiments; the position will involve working to share software and solutions both within the nuclear and high energy physics experiments in which NPPS participates, and in the wider community. The successful candidate will have experience and detailed knowledge in software development for nuclear and/or high energy physics experiments. The individual will have the opportunity to work with data intensive applications and leading edge analytics approaches such as machine learning.

The preferred candidate will have a career interest in scientific software development. The work will be based at BNL.  Domestic and some international travel is expected. The opening is available immediately, but there is flexibility in the start date for highly qualified candidates. This is a two-year term position.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Play central roles in sPHENIX offline software development
  • Leverage sPHENIX software and experience to make contributions to EIC software
  • Contribute to common software efforts across experiments

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • PhD in nuclear physics, particle physics or a related discipline
  • Several years of experience in offline, online and/or analysis software development for nuclear and/or high energy physics experiments
  • Demonstrated excellent programming skills in C++
  • Experience and familiarity with SQL databases
  • Familiarity with software engineering practices that include testing, documentation, code management system and release procedures
  • Excellent writing, interpersonal communication, and analytical skills

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Experience in nuclear and/or high energy physics analysis
  • Experience in nuclear and/or high energy physics detector design, performance studies and analysis
  • Experience in detector modelling and simulation, e.g. with Geant4
  • Demonstrated experience with scripting languages (e.g. perl, Python)
  • Experience with distributed computing
  • Experience with parallel computing software (e.g. MPI, OpenMP, or CUDA) and HPCs
  • Willingness to explore application of Machine Learning techniques and toolkits (e.g. Tensorflow, PyTorch) in nuclear physics software
  • Experience with program development (e.g., writing proposals)
  • Experience in working on collaborative software projects


  • Occasional travel, domestic and sometimes foreign, is required.
  • 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 Plans
  • Dental Plans
  • Vacation
  • Holidays
  • Life Insurance
  • 401(k) Plan
  • Swimming Pool, Weight Room, Tennis Courts, and many other employee perks and benefits

We invite you to consider Brookhaven National Laboratory for employment. To be considered for this position, please apply online at BNL Careers and enter the job title into the Keyword Search.

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is an equal opportunity employer 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.

*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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