RISE Scientific Engineer – Materials Computation at Penn State

Website Penn State


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The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all 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.

The Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS) at Penn State is seeking a Scientific Engineer for ICDS’ Research Innovations with Scientists and Engineers (RISE) Engagement team. You will be an integral contributor to a fast-paced and growing team of specialists supported by an exciting, ongoing $125 million Penn State investment in ICDS cyber-ecosystem, called “Roar”. Penn State’s elite researchers use our high-performance research cloud (ICDS Roar) to solve real-world problems by conducting simulations, data mining, and other high-performance computing operations. With ICDS, our RISE engineers will have the unique opportunity to support and participate in this groundbreaking work.

For this position, we are particularly interested in a background in Materials Science/Engineering/Physics and appropriate computational toolsets used in these disciplines, including (but are not limited to) LAMMPS, AMS/ADF, Quantum-ESPRESSO, VASP, GAUSSIAN, ABINIT, programming/scripting languages (Python, Fortran, C++, Julia, Bash, Matlab) and Machine Learning related libraries

As a Research Innovations with Scientists and Engineers (RISE) Research and Development Engineer, you will provide technical expertise to university constituents (interdisciplinary research) in research, specification, design, development, and implementation of scientific solutions, combining disciplinary knowledge and scientific data for advanced research computation optimization.

Using a software engineering approach, our RISE Engineers will formulate and define scope and objectives and detailed specifications for assigned projects; provide guidance or develop program design, coding, testing, debugging, and documentation; advance researchers’ goals by providing or enabling scientific research solutions through technical consulting.

Our desired qualifications and skills include:

  • A strong research background that shows an ability to:
    • understand technical requirements and research needs.
    • implement strategies and platforms for computational resources.
    • take advantage of PSU ICDS’ High-Performance Computing (HPC) system (a.k.a. Roar) as appropriate.
    • Utilize other internal (Penn State) and external (Cloud) resources to assist researchers in meeting their research needs.
  • Experience with high-level scripting languages (Ruby, Python), version control systems (git) is required and experience with Graphics Processing Units (GPU) is a plus.
  • Must be able to interface with faculty researchers to understand technical needs and provide guidance and leadership for solutions for solving complex research problems.
  • Must have excellent communication skills (both verbal and written).

Education and Experience Requirements: This position will provide support for a broad range of researchers for a variety of datasets. It will be filled as an R&D Engineer Level 2 or 3 depending on the successful candidate’s experience and education. Typically requires:

  • R&D Eng Level 2: Bachelor’s Degree in an Engineering or Science discipline and 2+ years related experience.
  • R&D Eng Level 3: Bachelor’s Degree in an Engineering or Science discipline; Master’s Degree preferred; and 5+ years related experience.

A Masters or Ph.D. degree in an Engineering or Science discipline particularly geared toward materials modeling with emphasis on computational science techniques is preferred.

Candidates must also have impeccable ethics and integrity with a strong work ethic as well as strong interpersonal and written skills and the ability to work well in a team environment.

At this time, work for this position has the potential to be performed in a hybrid or remote work environment. However, as Penn State updates it’s Flexible Work Policy, any hybrid or remote working arrangements will be re-evaluated, and this position may switch to on-campus only.

The following background checks must be successfully completed for this position:

  • This position will require successful completion of standard background checks

We encourage applicants with additional qualifications to apply.  Training, education, and professional development opportunities are available and encouraged.

To learn more about working for ICDS, please visit Our Web Page.

Employment with Penn State includes many benefits and rewards, including:

  • Generous paid time off program
  • Competitive health and medical insurance
  • 75% Penn State tuition discount for employee and dependents
  • Professional development programs
  • Career advancement opportunities
  • Nationally recognized arts, entertainment, and sporting events
  • Welcoming local community
  • Well respected and top-ranked public-school systems

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.

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