Washington State University (WSU) is seeking to hire a strongly self-motivated, talented experimentalist to work with scientists and engineers at a first-of-a-kind experimental user facility: The Dynamic Compression Sector (DCS) at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), Argonne National Laboratory. The DCS constitutes a new paradigm for understanding the dynamic compression and deformation response of materials subjected to extreme conditions on short time-scales. Real-time, atomistic-scale investigations of condensed matter phenomena are undertaken in single event experiments through time-resolved, in-situ measurements utilizing the tunable, high energy X-ray capabilities at the APS.
We are looking to hire a Laser/Optical Physicist who enjoys hands-on work and problem solving in a fast-paced, research environment. The location for this WSU position is the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Lemont, IL. As such, DCS staff are considered to be “resident users” and must adhere to ANL policies and procedures, including the completion of required training courses.
The Laser-Shock capabilities at the DCS include a state-of-the-art 100J laser and a custom-built target chamber system to perform well-characterized, high stress (up to ~500 GPa), short duration (5 – 15 ns) experiments involving x-ray and optical measurements. The optimal performance of the laser system for a broad range of research objectives is a key element of the DCS scientific mission. The flexibility of laser-driven dynamic compression experiments presents unique and exciting challenges and opportunities. The successful candidate will work on a team of physicists responsible for the operation and maintenance of the 100J laser system to ensure optimal performance and to develop new capabilities to conduct state-of-the-art scientific experiments. Further information about the DCS Laser-Shock Station may be found within this journal article: X. Wang, et al., “The Laser Shock Station in the Dynamic Compression Sector,” Review of Scientific Instruments, 90(5): 053901(2019).
Many of the experiments performed at the DCS utilize a wide variety of lasers that are integral to characterizing/understanding the shock compressed state of materials (e.g. pulsed high energy DPSS lasers, CW DPSS frequency doubled lasers, pulsed and CW high power IR and visible fiber lasers, short pulse low energy lasers, and pulsed and CW laser diodes). A wide array of optical detection and analysis approaches are also utilized, including fast photodetectors, image intensifiers, ICCD’s, streak cameras, and other state-of-the-art electro-optic instrumentation. While the primary responsibility of this position will be for the 100J laser, the successful candidate, after appropriate training, will also be expected to operate and maintain these systems, as needed for a broad range of user experiments.
Responsibilities for this position include, but are not limited to: 1. Participate in the operation of the 100-Joule laser for laser-shock research activities, contribute to the design and conduct of laser-shock experiments, and work with scientific users. This also includes quantifying and archiving the laser performance for each shot. 2. Working with other laser experts, document and maintain safe operating procedures related to the laser and its control areas at the DCS. 3. Participate in the design, development, and use of optical equipment and systems, for laser-interferometry measurements and other laser-based diagnostics. 4. Work with the DCS users to prepare for experiments in advance. This includes providing guidelines for experimental design, as well as personnel safety and equipment operating procedures. 5. Contribute effectively to all aspects of the various research projects including assistance to DCS users; optimal and safe operations of the experimental facilities; ensure availability of experimental components, equipment and supplies; enhancement of experimental capabilities; and working effectively in a team setting to advance the DCS research mission. 6. Independently define and complete experimental projects and tasks; conduct and analyze research experiments and prepare reports and publications as appropriate.
Qualifications Only applicants who are currently in the U.S. and meet the following minimum qualifications will be considered for the position. A background in dynamic compression research is not required for this position. However, strong, hands-on experimental background and skills relevant to the position responsibilities indicated above are essential. The required professional qualifications and personal attributes are:
A Ph.D. degree in Physics or a related field with a strong background in lasers and optics.
Demonstrated strong hands-on ability with the design and optimization of nonlinear optical systems and associated diagnostic equipment.
Strong interest in being involved in all aspects of DCS user experiments.
Good familiarity with hardware and software required to support user experiments on a large-scale laser.
Good computer skills, including experience with programs for instrument control and analysis, such as LabView and Matlab. Experience with optical design software is useful but not required (e.g. Zemax).
Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
Ability to effectively work independently and in a team environment, as needed.
Personal attributes should include critical thinking, good judgment, clear sense of purpose, attention to detail, and accountability.
Must be able to obtain a badge at U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories to gain access to restricted areas.
The salary structure is both attractive and nationally competitive. Other benefits include health/dental insurance, vacation/sick leave, and retirement plans.
Applications Applicants should submit a letter of application explicitly addressing the required qualifications for this position and date of availability; detailed curriculum vitae; and the contact information for three professional references to the attention of Professor Y. M. Gupta via the application link.
To ensure consideration, please specify the position (DCS Laser/Optical Physicist) for which you are applying. We will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue to do so until the position is filled. Please contact Ms. Sheila Heyns with inquiries regarding this position (email@example.com, 509-335-1861). For more information, please visit https://dcs-aps.wsu.edu/ .
Due to the large volume of applications, we will contact only those selected for next steps.
About Dynamic Compression Sector at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne, IL
THE INSTITUTE FOR SHOCK PHYSICS
A multidisciplinary research organization within the College of Arts and Sciences, the ISP undertakes a broad range of fundamental scientific activities related to understanding condensed matter response under dynamic and static compression. Washington State University has a long and distinguished history of conducting research in dynamic compression science. In 1997, the Institute was established with support from the DOE (Defense Programs) to ensure a strong, long-term academic base for the DOE’s national security mission, and is currently funded through NNSA’s Stockpile Stewardship Academic Alliance (SSAA) program.
Continuum-to-Atomic level understanding is the pervading scientific theme of the research activities that emphasize integration of innovative experiments with theoretical and computational advances. Multidisciplinary efforts that combine expertise in Physics, Materials Science, Chemistry, and Mechanical Engineering are underway to address several exciting and challenging scientific problems. In addition to the faculty within the Institute, students and faculty from several departments within the College of Arts and Sciences and... the College Engineering participate in the Institute’s research projects. Excellent research interactions are in place with the NNSA National Laboratories: Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, and Sandia.
A brief summary of the Institute’s activities follows. Experimental work, under dynamic compression, typically involves fast, time-resolved measurements in single event, impact experiments. Research projects currently underway include: time-resolved x-ray diffraction studies; pressure induced structural phase transitions; understanding of inelastic deformation and failure under dynamic loading; effect of material microstructure on dynamic deformation; chemical decomposition in energetic materials; development of fast optical methods to probe shock induced changes; effect of deformation on semiconductor properties; high pressure equation of state studies; and chemical and physical changes under static high pressures. Since Professor C. S. Yoo’s appointment in 2007, a strong static high pressure research program has complemented the shock wave effort. Very recently (Summer 2013), Professor Christian Mailhiot was hired to build a strong theoretical/computational research effort to complement the experimental activities.
State-of-the-art experimental and computational facilities are housed in the Shock Physics Building. Inaugurated in 2003, the building was designed specifically for shock wave research and represents a unique facility among academic institutions. The major experimental research facilities available for studying physical and chemical phenomena over a large range of length and time scales include the Impact Laboratory, Laser Shock Laboratory, Static High Pressure Laboratory, and the Compact Pulsed Power Facility. Among the Institute’s research capabilities is a Computational Facility designed to complement the experimental effort. Further details may be seen at www.shock.wsu.edu.
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