Assistant Research Professor or Researcher



Job description

Job Number: REQ_0000041280


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 limited-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.

University Park, PA 

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here.

How to apply


  • CURRENT PENN STATE STUDENT (not employed previously at the university) and seeking employment with Penn State, please login to Workday to complete the student application process. Please do not apply here, apply internally through Workday.

From agricultural college to world-class learning community -- the story of The Pennsylvania State University is one of an expanding mission of teaching, research, and public service. But that mission was not so grandly conceived in 1855, when the Commonwealth chartered the school at the request of the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society. The goal was to apply scientific principles to farming, a radical departure from the traditional curriculum grounded in mathematics, rhetoric, and classical languages.