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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Gyro-fluid Theory Development

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Tennessee, US
To be discussed at later date
Posting live until
28 Feb 2024

Job Details


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has an exciting opportunity to work with the Plasma Theory and Modeling Group Leader, Dr. Gary Staebler, on the theory development of the high impact, gyro-fluid system (GFS) that will become the core linear eigenmode solver for the TGLF quasi-linear transport model ( The GFS system has a flexible velocity space resolution and is fully electromagnetic as a linear eigenmode solver. The selected candidate will work with Dr Staebler, and other ORNL scientist, on the continued development of the new GFS ( system of moment equations of the gyrokinetic equations. Extension of the GFS equations to include multi-species collisions, and high Mach number rotation, will be made during the postdoctoral appointment. Exploration of advanced GPU acceleration methods, and extension to 3-D magnetic geometry, are among the many near-term opportunities for additional development of GFS. Successful completion of this postdoctoral appointment will prepare the applicant to apply the TGLF-GFS transport model to validation of energy, particle, momentum, impurity, and fast ion transport at US and international fusion experimental facilities, and to participate in reactor design optimization with the FREDA whole facility modeling framework being developed by a team lead by ORNL.

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Derive and implement in GFS a full species-species collision model.
  • Implement the high Mach number effects of the gyrokinetic theory in the GFS code.
  • Explore acceleration of GFS with GPU computing.
  • Explore application of GFS to 3-D stellarator geometry.
  • Produce high impact publications in key peer-reviewed journals, and conference presentations.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.
  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of ORNL’s values and ethics.
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Have, or expect to have within 12 months a PhD in Plasma Physics, Electrical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Applied Mathematics, or a related field completed within the last 5 years.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in theoretical formulation of, and computation with, gyro-fluid or gyrokinetic equations
  • Experience with GPU acceleration of linear math libraries
  • Familiarity with Mathematica
  • Skill in computer programming
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory 
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs

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 for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.

Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.

Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document

Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.

Other benefits include: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Life Insurance, Pet Insurance, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.

If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email:

This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

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.



Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the Department of Energy’s largest science and energy laboratory with more than 6500 staff from more than 60 countries, 3200 guest researchers and a budget of approximately $2.7 billion.  ORNL engages in diverse research activities that support the department’s mission of ensuring America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and security challenges.

Why work for us
Leveraging the talents of our world-class researchers and exceptional support staff, ORNL is helping solve critical scientific and technical challenges and, in so doing, creating economic opportunity for the nation. ORNL provides access to unique facilities, laboratories, and equipment, drawing thousands of visiting researchers each year. A vibrant and welcoming scientific community, ORNL embraces the pursuit of innovative ideas and invests in its people to ensure their success.

Training and development
As a student intern, postdoctoral researcher, or early career scientist, you will have the opportunity to work with, and be mentored by, world-class scientists and engineers. You will work to solve the toughest scientific and engineering challenges that have international impact.  

What we are looking for
We are seeking theoretical and applied scientists, postdocs and students interested in:

  • Particle physics
  • Neutron and neutrino physics
  • Condensed matter physics
  • Coupled physics
  • Astrophysics
  • High-energy physics
  • Plasma/fusion
  • Nuclear physics
  • Computational physics
  • Quantum (networking, materials, microelectronics, sensing, algorithms) 

Career opportunities include internships, postdoctoral research appointments, distinguished fellowships, scientific and technical staff positions. 

Oak Ridge, TN, USA

Number of employees

Main areas of research
Biology and environment, supercomputing, clean energy, fusion and fission, isotopes, physical sciences, national security, and neutron sciences

Positions recently recruited for
Research scientist, postdoctoral research associate

How to apply

Closing date
All year round 


Company info
001 865 241 2950
PO Box 2008
One Bethel Valley Road
Oak Ridge
United States

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