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Job Information

Los Alamos National Laboratory Origins of RF Emissions from Detonating Explosive Systems Postdoc in Los Alamos, New Mexico

Vacancy Name: IRC72561


Job Title Origins of RF Emissions from Detonating Explosive Systems Postdoc

Location Los Alamos, NM, US

Organization Name Q-6/Detonation Science and Technology

Minimum Salary

Maximum Salary

What You Will Do

The Detonator Science and Technology Group (Q-6) is the design authority for primary and auxiliary detonators on current Los Alamos nuclear weapon stockpile systems. Q-6 provides engineering and design support to the production plants during production of War Reserve detonators, and assesses and reports on surveillance data for individual stockpile detonators. Additionally, the group performs R&D on advanced initiation system options for future replacement stockpile systems, including enhanced surety detonators. The group owns multiple advanced detonator test laboratories that utilize custom ultra-high-speed diagnostics, and support other Los Alamos explosive-test facilities in designing, deploying, and maintaining timing, firing, and integrated safety systems. The group also provides technical detonator support in fielding and executing integrated weapon experiments.

Postdoctoral Candidate in Origins of RF emissions from detonating explosive systems

The successful candidate will be joining a new and dynamic team of mathematicians, shock physicists, electrical engineers and acousticians in a new and exciting venture. The team was the first to identify distinctive spectral radio frequency (RF) emissions from reacting explosives associated with different chemical reaction states. In parallel work, the team demonstrated that “Time Reversal” (TR) techniques can be used to spatially and temporally resolve features of acoustic wave emitters with an order of magnitude better resolution than the wavelength limit.

The candidate will research (experimentally and theoretically) the origins of the RF emissions from reacting explosives, including: the possible involvement of the piezoelectric properties of the explosive crystals; comparable effects in liquid explosives.

Ultimately, the goal would be to combine the results of this research with ongoing RF Time Reversal studies to diagnose the initiation of complex explosives systems, i.e., to obtain RF images showing the state and position of an explosives’ reaction in real time.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

  • Ability to perform multidisciplinary independent research to advance the present-state understanding of energetic material initiation mechanisms

  • Demonstrated ability to publish in peer-reviewed journals and record of presenting at nationally recognized conferences

Desired Skills:

  • Knowledge/background in either shock/detonation physics and/or energetic materials

  • Experience in ultra-high-speed data collection and/or electrical -based diagnostics

  • Proficient in performing data reduction routines and applying statistical analyses to results

  • Ability to obtain a Q clearance;

  • Eligibility requirements: To obtain a clearance, an individual must be at least 18 years of age; U.S. citizenship is required except in very limited circumstances. See DOE Order 472.2 for additional information.

Chemical Engineering is strongly preferred. PhD must be completed within the past five years or soon to be completed. PhD must be completed prior to hiring.

The successful candidate will have a PhD, can demonstrate proficiency in experimental techniques and data analysis, and will benefit from experience in any of the following disciplines:

  • Shock physics

  • Fluid mechanics

  • Electrical engineering

Notes to Applicants: For full consideration, applicants must submit a comprehensive cover letter that addresses the key requirements of the position.

Work Environment: Office and laboratory settings, including some outdoor activities. Domestic, and occasionally foreign travel, will be required.

Additional Details:

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.

Candidates may be considered for a Director's Postdoc Fellowship and outstanding candidates may be considered for the prestigious Richard P. Feynman, Darleane Christian Hoffman, J. Robert Oppenheimer, or Frederick Reines Distinguished Postdoc Fellowships.

For general information go to Postdoc Program .

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

The Weapon Stockpile Modernization Division (Q) provides the system engineering, program management, component technology development and system and sub-system testing necessary to field the modernizations authorized to extend the life of the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s assets in the active United States nuclear stockpile. Currently, these modernizations are directed at the B61 and the W88. This role demands expertise in design, engineering, fabrication and testing of multiple components using state-of-the-art computational simulation tools and engineering test facilities. The Division works in close liaison with the several production facilities across the nuclear security complex, as well as with the customers in the US Navy and Air Force. The Division is also tasked with broadly anticipating the scope of possible future modernizations and with enabling the various technology advances that they might require.

Appointment Type Postdoc


Contact Details

Contact Name


Work Telephone

Req ID: IRC72561