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Computational Optimization Postdoctoral Researcher

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Postdoctoral/Fellowship | livermore, CA | 01/11/2024

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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 essential to innovation and creativity for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Pay Range

$107,820    $121,680 Annually for the PDS.1 level 

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 immediate openings for one or more Computational Optimizers to conduct research in the areas of stochastic, decentralized, and/or multi-level optimization, with specific application to critical infrastructure systems. You will be an integral part of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, with skill sets ranging from computer and climate science to power and industrial engineering; projects are typically collaborative with partner academic institutions and other national labs. You will be developing advanced models of decision-making under uncertainty and adversarial contexts for critical infrastructure operations, planning, and resilience. The ability to conduct fluid engagement with domain experts and end-users to characterize, analyze, and communicate inputs and solutions is critical in this role. Development of advanced mathematical optimization models (e.g., MIP formulations) and scalable (e.g., via decomposition) solvers will be a primary technical focus. This position is in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing (CASC), which resides within the Computing Directorate at LLNL. The research will be conducted in conjunction with LLNL’s Cyber and Infrastructure Resilience (CIR) program.

In this role you will

  • Develop and extend mathematical programming (e.g., MIP, NLP, and MINLP) formulations of core critical infrastructure operations and planning optimization models.
  • Design and implement high-performance (parallel) solvers for stochastic, multi-level, and/or decentralized optimization models of critical infrastructure.
  • Analyze and mitigate performance bottlenecks in parallel solver implementations.
  • Publish research results in external peer-reviewed scientific journals and participate in conferences and workshops.
  • Present formal and informal overviews of research progress at group meetings.
  • Contribute to grant proposals and collaborate with others in a multidisciplinary team environment to accomplish research goals.
  • Pursue independent (but complementary) research interests and interact with a broad spectrum of scientists internal and external to the Laboratory.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Ph.D. in Operations Research, Industrial Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, or closely related field.
  • Working knowledge of at least one algebraic modeling language (e.g., Pyomo, JuMP, AMPL, and GAMS) for mathematical optimization.
  • Working knowledge of at least one widely used mathematical optimization solver (e.g., Gurobi, CPLEX, and Express).
  • Experience developing software in a high-level language such as Python, Julia, and C++ (Python preferred). 
  • Experience developing advanced optimization solvers considering either adversarial (multi-level) behaviors, uncertain inputs, or decentralized contexts.
  • Publication record in high-quality peer-reviewed journals and/or conferences.
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills necessary to craft creative solutions to independently solve complex problems.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills to effectively collaborate in a team environment, present and explain technical information to technical as well as non-technical audiences, document work and write research papers.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience with high-performance computing systems, specifically parallel programming libraries such as MPI.
  • Experience with the application of mathematical optimization to critical infrastructure systems, including electricity grid and natural gas networks.
  • Experience processing and analyzing geospatial information, including climate and weather data.

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

This position requires either no security clearance, or a Department of Energy (DOE) L-level or Q-level clearance depending on the particular assignment.  

If you are selected and a security clearance is required, we will initiate a Federal background investigation to determine if you meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information or matter. Also, all L or Q cleared employees are subject to random drug testing.  L and Q-level clearances require U.S. citizenship.  

If no security clearance is required, but 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.

How to identify fake job advertisements

Please be aware of recruitment scams where people or entities are misusing the name of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to post fake job advertisements. LLNL never extends an offer without a personal interview and will never charge a fee for joining our company. All current job openings are displayed on the Career Page under “Find Your Job” of our website. If you have encountered a job posting or have been approached with a job offer that you suspect may be fraudulent, we strongly recommend you do not respond.

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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. 

California Privacy Notice

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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