Postdoctoral Scholar - Mechanical Engineering

Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not specified
Apr 06, 2021
Employment Level
Non-Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time

Postdoctoral Scholar - Mechanical Engineering

The High Pressure Combustion Laboratory and Combustion Research Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State has a Spring 2021 opening for a Postdoctoral Scholar to serve as a key researcher in a new fast-paced multi-year multi-phase DARPA-funded Rational Integrated Design of Energetics (RIDE) program. Due to security restrictions, applicants must be U.S. Citizens.

The overall program goal is to develop analysis techniques and safe, semi-automated experimental hardware for rapid and accurate characterization of performance parameters and key properties of energetic materials and mixtures for both explosive (detonation) and propellant/propulsion (deflagration) applications. Research will be conducted in the energetics research labs at Penn State and closely and collaboratively with our partner, Battelle on both modeling & simulation and experimental tasks.

This position requires a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering or related field by the start date. The successful candidate is expected to have broad and deep skills and knowledge of topics relevant to analysis and evaluation of energetic material performance. These may include:
  • Combustion and propulsion theory, especially particles, solid propellants, and energetic materials
  • Design of experimental equipment for high pressure and temperature
  • Fabrication, maintenance, and repair of experimental equipment (mechanisms, high pressure vessels, piping/tubing, pressure and vacuum pumps, etc.)
  • Experience evaluating, specifying, and implementing advanced diagnostics (intrusive and non-intrusive)
  • Additive manufacturing of structural and energetic materials
  • Detailed computational fluid and mechanical analysis using commercial software packages (ANSYS preferred)
  • Safe lab practices for handling and processing of hazardous and energetic materials

    Candidates should have a strong record of high-quality experimental research contributions, including published reports, conference papers, and refereed journal papers. The position will be a yearly fixed-term appointment with multiple renewals expected based on performance and anticipated award by DARPA of the program option.

    Please provide a detailed CV and short research statement (1 -2 pages) summarizing previous experience and expertise with relevant materials and topics. Applications will be evaluated immediately, with selection and hiring of a highly qualified candidate made as soon as practicable. For additional information about this position, please contact Prof. Richard Yetter ( and carbon copy Dr. Eric Boyer ( Additional information on some of the Yetter Group laboratories can be found at

    All eligible applicants with relevant skills and experience will be considered. Applicants must be able to pass background checks required for facility access and working with export-controlled information at Penn State and partner locations.

    Apply online at

    CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

    Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.


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