Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
May 14, 2018
Jun 13, 2018
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Postdoctoral Research Associate

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides supercomputing and advanced digital resources for the nation’s science enterprise. At NCSA, University of Illinois faculty, staff, students, and collaborators from around the globe use advanced digital resources to address research grand challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA has been advancing one third of the Fortune 50® for more than 30 years by bringing industry, researchers and students together to solve grand challenges at rapid speed and scale.

NCSA invites applications for a postdoctoral fellow position to develop scientific software for analyzing and visualizing volumetric data based on the yt project (, an open source, community-developed python package. The successful candidate is expected to contribute to the development of systems and software in support of a newly awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to expand the yt community to new fields in the physical sciences.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Develop community models and tools for use in computational and data-intensive science and engineering more generally.
  • Conduct software development for community tools such as yt to extend support for data from domains such as weather, seismology, oceanography, and engineering.
  • Conduct outreach to domain research groups and conferences to demonstrate the capabilities of yt for working with common data formats and research data.
  • Conduct research in related areas of physical and computational science.
  • Releasing open source community software tools as well as publications describing those tools.
  • Participating in grant proposal writing.
  • Researchers are encouraged to further their own research interests in collaboration with the broad range of projects going on at NCSA.
  • Interact with teams at NCSA, including specifically the ISDA, ISL, and visualization teams, as well with the national projects led by NCSA including NDS and the Blue Waters team on development of scalable algorithms and codes at the Petascale, and the XSEDE team in the development and deployment of computing and data-services and tools for communities in the physical sciences.
  • Connect to faculty, postdocs, and students on campus, especially in the School of Information Sciences, Computer Science, Physics, Geology, Astronomy and Atmospheric Sciences Departments.

Required Education and Experience:

  • A recent PhD in meteorology, seismology, oceanography, physics, astronomy, computer science, information science, or a related field.
  • Experience working with large, complex datasets and research data formats common in the applicant’s field of study.
  • Experience with the Python programming language.
  • Analytical problem solving ability
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Good interpersonal and teamwork skills

Preferred Experience:

  • Experience visualizing or analyzing volumetric datasets in the context of computational fluid dynamics simulations or tomographic reconstruction of remote sensing observations.
  • Prior experience with one or more of the following computational approaches:
    • Adaptive mesh refinement (AMR)
    • Lagrangian methods, including N-body methods, smoothed particle hydrodynamics, or other meshless hydrodynamics methods
    • Finite element methods and unstructured meshes
    • Hydrodynamics on curvilinear or geographically referenced meshes
  • Familiar with yt, xarray, numba, dask, pandas, vaex, matplotlib or other python data science libraries.
  • Experience with C, C++, Cython, Rust, or other low-level compiled languages is also encouraged.
  • Experience working in the open on free and open source software using Git and GitHub.

Expected Start Date: August 16, 2018

The appointment will be for a fixed term of one year with the possibility of extension. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and relevant research.

Application Process: For full consideration, interested applicants should send their application materials (cover letter, curriculum vitae, research statement, links to recent publications, names/contact information of 3 references) to and include "NCSA SI2 Postdoc Application" in the subject line. Interviews and hires may take place prior to the closing date and early applications are encouraged; however, full consideration will be given to complete applications received by the closing date or until the search closes.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with a disability. Illinois welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. Visit:

For further information regarding our application procedures, you may visit or email