Los Alamos National Laboratory Computational Materials Science Research Student in Los Alamos, New Mexico

What You Will Do_

Staff in the Materials Science in Radiation and Dynamics Extremes Group (MST-8) in the Materials Science and Technology Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory are seeking candidates for the Graduate Research Assistant Program in computational materials science research. The positions are in support of several research projects that address multi-scale problems relating to nuclear fuel systems, including oxide, metallic, and other non-oxide ceramics fuels as well as steel, zirconium, and silicon carbide cladding. Areas of particular interest within the group are:

  • Fuel performance model development using lower-length scale informed data to build mechanistic and predictive models for nuclear fuel;

  • Mesoscale model development related to fission gas behavior in fuel and sintering of ceramics;

  • Density functional theory studies of fundamental defect properties in metallic alloys and ceramics;

  • Thermodynamic assessment of complex environments;

  • Development of high-performance scientific software.

Depending on his/her expertise, the candidate will contribute to current work from the above topics, or on a broad range of research projects including the simulation of nuclear fuels and advanced reactor concepts from a materials standpoint.

The ideal candidate will be pursuing one of the above topics for their own research in their University. The initial appointment is generally over the summer with flexible dates. Options for continuing work with the laboratory is an option that can be pursued after the initial appointment, depending on future requirements.

For general information to the Student Program go to https://www.lanl.gov/careers/career-options/student-internships/graduate/index.php.

What You Need

Minimum Requirements:

  • Documentation of acceptance into a graduate program.

  • Successfully completed a minimum of 6 graduate credit hours per semester (or the equivalent of full time enrollment). All students MUST remain enrolled at their university while working at the Lab during the academic year.

  • Have and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 on 4.0 scale.

  • Pass a new employment drug test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a new employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing.

Desired Skills:

  • Demonstrated ability to carry out independent and collaborative research in computational materials science at the engineering or microscale levels;

  • Understanding of fundamental defect properties in materials;

  • Demonstrated ability to create, perform, and analyze simulations in a finite element or phase-field code;

  • Demonstrated ability to create and implement models to address complex behavior of materials;

  • Significant experience in running high performance simulation tools for modeling advanced material systems;

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate both technically and interpersonally both orally and in writing.

  • Familiarity with the MOOSE framework and associated codes (e.g. BISON, MARMOT);

  • Familiarity with multiple scales of simulating materials (e.g. FEA, phase-field, density functional theory, molecular dynamics);

  • Experience with writing code and implementing algorithms into high performance parallel codes.


Enrolled in a Ph.D. program in materials science, nuclear engineering, or a very closely related discipline.

Notes to Applicants:

  • The cover letter should address the relevant job requirements and desired skills of this position, with specific examples from your academic and research experience. Expected degree completion dates and relevant coursework should also be included.

  • Evaluation of applications will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Additional Details:

No Clearance: Position does not require a security clearance. Selected candidates will be subject to drug testing and other pre-employment background checks.

New-Employment Drug Test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a new-employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing.

Equal Opportunity:

Los Alamos National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. All employment practices are based on qualification and merit, without regards to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or preference, marital status or spousal affiliation, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, pregnancy, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or citizenship within the limits imposed by federal laws and regulations. The Laboratory is also committed to making our workplace accessible to individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, for individuals to participate in the application and hiring process. To request such an accommodation, please send an email to applyhelp@lanl.gov or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.

Where You Will Work_

Located in northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. LANL enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

Location: Los Alamos, NM, US

Organization Name: MST-8/Materials Science in Radiation and Dynamics Extremes

Job Title: Computational Materials Science Research Student

Appointment Type: GRA

Req ID: IRC70561