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Sandia National Laboratories Postdoctoral Appointee in Computational Geosciences in Albuquerque, New Mexico


This postdoctoral position is a temporary position for up to one year, which may be renewed at Sandia's discretion up to five additional years. The PhD must have been conferred within five years prior to employment.

Individuals in postdoctoral positions may bid on regular Sandia positions as internal candidates, and in some cases may be converted to regular career positions during their term if warranted by ongoing operational needs, continuing availability of funds, and satisfactory job performance.


Are you passionate about your work and dream of utilizing state-of-the-art facilities to explore solutions? Do you want to join a dynamic team that solves significant issues for our nation’s security?

The Applied Systems Analysis and Research team (8844) is seeking a postdoctoral researcher interested in unique numerical simulations of physical experiments to join our multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers who are passionate about their work. We are beginning a multi-year field experiment collaboration between Sandia, Los Alamos, and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories. The field experiment will involve geophysical surveys and brine/gas sample data.

On any given day, you will:

  • Develop innovative solutions for numerical simulation of the multi-scale, multi-physics subsurface processes related to deep geologic disposal of nuclear waste.
  • Implement increasingly realistic and complex numerical models. The data will include brine inflow, temperature distribution, chemical and isotopic data and mechanical response of geologic salt deposits while heating.
  • Collaborate with an international team on the DECOVALEX (DEvelopment of COupled models and their VALidation against EXperiments) salt heater test task (US national labs, collaborating with German, Dutch, and UK teams), with likely international travel to spring/fall DECOVALEX team meetings (2020-2023).


You have the following:

  • PhD in Geoscience, Geoscience Engineering, applied mathematics, numerical modeling, or a related engineering or science discipline
  • Experience conducting research and development;
  • Numerical simulation/modeling experience;
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE L security clearance.


You also have one, or more, of the following:

  • Strong communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to contribute to or lead the preparation of peer-reviewed publications;
  • Ability to team in an interdisciplinary R&D environment and work in an environment with changing priorities;
  • A background in solving practical problems in science and engineering that involve encounters with real world data;
  • Experience with numerical simulation of flow in porous media using simulators such as PFLOTRAN, FEHM, TOUGH, STOMP, FLAC, etc.;
  • Experience with scientific programming in a Linux or Unix environment (e.g., C, C++, Fortran 2003, Python scripting);
  • Ability to integrate information, datasets, and methods from multiple disciplines such as geohydrology, geochemistry, geomechanics, statistics and numerical methods.

Department Description:

The Applied Systems Analysis and Research Department develops a wide range of software and engineering solutions to ensure the safe deep geologic disposal of commercial spent nuclear fuel and US DOE legacy nuclear wastes. We develop high performance computing, quality-assured software for probabilistic performance assessment of deep geologic disposal systems, including tools for simulation of the coupled processes affecting radionuclide release and transport in the subsurface, sampling-based uncertainty and sensitivity analysis, and automated run-control. We conduct experiments at an underground research laboratory in bedded salt to characterize features and investigate processes affecting repository performance; and partner with adjacent departments and colleagues throughout the national lab complex to integrate mechanistic models of the physical and chemical processes affecting engineered and natural barrier systems into total system performance assessments of generic repositories in a variety of host rock environments.

About Sandia:

Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs:

  • Challenging work withamazingimpact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide
  • Extraordinary co-workers
  • Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world
  • Career advancement and enrichment opportunities
  • Flexible schedules, generous vacations,strongmedical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance*

World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers. Learn more about Sandia at:

*These benefits vary by job classification.

Security Clearance:

Position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) L-level security clearance.

Sandia is required by DOE to conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Applicants for employment must be able to obtain and maintain a DOE L-level security clearance, which requires U.S. citizenship. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted.

Applicants offered employment with Sandia are subject to a federal background investigation to meet the requirements for access to classified information or matter if the duties of the position require a DOE security clearance. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause a clearance to be denied or terminated by the DOE, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.

EEO Statement:

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status.