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Postdoc positions

Postdoctoral positions are available in the recently established Center for Chemical Computation and Theory (ccCAT) at the University of California, Merced. A Department of Energy project supported for three years includes the computational research groups of Professors Hrant Hratchian, Christine Isborn, Aurora Pribram-Jones, Liang Shi, and David Strubbe in the physics and chemistry departments. Strubbe and Pribram-Jones are additionally part of a new Consortium for High Energy Density Science in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and other partners. We are looking for post-docs with strong expertise in electronic structure and excited states, condensed-phase dynamics, and/or spectroscopy. The postdoc may be jointly mentored by multiple PIs based on mutual interests. Some specific projects of interest are listed below.

  • Improving the accuracy and efficiency of methods to model two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy (2DES). This project will focus on developing techniques to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the dynamic approach to computing the spectral density, understanding the nature of the condensed phase environment during electronic excitation and subsequent relaxation, as well as extending the approach to multi-level systems.
  • Development and implementation of ground and excited state electronic structure methods motivated by the chemistry and physics of transition metal compounds. Part of this project will involve advancements involving GW and Bethe–Salpeter equation (BSE) formalisms, time-dependent density-functional theory (TDDFT), and constrained DFT. Additional efforts will advance symmetry-breaking and projection based theories for ground and excited state models, as well as incorporating key concepts from spin-projection models into ensemble density function theory and related models.
  • Formal development and analysis of ensemble and thermal density functional theory. Focus of this postdoctoral assignment will be on understanding and interrogating the strictly correlated limit of thermal ensembles of electrons, the direct ensemble correction to Kohn-Sham energies, and the relationships between interaction strength and other system parameters (temperature, ensemble weighting, and time, among others). This project will have opportunities for interaction with national laboratory scientists and programs. Other projects possible based on candidate expertise in semiclassical methods, response properties, and complex alloys.

Interested applicants should email one of the faculty: 1) a cover letter stating which research areas listed above are of most interest, 2) a curriculum vitae, 3) a list of at least two references with contact information, 4) a statement of research background and interests no longer than 2 pages.  

Required qualifications: A recent Ph.D. (must be conferred by the start date of the position) in theoretical chemistry or a closely related field (e.g. condensed matter physics), good written and spoken communication skills. 

Preferred qualifications: excellent publication record; experience with developing, implementing, and validating models in electronic structure theory or dynamics programs; experience in theoretical chemical physics, computational transition metal chemistry, condensed-phase dynamics, or spectroscopic methods; experience with Fortran, python, and numerical methods.

See also our related postdoc ad for the Consortium for High Energy Density Science: