Postdoctoral Research Associate in Material Science

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) will be a new scientific user facility for nuclear science, funded by the Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC), Michigan State University (MSU), and the State of Michigan. Under construction on campus and to be operated by MSU, FRIB will provide intense beams of rare isotopes (that is, short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth). FRIB will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of these rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society. 

This position affords an exciting opportunity to become part of the world-class FRIB Project, and to get in on the ground floor of an emerging scientific user facility that will expand nuclear science into a whole new realm of possibility.

Position overview

The successful candidate will be expected to work closely with members of the Target Systems Group. The group is focused on supporting design for FRIB production target, primary beam dump and catcher, and wedge. These equipment have to withstand the combined effects of high power density beams generating thermo-mechanical stress as well as radiation damage leading to structural modifications and changes of thermo-mechanical properties. Due to presence of cooling water inside the beam dump drum, corrosion may occur.

All these effects will limit the reliable function and the lifetime of these equipment. Several materials with different microstructures are considered (titanium alloys and aluminum alloys). The candidate will focus on the characterization of the samples, on the material property change and corrosion effect of material under irradiation.

Major position responsibilities

  • Design and develop test setups to perform material studies
  • Perform irradiation tests of candidate materials with heavy ion beams
  • Characterize irradiated samples (thermal and mechanical property changes) and improve the understanding of the mechanism of radiation damage, specifically for heavy ions
  • Develop understanding of corrosion effects in presence of heavy ion radiation and methods to minimize them



  • PhD in material sciences, nuclear engineering, physics, chemistry, or a related field is required
    • Expertise in material characterization of metals (TEM, SEM, nano-indentation) and in electro-chemistry
  • Good verbal, presentation, and technical report writing skills
  • Efficient collaboration within project teams
  • Knowledge in CAD and finite element simulations would be appreciated


MSU employees receive excellent benefits including health/dental plans, a generous retirement plan, and educational assistance.

How to apply

For immediate consideration, please visit, search for posting number 486272, and follow the application process

MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans, and persons with disabilities.

About FRIB and MSU, and the East Lansing community

FRIB is currently under construction and baselined at a total project cost of $730 million. Upon start of user operation in 2022, FRIB will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications of rare isotopes to benefit society.

MSU is one of the largest university campuses in the United States with a beautiful campus of 5,000 tree-filled acres. It has 17 degree-granting colleges and is a center for academic and research activities as well as the arts and athletics.

The campus sits between Lansing (Michigan’s capital city) and East Lansing. The Lansing area has a population of 460,000 and offers lovely suburban areas, loft condos and other urban living opportunities as well as easy-to-get-to rural areas. A symphony orchestra, excellent health care, many community and professional theatres, rivers, lakes, outdoor festivals, close access to large cities and Lake Michigan make for a near-perfect living environment.

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.

Position Type:
Research Associate