Geochemistry/Geomechanics Postdoctoral Research Associate

What You Will Do

The Energy and Natural Resources Security group at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has an immediate opening for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in experimental geochemistry- geomechanics to study geological hydrogen generation from serpentinization of ultramafic rocks. Successful candidates will join a diverse team focusing on critical earth science challenges related to clean energy and national security. Specific research topics related to this opportunity include: (1) geochemical batch reactor experiments, (2) flow-through experiments using high- pressure high-temperature vessels (HPHT), and (3) interpretation of experimental data.

As a member of our interdisciplinary team that includes experts in geochemistry, reactive- transport, and geomechanics, the candidate will be at the forefront of developing innovative technical solutions to address challenges in energy, the environment, and national security. Our facilities for this work include a Hydrothermal lab equipped with Dickson-style rocking autoclaves and cold seal reactors, a Fractured Earth lab equipped with HPHT triaxial and rock microstructural imaging systems, a Wet Chemistry lab (e.g., ICP-MS/OES, GC-MS), and a Mineralogy lab (e.g., XRD, XRF). The HPHT system is integrated with advanced capabilities, including real-time X-ray CT scanning, flow monitoring, acoustic emission analysis, and ultrasonic pulse wave velocity measurements.

The successful candidate is expected to publish results in high-impact peer-reviewed journals and present their work at conferences. The position is for a two-year term, with the option to extend to a third year based on performance and funding availability.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

  • PhD in a STEM field related to mechanics of materials, fluid flow, or geochemistry.
  • Hands-on experience operating high-pressure (>100 psi) laboratory equipment
  • Record of publishing in peer-reviewed journals
  • Good communication skills evidenced by publications and presentations at conferences
Education: Candidates must have received a Ph.D. within the last five years in a STEM field or will have completed all Ph.D. requirements by commencement of appointment.

Desired Qualifications:

Candidates who meet at least two of the below criteria are strongly encouraged to apply.

  • Research background in geochemistry, geomechanics, poromechanics, fracture mechanics, flow in porous media, or reactive transport
  • Experience with core-flooding or flow through experiments
  • Experience with high-pressure and/or high-temperature laboratory equipment
  • Experience with analytical equipment (e.g., GC-MS, TGA, SEM, XRD, or pore size distribution analyzer)
  • Experience with rection-driven damage/cracking
  • Proficiency with data analysis (e.g., Python, R, or MatLab)
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team environment on multidisciplinary research
  • Good written and communication skills

Work Location: The work location for this position is onsite and located in Los Alamos, NM. All work locations are at the discretion of management.

Salary: Competitive salaries are based on the date the PhD degree requirements were completed or the degree was awarded. Starting salary for a new graduate is currently $94,500. For more information go to Postdoc Program website at .

Note to Applicants:

No applicant is expected to have all of the desired skills. Anyone who meets the minimum requirements is encouraged to apply. The application package consists of a CV and a cover letter (1-2 pages). Your cover letter should explicitly address how you meet each of the minimum requirements and any of the desired skills, if applicable. In addition to applying online, applicants may email their CV and cover letter with the subject line "GeoHydrogenPostdoc" to Drs. Wenfeng Li (, Chelsea Neil (, and Zhenghua Li (

Outstanding candidates may be considered for a Director's Fellowship or the J. Robert Oppenheimer, Richard P. Feynman, or Frederick Reines Fellowships. For general information about the application processes, LANL postdoc salary, and fellowships, please visit the LANL Postdoc Program page research/index.php
Where You Will Work

Located in beautiful northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. Our generous benefits package includes:

§ PPO or High Deductible medical insurance with the same large nationwide network

§ Dental and vision insurance

§ Free basic life and disability insurance

§ Paid childbirth and parental leave

§ Award-winning 401(k) (6% matching plus 3.5% annually)

§ Learning opportunities and tuition assistance

§ Flexible schedules and time off (PTO and holidays)

§ Onsite gyms and wellness programs

§ Extensive relocation packages (outside a 50 mile radius)
Additional Details

Directive 206.2 - Employment with Triad requires a favorable decision by NNSA indicating employee is suitable under NNSA Supplemental Directive 206.2. Please note that this requirement applies only to citizens of the United States. Foreign nationals are subject to a similar requirement under DOE Order 142.3A.

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. Although New Mexico and other states have legalized the use of marijuana, use and possession of marijuana remain illegal under federal law. A positive drug test for marijuana will result in termination of employment, even if the use was pre-offer.

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 regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, 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 or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.