1+ months

Postdoctoral Appointee - Thin Film Mechanics and Tribology

Albuquerque, NM 87102

Posting Duration:

This posting will be open for application submissions for a minimum of seven (7) calendar days, including the ‘posting date’. Sandia reserves the right to extend the posting date at any time.

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate:

Sandia demonstrates its commitment to public safety in the national interest by requiring that all new hires be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious accommodation before commencing employment. The requirement also applies to those who are telecommuting and working virtually.

Any concerns about the ability to meet this requirement should be directed to HR Solutions at (505) 284-4700.

What Your Job Will Be Like:

We are seeking a passionate and motivated postdoctoral appointee to conduct innovative research on high-throughput characterization and testing of materials! You will join a vibrant team of researchers focused on developing creative, advanced materials characterization solutions through inter-disciplinary research that couples materials science, high-throughput materials testing and characterization, and data science. Through interactive collaboration with other research groups at Sandia, you will support a wide variety of research opportunities and mission related projects related to artificial intelligence guided manufacturing of advanced materials.

On any given day, you may be called on to:

+ Plan and perform experiments, install, repair, and maintain diagnostic tools, collect and analyze data with the goal of understanding how process parameters affect thin film microstructure, mechanical and tribological properties, and performance.

+ Perform materials characterization including instrumented indentation (nanoindentation), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and micro/macro-scale scratch testing in controlled environments. experimental work may include operation of inert gas purged glove boxes, ultra-high vacuum chambers, cryogenic cooling and high-temperature (up to 800 °C) chambers, a four-wire electrical contact tool, in-situ Raman spectrometers, and scanning white light interferometers.

+ Publish professional journal articles and present work at local and national conferences.

Due to the nature of the work, the selected applicant must be able to work onsite.

Qualifications We Require:

+ A PhD conferred within five (5) years prior to employment in materials science, or materials engineering, or chemical engineering or closely related fields

+ Experience in one or more materials characterization techniques:

+ Electron microscopy (SEM and TEM)

+ Electron backscatter diffraction

+ X-ray diffraction to characterize thin film microstructure

+ Atomic force microscopy (AFM).

+ Experience with high-throughput materials testing including instrumented indentation (nanoindentation), and micro/macro-scale scratch testing in controlled environments to characterize thin film mechanical and tribological properties.

+ Record of publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at scientific and/or technical conferences (a list of publications should be included in the CV).

+ Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE security clearance.

Qualifications We Desire:

+ Experience with process research and development.

+ Experience with magnetron sputter deposition methods or electroplating.

+ Experience with microstructural, mechanical property, and film stress characterization.

+ Experience or knowledge of machine learning approaches.

+ Experience with programming for data analysis using Matlab, Python, LabVIEW, and Origin.

+ Experience with electromechanical devices like micro/nano-positioners and force sensors.

About Our Team:

The mission of the Materials Mechanics and Tribology department is to develop fundamental understanding of mechanical behavior of materials and to operationalize this understanding to resolve the engineering challenges facing Sandia's national security missions. The department has solved materials problems in Nuclear Deterrence (ND) applications ranging from routine material compatibility concerns to manufacturing scale issues. In addition to ND, the department also has a strong record of applying its resources to develop solutions for many unique challenges including; hardening drill bits, lubricating satellite mechanisms, coating hypersonic rails, and even measuring the elasticity of eye corneas.

To address these and other unique challenges, the department is also heavily active in developing novel and emerging processing and characterization techniques. Current activities include the development of high-throughput and in-situ methods for mechanically testing additively-manufactured (AM) metals and tribological coatings, highly customized tribological testing, digital image correlation, failure and deformation under complex loading, stress mapping using photo-luminescence and Raman spectroscopy, tribology of nanocrystalline materials, ductile and brittle fracture mechanisms, and 3D characterization of microstructure and components with destructive serial sectioning and x-ray computed tomography. The department members collaborate heavily across organizations within Sandia in New Mexico and California and manage several multi-million-dollar programs which currently include the Brittle Material Assurance Prediction Program (BritMAPP) and Materials Margins Assurance (MMA). As a testament to their effectiveness, in 2015 and 2016, staff within the department were awarded a national Asian Engineer of the Year Award, a national Black Engineer of the Year Award, a Hispanic National Achievement Award, and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The department's technologists, postdocs, and staff have also been awarded several patents and intellectual property provisions.

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 with amazing impact 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 work arrangements for many positions include 9/80 (work 80 hours every two weeks, with every other Friday off) and 4/10 (work 4 ten-hour days each week) compressed workweeks, part-time work, and telecommuting (a mix of onsite work and working from home)

+ Generous vacations, strong medical 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: http://www.sandia.gov

*These benefits vary by job classification.

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 need to 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.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.

Position Information:

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.

Job ID: 682371



  • Engineering
Posted: 2022-05-20 Expires: 2022-07-20

 World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers.

National security is our business. We apply science to help detect, repel, defeat, or mitigate threats.

For more than 60 years, Sandia has delivered essential science and technology to resolve the nation's most challenging security issues.

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Postdoctoral Appointee - Thin Film Mechanics and Tribology

Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, NM 87102

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