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Assistant Research Professor or Researcher

The Department of Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is seeking to fill an Assistant Research Professor or Researcher position to head fusion technology programs in the Radiation Surface Science and Engineering Lab, headed by Dr. JP Allain. With over $3M in extramural Department of Energy (DOE) funding, the successful candidate will focus on construction and commissioning of the $1M IGNIS-2 facility built at Penn State and located at the Research Drive facilities.

This position will operate and maintain the IGNIS-2 facility. This includes operation of plasma sources, ion sources, evaporators, hydrogen effusion cells, electro-magnetic selectors, vacuum technology components, liquid-metal delivery systems, coupling of multiple chamber systems to the T1 surface analysis facility, vacuum coupling of the glovebox system to vacuum systems in IGNIS-2, as well as safety and handling of all hazardous materials, including lithium, sodium, lithium alloys, and high-temperature refractory metals.

The successful candidate will:

  • Assist and support all experimental design projects by Postdoctoral Scholars and students, including diagnostic system preparation, operational design, and vacuum support systems.

  • Assist in development of new diagnostics, including in-situ high-pressure XPS, LEISS, mass spectrometry, TDS, MOSS, and dual QCM erosion measurements.

  • Perform spectroscopy and microscopy analysis in facilities at MCL and with collaborators.

  • Support efforts to design and build a brand-new high-heat flux facility coupled to a linear plasma source. The successful candidate will be part of a team to assist in this effort as a major initiative in the College of Engineering plasma science and engineering.

Minimum requirements include a Master's degree in a relevant area at time of appointment; PhD degree is preferred. Rank will be determined based on the successful candidate's education and experience. Additional information on academic ranks can be found in Penn State’s AC21 policy.

This is a term appointment, funded for one year from date of hire, as we establish new DOE Fusion Energy Sciences programs to fully support this position from soft funds. The goal is to pursue new solicitations from the newly authorized CHIPS act funds to fusion totaling more than $150M, where we are establishing a fusion tech hub with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This position is key to realizing this partnership and providing technical support to our emerging scientific facilities at Penn State.

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusive excellence that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusive excellence as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

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