Sandia National Laboratories Postdoctoral Appointee - Atomistic and Molecular Scale Modeling of Materials in Livermore, California


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.


The Mechanics of Materialsteam is looking to hire a Postdoctoral Appointee to focus on technical areas in developing interatomic potentials and applying interatomic potentials in atomistic simulations (e.g., molecular dynamics, kinetic Monte Carlo) to study problems such as hydrogen embrittlement in various metallic systems, nucleation and growth mechanisms of helium bubbles, hydrogen storage kinetics of hydrogen storage materials, microstructure evolution and aging of mechanical properties of structural materials. Our work strongly couples both experimental and theoretical approaches to provide innovative and robust solutions. The postdoc will collaborate with Sandia staff on challenging problems.


You have the following:

  • Ph.D. in Material Science, Physics, Chemistry, Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering, or related discipline;
  • Demonstrated technical background in molecular scale modeling and computational solid mechanics;
  • Experience with modeling and simulation tools; ability to assess tool capabilities and limitations when selecting and utilizing tools to perform simulations;
  • Proficiency in modern programming languages such as C++, FORTRAN, and Python;
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a US DOE Q level security clearance.


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

  • Experience with atomistic simulation codes (e.g., LAMMPS), and visualization software (e.g., OVITO, VMD);
  • Familiarity with UNIX/Linux operating systems and code development (e.g. C++, Python);
  • Experience with optimization and calibration of potential parameters (e.g., Mathematica, Dakota);
  • Evidence of relevant and exceptional research achievements as demonstrated in the form of technical publications, presentations, software tools, and/or knowledge of applications;
  • Skills at utilizing high-performing computing resources to efficiently manage and perform large-scale simulations;
  • Ability to communicate results effectively in oral and written forms;
  • Ability to work in a collaborative team environment.

Department Description:

The Mechanics of Materials Department performs work primarily in experimental and computational solid mechanics to characterize and predict the mechanical behavior of engineering materials. We specifically target increased understanding of the phenomenology of plasticity, fracture and failure across broad ranges of temperature, strain rate, and environmental conditions. Our numerical investigations span length and time scales from atomistic simulations of fundamental material behavior to continuum simulations of component response. We also develop the necessary numerical methodologies for our material models to be used in large-scale simulations on Sandia’s high-performance and exascale computing resources. Our experimental work covers a broad spectrum from discovery to characterization to model validation. We have experimental facilities with capabilities to investigate material behavior at nanometer to meter length scales, ambient and elevated temperatures, and quasistatic to dynamic rates. The combination of computational and experimental researchers in our department fosters a unique environment allowing direct and meaningful collaboration between the disciplines. Motivated by experimental observations, we develop mathematical models to simulate material responses under various loading and environmental conditions. Conversely, observations of simulated material behavior identifies gaps in knowledge that drive the development and execution of new experimental techniques and investigations. We support the various missions of the laboratory by continuously advancing the state-of-the-art in assessing and predicting material performance in high-consequence applications.

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) granted Q-level security clearance.

Sandia is required by DOE directive to conduct a pre-employment drug testing, and a pre-employment background review that includes personal reference checks, law enforcement record and credit checks, and employment and education verifications. Applicants for employment must be able to obtain and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance, which requires U.S. citizenship.

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, rendering the inability to perform the duties assigned and resulting in 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.