Research Associate-Accelerator Systems

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) will be a new national user facility for nuclear science, funded by the Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC), Michigan State University (MSU), and the State of Michigan. Under construction on the site of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) on the MSU campus and to be operated by MSU, FRIB will provide intense beams of rare isotopes (that is, short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth). FRIB and NSCL will continue to enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of these rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society.

Rare-isotope beams are produced and separated in-flight, presently at the NSCL Coupled Cyclotron Facility and in the future at FRIB, and subsequently thermalized and reaccelerated to energies up to 6 MeV/u, by the ReAccelerator facility ReA3, a worldwide unique, state-of-the-art accelerator for rare- isotope beams. An upgrade to higher energies (ReA6) is presently under construction. When FRIB comes online, it will supplant the Coupled Cyclotron Facility and provide the highest possible intensity rare isotope beams as input to the ReA facility.

This position affords an exciting opportunity to become part of the world-class FRIB Project, and to get in on the ground floor of an emerging national user facility that will expand nuclear science into a whole new realm of possibility.

Position Overview

We are searching for a postdoctoral research associate to join the SRF Department in the FRIB Accelerator Systems Division.  The research associate will work to develop next-generation SRF devices such as ultra-low-emittance SRF electron photo-injectors and FRIB energy upgrade SRF cavities and cryomodules.  Both efforts are oriented toward pushing the limits of SRF technology.  This work will be done under the supervision of FRIB SRF scientists and engineers at a state-of-the-art SRF facility at MSU.

Major Position Responsibilities

  • Develop new surface preparation methods to improve the quality factor of low-beta coaxial cavities and medium-beta elliptical cavities.
  • Characterize the performance of SRF cavities and subsystems via vertical and horizontal tests.
  • Conceive and develop new ancillary devices for an SRF photo-injector cryomodule or the FRIB energy upgrade cryomodule.
  • Conceive and develop new instrumentation and measurement systems for SRF cavity testing.
  • Model and simulate new SRF devices, e.g. EM simulation of SRF cavities and EM/thermal analysis of RF couplers.
  • Coordinate with clean room personnel and chemical engineers for SRF cavity surface preparation.
  • Develop and/or improve cryomodule components and procedures for better cryomodule performance and reliability.

Required Qualifications

  • PhD in Physics or closely related field
  • Demonstrated knowledge of SRF technology
  • Excellent verbal, presentation, and technical report writing skills
  • Efficient collaboration within project teams
  • Ability to work with export controlled items

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience with vertical testing of SRF cavities
  • Experience with cryogenic instrumentation and high-power RF
  • Experience with engineering software such as Labview and Matlab
  • Experience with electromagnetic modeling software such as CST Microwave Studio


MSU employees receive excellent benefits including health/dental plans, a generous retirement plan, and educational assistance.

How to Apply

For immediate consideration, please go search for posting number 721565 and follow the application process.

MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and person with disabilities.

About FRIB and MSU, and the East Lansing Community

FRIB is currently under construction and baselined at a total project cost of $730M. Upon start of user operation in 2022, FRIB will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications of rare isotopes to benefit society.

MSU is one of the largest university campuses in the U.S. with a beautiful campus of 5,000 tree-filled acres. It has 17 degree-granting colleges and is a center for academic and research activities as well as the arts and athletics.

The campus sits between Lansing (Michigan’s capital city) and East Lansing. The Lansing area has a population of 350,000 and offers lovely suburban areas, loft condos and other urban living opportunities as well as easy-to-get-to rural areas. A symphony orchestra, excellent health care, many community and professional theatres, rivers, lakes, outdoor festivals, close access to large cities and Lake Michigan make for a near perfect living environment.

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.