Astrobiological Molecular Dynamics Modeling - Postdoctoral Researcher

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, California
Nov 12, 2020
Dec 12, 2020
Field of specialization
Work Function
Job Type
Full time

Astrobiological Molecular Dynamics Modeling - Postdoctoral Researcher

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where we apply science and technology to make the world a safer place; now one of 2020 Best Places to Work by Glassdoor!

We have an opening for a Postdoctoral Researcher in the area of reactive molecular dynamics modeling of astrobiological shock synthesis, funded through the NASA Exobiology program. The primary research thrust of this position will require molecular modeling designed to identify and understand chemical reaction mechanisms of organic phosphorylation in mineral mixtures due to impacts on early Earth or other icy bodies. You will help elucidate the necessary thermodynamic and chemical conditions for the prebiotic formation of phosphate species during impact events from comets and asteroids. The technical goals of this work are to create computational models that will allow for the study of long time-scale reaction dynamics of these potentially life building materials under high pressures and temperatures. This position is in the Materials Dynamics and Kinetics research group of the Materials Science Division.

Essential Duties
- Develop molecular dynamics models and simulations of shock compressed phosphorus-containing materials.
- Contribute to the conception, design, and execution of research to related to the study of materials under extreme thermodynamic conditions.
- Pursue independent but complementary research interests and interact with a broad spectrum of scientists internally and externally to the Laboratory.
- Collaborate with scientists in a multidisciplinary team environment to accomplish research goals.
- Document research; publish papers in peer-reviewed journals, and present results within the DOE community and at conferences.
- Perform other duties as assigned. Qualifications
- PhD in Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, or related field.
- Experience in first-principles simulation techniques of condensed phases.
- Experience in programming in C/C++, Fortran, or an equivalent high-level language.
- Ability to develop independent research projects through publication of peer-reviewed literature.
- Proficient verbal and written communication skills as reflected in effective presentations at seminars, meetings and/or teaching lectures.
- Initiative and interpersonal skills with desire and ability to work in a collaborative, multidisciplinary team environment. Desired Qualifications
-Knowledge of a scripting language such as Perl or Python.
-Familiarity with free energy calculation methods.

Note: This is a two year Postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of extension to a maximum of three years. Eligible candidates are those who have been awarded a PhD at time of hire date.

About Us

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), located in the San Francisco Bay Area (East Bay), is a premier applied science laboratory that is part of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) within the Department of Energy (DOE). LLNL's mission is strengthening national security by developing and applying cutting-edge science, technology, and engineering that respond with vision, quality, integrity, and technical excellence to scientific issues of national importance. The Laboratory has a current annual budget of about $2.3 billion, employing approximately 6,900 employees.

LLNL is an affirmative action/ equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, protected veteran status, age, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by law.

For full application instructions and position description, visit

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