CCSD (Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate), Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Position ID: 2196-PD_COMPASTRO [#13396]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Research Associate in Computational Astrophysics
Position Type: Postdoctoral
Position Location: Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States [map]
Application Deadline: (posted 2018/12/17, listed until 2019/06/17)
Position Description:    

Pay Band: Postdoc

Relocation: Domestic and International relocation services are available


The Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) has the charge to develop and apply transformational computational science capabilities in support of dramatic advances in our understanding of the physical world and to use that knowledge to address the most pressing national and international concerns. As a designated User Facility, the OLCF hosts one of the most powerful computers in the world and delivers an unparalleled environment in which to make new discoveries that will dramatically impact the nation’s ability to produce a secure energy economy and increase mankind’s fundamental understanding of our world. The facility has a goal of assisting in creating the next generation of computational scientist using current and emerging high-end computing resources to tackle the most demanding scientific challenges of tomorrow, and is seeking to grow their current postdoctoral program and develop the next-generation computational science workforce with strong expertise in individual science domains, as well as expertise in the programming models needed for the development of methods and their implementation on state-of-the-art, high-end computational resources.

We are seeking Postdoctoral Research Associates to work as part of our Computational Astrophysics team. In this role, you will focus on state-of-the-art simulations for core-collapse supernovae, both performing and analyzing the results of simulations and developing the next-generation of simulation code and analysis tools. You will work alongside a dedicated team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Tennessee, along with other member institutions, as a part of the multi-institutional CHIMERA and Exascale Computing Project’s ExaStar code teams, and have the opportunity to share your results with the scientific community.

The successful candidates will be mentored by, and teamed with, staff in the Scientific Computing Group in the OLCF and ORNL’s Computational and Applied Mathematics Group, as well as faculty at the University of Tennessee. Appointments will be for one year, with the possibility of renewal for a second year, depending on performance and the availability of funding.

Job Duties and Responsibilities:

Develop components of the ExaStar code ecosystem and improve the parallel performance, including porting major components to GPU architectures. Conduct research, present results at scientific conferences, and publish in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner. Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements. Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics. Qualifications Required:

Basic Qualifications

A PhD in a discipline related to the job duties completed within the last five years.

Preferred Qualifications

A strong computational science background. Deep understanding of application development techniques (numerical methods, solution algorithms, programming models, and software) at scale (large processor/node counts). Familiarity with techniques for radiation transport in the context of large-scale multiphysics applications. Experience with common scientific programming languages such as FORTRAN and C++, as well as experience with compiler directives for GPU programming (e.g. CUDA, OpenCL, OpenACC), vectorization, MPI, and one-sided asynchronous programming models. Experience with advanced discretization techniques (e.g. high-order finite difference, finite volume, or discontinuous finite element methods). Experience in heterogeneous computing, developing and debugging massively parallel algorithms and code performance profiling. Experience with numerical relativity. Experience with one or more prominent stellar astrophysics software packages (e.g. FLASH, MESA, Castro). Excellent interpersonal skills, oral and written communication skills, organizational skills, and strong personal motivation. The ability to work in a dynamic, team environment. An excellent record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals. Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to a scientific audience. Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative and frequently interacting teams of researchers. Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs.

Additional Information: Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding.


ORNL Ethics and Conduct: As a member of the ORNL scientific community, you will be expected to commit to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct. Our full code of conduct, and a statement by the Lab Director's office can be found here:

Benefits at ORNL: UT Battelle offers an exceptional benefits package to include matching 401K, Pension Plan, Paid Vacation and Medical / Dental plan. Onsite amenities include Credit Union, Medical Clinic and free Fitness facilities.

Relocation: Moving is stressful and expensive, and UT Battelle offers a wide range of relocation benefits for individuals and families to make it easier to come and work here. If you are invited to interview, please ask your Recruiter about relocating with ORNL.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply. UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

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Contact: Kate Carter, 865-310-0553
Postal Mail:
1 Bethel Valley Rd.
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
Web Page:

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