Postdoctoral/Sr. Researcher Position at US Army Research Lab, Machine Learning for Materials

UNCLASSIFIED / Distribution A / Approved for Public Release

The Energetic Materials Science Branch at the US Army Research Laboratory has multiple openings for outstanding postdoctoral or senior researchers in the cross-disciplinary area of machine learning for materials.  This work will involve application of machine learning methods to energetic materials and you will work in close collaboration with experts in computational chemistry, computational physics, computational solid mechanics, experimental chemistry, and mechanical engineering.  Machine learning and data science efforts have made wide impact in modern chemistry research, but the study of propellants and explosives has not seen significant contribution from work leveraging those techniques.

We are pursuing two main problems of interest.  One track will focus on the development of machine learned models for chemical reactions relevant to energetic materials, building upon advances in that area relevant to the pharmaceutical industry.   The other track will focus on the development of predictive models for propellant and explosive formulation properties, including both performance and physical properties.  Candidates may have the opportunity to work on both tracks, as according to available time and interest.  This work is expected to be published in open literature journals.
The candidate must have a Ph.D. in one of the following fields by time of job start: chemistry, physics, biochemistry, computer science, chemical engineering, or mechanical engineering.  The candidate must have significant programming experience in one of the following languages: python, Fortran, C, C++, Java.  The candidate must be a U.S. citizen.
Experience with at least one of the following is preferred, but not necessary: unix / linux, random forests, graph theory, neural networks, kernel ridge regression, Gaussian process regression, git, bash / shell scripting, parallel programming (MPI / OpenMP), organic chemistry, and energetic materials.  The candidate should have a track record of publication in peer-reviewed journals or conference proceedings and be able to provide at least two letters of recommendation upon request.
Senior Researchers are also encouraged to apply for this position.  Senior Researchers must have held the doctorate degree for five years or more at the time of application or hold a permanent appointment in academia, Government or industry and have research experience that has resulted in significant contributions and recognition as established investigators in their specialized fields.  We are encouraging candidates that are either recent doctoral graduates, or senior researchers, to respond to this ad.

This position is located at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, Maryland US.  Stipend for this postdoc position is extremely competitive with other national and government laboratories, with the added benefit of a low cost-of-living location and easy rail access to many major cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.

Additional benefits include group health insurance that includes medical and prescription drug coverage for eligible participants upon appointment in the program. There is no waiting period for coverage to begin. Fellows may be eligible for limited relocation expenses. This includes movement of household goods from your current address to Maryland.

A selected candidate would start on October 1, 2018, or later, with some flexibility to accommodate availability.  Candidates are encouraged to apply early.

When responding to this ad, please also send a C.V. to Brian Barnes at

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