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Astronomy and Astrophysics - Postdoctoral Researcher

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, California, (US)
Closing date
21 Mar 2023

Job Details

Company Description

Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Are you interested in joining some of the brightest talent in the world to strengthen the United States’ security? Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where our employees apply their expertise to create solutions for BIG ideas that make our world a better place.

We are committed to a diverse and equitable workforce with an inclusive culture that values and celebrates the diversity of our people, talents, ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This is essential to innovation and creativity for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.


$108,840 Annually

Job Description

We have an opening for a Postdoctoral Researcher who will study minor planets in synoptic survey data. You will work with an inter-disciplinary team of astrophysicists and software engineers who are developing a high-performance computing enabled asteroid detection pipeline. This position is in the Physics Division/Applied Physics Section in the Astronomy and Astrophysics Analytics group.

In this role you will



  • Work with Zwicky Transient Facility data to develop a cutting-edge asteroid detection pipeline
  • Work with large, simulated populations of Near-Earth Object (NEO) orbits and characteristics regarding the material properties, observability within surveys of interest
  • Apply statistical models for scientific data analysis, and for developing modeling and simulation capabilities for characterizing NEOs and other solar system bodies.
  • Develop software with adherence to professional best practices including using version control, unit testing, writing thorough documentation, and validating models using simulated data or existing test data.
  • Support software deployment across multiple computing architectures, including high-performance computing resources.
  • Conduct self-initiated research, maintain an awareness of technical literature in assigned areas, publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific or technical journals, and present results at external conferences, seminars, and/or technical meetings (including internal progress meetings).
  • Perform other duties as assigned.







  • PhD in physics, aerospace engineering, or related field.
  • Research experience in one or more of the following areas: Solar System science, planetary science, orbital dynamics, optical photometry data analysis, high performance computing, big data analytics, numerical simulations, computational physics modeling, statistical modeling, or plasma physics.
  • Ability to perform independent research and find innovative solutions to complex scientific and technical problems.
  • Experience working on a research team with individuals from diverse technical backgrounds, as well as function as an independent researcher with a high level of attention to details.
  • Proficient communication skills necessary to work in a multidisciplinary team environment, author technical and scientific reports and publications, and deliver scientific presentations.


Qualifications We Desire





  • Experience modeling asteroid orbital, material, and photometric populations.
  • Experience in sensor or signature modeling within the optical and infrared wavelength ranges.
  • Experience working with photometric surveys.
  • Experience in applying numerical modeling for software development as shown by open-source projects, scientific collaboration contributions, or an employment background that includes similar software engineering roles or responsibilities.
  • Experience with C++ and/or python software development.
  • Ability to effectively use available computing architectures for project execution, such as high-performance computing (HPC) resources, and expertise with development and deployment of data processing pipelines on various computing architectures.


Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.


Position Information

This is a Postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of extension to a maximum of three years, open to those who have been awarded a PhD at time of hire date.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?






Security Clearance

None required. However, if your assignment is longer than 179 days cumulatively within a calendar year, you must go through the Personal Identity Verification process. This process includes completing an online background investigation form and receiving approval of the background check. (This process does not apply to foreign nationals.)

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position must pass a post-offer, pre-employment drug test. This includes testing for use of marijuana as Federal Law applies to us as a Federal Contractor.

Equal Employment Opportunity

We are an equal opportunity employer that is committed to providing all with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, protected veteran status, age, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.

We invite you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Reasonable Accommodation

Our goal is to create an accessible and inclusive experience for all candidates applying and interviewing at the Laboratory. If you need a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please use our online form to submit a request.

California Privacy Notice

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants privacy rights to all California residents. The law also entitles job applicants, employees, and non-employee workers to be notified of what personal information LLNL collects and for what purpose. The Employee Privacy Notice can be accessed here.




Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is the go-to laboratory for science and technology solutions to the toughest and most important problems affecting national and global security. If you are interested in contributing to pushing the frontiers of knowledge to build the scientific and technological foundation that will be needed to address national security issues, then we invite you to apply.

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