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Decarbonization - Postdoctoral Researcher

Entry Level | Full-time
Engineering | livermore, CA | 09/28/2023

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Company Description

Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Are you interested in joining some of the brightest talent in the world to strengthen the United States’ security? Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where our employees apply their expertise to create solutions for BIG ideas that make our world a better place.

We are committed to a diverse and equitable workforce with an inclusive culture that values and celebrates the diversity of our people, talents, ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This is important for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Pay Range

$108,600 ‐ $126,720 Annually

Please note that the pay range information is a general guideline only. Many factors are taken into consideration when setting starting pay including education, experience, the external labor market, and internal equity.

Job Description

We have an opening for a Postdoctoral Researcher. You will perform research on chemical industry decarbonization with an emphasis on the development of technologies with potential for significant reductions in carbon emissions that increase energy efficiency for manufacturing high-volume chemicals. The selected candidate will contribute to the Micro & Nano Technology Section (MNTS) capabilities in which the development of electrification of direct-fire reactors and novel energy transfers for process heating. Particular interest will be shown to candidates with experience in advanced reactors capable of improving reaction performance while reducing carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency through thermal catalytic, and non-contact energy transfer for precision heating reactor systems or other novel reactor technologies. However, more important than specific skills, we are seeking a creative, goal-driven, and academically accomplished individual who can rise to meet the scientific challenges and opportunities that this position will require. This position is in the Materials Engineering Division (MED) in the Engineering Directorate.

In this role you will

  • Fabricate and characterize catalysts, reactors, and systems.
  • Provide knowledge of topics, including thermal catalytic reactors design, operation, optimization, and measurement.
  • Perform characterization of gas-solid reactions efficiency in specific chemical reactors.
  • Design and perform complex experiments; collect and analyze resulting multimodal datasets.
  • Collaborate with scientists in a multidisciplinary, cross-functional team environment to accomplish research goals.
  • Write proposals, secure funding, and establish independent research projects. Pursue independent but complementary research interests and interact with a broad spectrum of scientists internally and externally to the Laboratory.
  • Document research, publish papers in high-impact peer-reviewed scientific journals, and present results within the DOE community and at conferences.
  • Maintain and establish laboratory protocols, including adherence to safety and security protocols.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering or a related field.
  • Experience with electrification of high temperature (electric heating) chemical reactors, especially joule heating, microwave heating, and plasma heating.
  • Experience with structured catalysts design and manufacturing, especially focusing on structures effect on hot spots and reactors performance.
  • Experience with heat and mass transfer in electric-heated structured catalytic systems.
  • Experience with endothermic gas-solid reactions, such as steam reforming, dry reforming of methane, ammonia decomposition, etc.
  • Experience with reactors assembly and reactions real-time characterization.
  • Experience with reactors optimization or design of the reactor system including heat transfer and catalysts.
  • Experience with the improvement of the conversion, selectivity, and stability of the reactor system and components.
  • Experience with novel reactor technologies using other low carbon fuels (e.g., hydrogen) for process heating or switching between different heating fuels.
  • Experience with advanced separations beyond traditional thermal-based evaporators and distillation processes are also interested, including, but not limited to, reactions driven by non-equilibrium processes; membranes; or processes that are driven by electrochemical or other novel separation technologies.
  • Ability as an innovative experimentalist with a broad range of experience in experimental design, techniques, and execution.
  • Initiative and interpersonal skills necessary to interact with a diverse set of scientists, engineers, and other technical and administrative staff, with the ability to work independently as well as in multidisciplinary research teams.
  • Proficient written and verbal communication skills with demonstrated capabilities in delivering presentations and preparing written reports.

Qualifications We Desire 

  • Experience in reactors Multiphysics modeling and simulation.
  • Experience in advanced manufacturing of metal and ceramics.

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Position Information

This is a Postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of extension to a maximum of three years, open to those who have been awarded a PhD at time of hire date.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

Security Clearance

None required.  However, if your assignment is longer than 179 days cumulatively within a calendar year, you must go through the Personal Identity Verification process.  This process includes completing an online background investigation form and receiving approval of the background check.  (This process does not apply to foreign nationals.) 

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position must pass a post-offer, pre-employment drug test. This includes testing for use of marijuana as Federal Law applies to us as a Federal Contractor.

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Equal Employment Opportunity

We are an equal opportunity employer that is committed to providing all with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, protected veteran status, age, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.

We invite you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Reasonable Accommodation

Our goal is to create an accessible and inclusive experience for all candidates applying and interviewing at the Laboratory.  If you need a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please use our online form to submit a request. 

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The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants privacy rights to all California residents. The law also entitles job applicants, employees, and non-employee workers to be notified of what personal information LLNL collects and for what purpose. The Employee Privacy Notice can be accessed here.

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