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Los Alamos National Laboratory Synthetic Chemist Postdoc in Los Alamos, New Mexico

What You Will Do

The High Explosives Science and Technology group (Q-5) at Los Alamos National Laboratory is seeking a motivated synthetic chemist to develop inorganic clusters and small molecules for explosive applications. The postdoctoral term is two years, with the possibility of a third year extension and a start date between May and September 2021. Conversion to permanent staff member is possible upon successful completion of the appointment.

The selected applicant will focus on the design and synthesis of novel high explosive molecules including new inorganic and/or organometallic clusters and heterocyclic systems. Purification and characterization of the new compounds by infrared, 1H, and 13C{1H} NMR spectroscopies, growing X-ray quality crystals and interpreting data obtained from X-ray crystallography, elemental analysis, thermal stability, mechanical sensitivities, and explosive performance will be required. This work will lead to the potential for both publications in chemical journals as well as applications in projects with national security missions.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

  • Q clearance: The selected applicant will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements, which requires U.S. citizenship except in very limited circumstances

  • Experience in synthetic inorganic and/or organometallic chemistry, including novel synthesis and air-free, Schlenk, and glove box techniques

  • Experience in synthetic organic chemistry including following literature procedures and analyzing materials via infrared, 1H, and 13C{1H} NMR spectroscopies, and growing X-ray quality crystals

  • Must be self-motivated to drive forward research independently with their own creative ideas, in addition to direction from the mentors

  • A willingness to learn and practice the safe handling of explosive materials in a rigorous safety environment

  • Effective oral and written communication skills

Education/Experience : Applicant must have a Ph.D. in inorganic, organometallic, organic chemistry, or related field. The selected applicant must have completed all Ph.D. requirements by commencement of the appointment and be within five years of completion of the Ph.D.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience in novel inorganic and/or organometallic and organic synthesis

  • Experience with the safe handling of reactive materials

  • Experience in single-crystal X-ray diffraction

  • Demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative environment in shared laboratory space. This includes active interfacing with both experimental and computational colleagues (internal and external) to push forward results into publication format as well as modifying materials for practical applications

Note to Applicants:

Applicants should submit a package that includes:

  1. Cover letter clearly addressing all six Minimum Requirements and all four Desired Skills listed above (maximum 2 pages)

  2. Current CV including publications (maximum 2 pages, excluding publications)

  3. Summary of your current and recent research projects. Figures, tables, and schemes are encouraged (maximum 3 pages)

Candidates may be considered for the Harold Agnew National Security Postdoctoral Fellowship or the Director's Postdoctoral Fellowship. Outstanding candidates may be considered for the prestigious Richard P. Feynman, Darleane Christian Hoffman, J. Robert Oppenheimer, or Frederick Reines Distinguished Postdoc Fellowships.

Location: This position will be physically located in Los Alamos, NM. Where You Will Work

Q-5, the High Explosive Science & Technology Group, serves the Laboratory and nation by providing the knowledge base in high explosives testing for the Nuclear Weapons Program and other national security areas. The group specializes in a broad array of energetic materials science including development (synthesis and formulation) and testing of novel explosives, pilot plant production of explosive materials, advanced manufacturing of explosives, analytical chemistry of explosives and explosives ingredients, homemade explosives research and training, and special security projects.

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 maternity and parental leave

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

§ Learning opportunities and tuition assistance

§ Flexible schedules and time off (paid sick, vacation, 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.

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.

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 or preference, 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 applyhelp@lanl.gov or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1. Appointment Type



Contact Details
Contact Name Ferguson, Leslie Nichole
Email leslief@lanl.gov
Work Telephone
Vacancy Name: IRC84159
Organization Name Q-5/High Explosives Science and Technology
Minimum Salary
Maximum Salary
Req ID: IRC84159
Category: Postdoc