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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Earth and Planetary Sciences - 51167
University of Washington in Seattle, Washington
Date Posted 03/21/2021
Admin-Laboratory and Research
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled

Post Doc Instructions

Please do not submit an application to this posting.  To apply for this postdoctoral research opportunity, follow the directions below in “Applicant Special Instructions”.

Department Name/Job Location

This position is in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.  This position is for the Danforth Campus in the School of Arts & Sciences.

Essential Functions


Washington University in St. Louis is seeking applicants for a post-doctoral research position in physics, photonics, or a closely related laser-tech field to work on the development of a novel laser architecture for a future lunar in situ resource utilization (ISRU) application.

The successful applicant will join the team designing the Water Regolith Analysis for Grounded Lunar 3d Reconnaissance (WRANGL3R) instrument, funded under a recent NASA Lunar Surface Technology Research (LuSTR) award.

As part of the WRANGL3R team, the successful applicant will work closely with PI at the Department of Earth and Planetary Science of Washington University in St. Louis (EPS-WUSTL) and with colleagues at Impossible Sensing (IMS), a St. Louis-based optical sensing company. They will be responsible for the design and implementation of the WRANGL3R laser, the integration of the laser with a drilling auger and spectroscopic optical pathway, and for the science validation activities on samples relevant for lunar in situ resource utilization.


  • Perform R&D in laser physics, including simulation, analysis, fabrication, assembly, and testing of novel solid state laser architectures.
  • Design and execute science tests to demonstrate program objectives.
  • Work in multidisciplinary teams that span different research areas, including laser physics, laser spectroscopy, and planetary geochemistry.
  • Highly skilled technical writing, including scientific presentations and publications. 

  • Required Qualifications

    • Ph.D. degree in physics, photonics, or a related laser-tech field.
    • Demonstrated knowledge of laser physics and diode pumped solid state laser technology.

    Preferred Qualifications

    • Proficiency in a programming language, such as Python or C++.
    • Experience with laser modeling and simulation software (e.g. ASLD or similar).
    • Experience with spectroscopy, laboratory measurements, and optics.
    • Interest in development of new technologies for planetary and space application.

    Salary Range

    Base pay commensurate with experience.

    Pre-Employment Screening

    All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. Current employees applying for a new position within the university may be subject to this requirement. The screenings will include a criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.


    This position is eligible for full-time benefits.  Please click the following link to view a summary of benefits:  https://hr.wustl.edu/benefits/ .

    Applicant Special Instructions

    Candidates should submit a CV, representative publications, contact information for three references, and a cover letter describing their research interests and relevant experience to:

    Professor Alian Wang
    Email: alianw@wustl.edu

    EOE Statement

    Washington University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

    *Please mention academicjobs.net to employers when applying for this job*
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