Postdoctoral Fellow (NAWI-National Alliance for Water Innovation)

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
Berkeley, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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Berkeley Lab’s Energy Storage & Distributed Resources Division (ESDR) is looking for a Postdoctoral Fellow to join their National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) project!

In this role, you perform theory, simulation, and data mining to screen materials for energy applications. The main project will use an automatic optimization framework coupled with DFT calculation to identify catalysts for water purification.

What You Will Do:

  • Perform density functional theory calculations on surfaces to identify electrocatalytic activity.
  • Apply optimization routines to the search for new catalyst compositions.
  • Apply data mining techniques to identify the characteristics of materials responsible for high performance.
  • Participate in research activities focused on development and applications of novel algorithms, approaches and software in the area of material informatics and data mining.
  • Develop software implementation of the above analyses.
  • Communicate progress/results in presentations and publications and develop professional skills.

What is Required:

  • A recent Ph.D. in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, or a related field.
  • Strong experience in density functional theory calculations.
  • A strong background in Python programming, e.g., as demonstrated through completed university coursework or via a portfolio of prior code written.
  • Experience with data mining techniques and surface calculations.
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills with the ability to work independently or as part of a team.

What We Prefer:

  • Background in catalysis or water purification.
  • Experience with "Materials Project" software suite (pymatgen, FireWorks, atomate, matminer).
  • Experience with the MongoDB NoSQL database system.

For full consideration, please apply by close of business on October 23, 2020 with the following application materials:

  • Cover Letter - Describe your interest in this position and the relevance of your background.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume.


  • This is a full time, exempt from overtime pay (monthly paid), 1 year, postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds, and ongoing operational needs.  You must have less than 4 years of paid postdoctoral experience. 
  • Salaries for postdoctoral positions depend on years of experience post-degree and are predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates.
  • This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.
  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.
  • This position will be performed remotely initially until early 2021 due to COVID-19 but limited to individuals currently residing in the United States. Once the Bay Area shelter-in-place restrictions are lifted, work may be performed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

Learn About Us:

Berkeley Lab (LBNL) addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Division (ESDR) works on developing advanced batteries and fuel cells for transportation and stationary energy storage, grid-connected technologies for a cleaner, more reliable, resilient, and cost-effective future, and demand-responsive and distributed energy technologies for a dynamic electric grid.

The National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) focuses on early-stage research on desalination and associated water-treatment technologies to secure affordable and energy-efficient water supplies for the United States from nontraditional water sources.

Berkeley Lab’s Postdoc Program is committed to providing Postdoctoral Researchers and Visiting scholars with a positive and impactful experience to jump-start their career through premium research and career development, networking opportunities, mentoring programs, and a strong community.  For more information, please visit our Berkeley Lab Postdoc Resources site and our Berkeley Lab Postdoc Association site.

Berkeley Lab is committed to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accountability (IDEA) and strives to hire individuals who share these same values and commitments.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. Click here to view the poster and supplement: "Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law."