Research Associate for Aerosol Microphysics

Upton, New York (US)
May 16, 2019
Jun 15, 2019
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About Brookhaven National Laboratory

Brookhaven National Laboratory is a multipurpose research institution funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Located on the center of Long Island, New York, Brookhaven Lab brings world-class facilities and expertise to the most exciting and important questions in basic and applied science—from the birth of our universe to the sustainable energy technology of tomorrow. We operate cutting-edge large-scale facilities for studies in physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, applied science, and a wide range of advanced technologies. The Laboratory's almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 4,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Our award-winning history, including seven Nobel Prizes, stretches back to 1947, and we continue to unravel mysteries from the nanoscale to the cosmic scale, and everything in between. Brookhaven is operated and managed by Brookhaven Science Associates, which was founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.

Organizational Overview

Environmental and Climate Science research at Brookhaven National Lab is focused on aerosol chemistry and microphysics, aerosol-related infrastructure, climate and process modeling, cloud processes, data management and software engineering, terrestrial ecosystems, meteorological services, and tracer technologies.  The Aerosol Chemistry and Microphysics group is focused on improving process-level understanding of aerosol formation and evolution mechanisms, aerosol optical properties and light absorption, and the direct and indirect influences that aerosols have on clouds, precipitation and climate. Understanding the physics, chemistry and dynamics of interactions along this aerosol-cloud-precipitation continuum is crucial for development of a predictive understanding of the climate system. 

The goal of the Aerosol Chemistry and Microphysics group is to advance process level understanding of aerosols through laboratory studies, modeling and theoretical investigations, and field measurements. To this end, we excel in the development of new techniques for aerosol measurements, laboratory and field studies, and novel approaches to aerosol simulation. Our immediate goal is to close gaps in our understanding of aerosol lifecycles and to facilitate the incorporation of the new knowledge into models in a way that promotes computation efficiency and reduction of model uncertainty. Our longer-range goal is to improve scientific understanding and quantification of aerosol effects important to regional and global climate.

Position Description

Within the Aerosol Chemistry and Microphysics group, one of our science focus areas is light-absorbing aerosols and their direct and semi-direct effects on Earth’s radiation balance. Our research on this topic has involved measurement and analysis of field campaign data, in particular quantifying particulate emissions from wildfires, data acquisition and analysis, and targeted laboratory studies that augment field results.  The aerosol optical properties group is seeking a post-doctoral candidate to expand our research into the microphysical, optical, hygroscopic, and cloud-nucleatingproperties of aerosols, specifically light-absorbing aerosols, and how these properties affect radiation transmission through the atmosphere, including aerosol-cloud interactions. Our laboratory is outfitted with several state-of-the-art instruments that include the Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2), Centrifugal Particle Mass Analyzer (CPMA), BNL-designed Photothermal Interferometer (PTI) for measurement of light absorption, and Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) counter, along with core aerosol instrumentation (e.g., particle counters, scanning mobility particle sizer, particle generation). Our research environment is energetic, dynamic, highly collaborative, and cutting edge.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Design and conduct laboratory experiments to investigate microphysical, optical, hygroscopic, and cloud-nucleating properties of black carbon-containing particles, and analyze the data collected from these experiments. This will require the ability to operate (or training as needed) CCN, SP2, CPC, CPMA, PTI, and other instruments, and may also involve off-site work for field testing and campaigns; 
  • Publish peer-reviewed articles; and,
  • Present at national and international meetings.

Review of applications begins immediately. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. The initial appointment will be one year, with renewal contingent upon availability of funding and satisfactory performance. Research will be under the direction of Dr. Arthur Sedlacek.

BNL Policy requires that research associate appointments be made to individuals who have received their doctorate within the past five years. 

Position Requirements 

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: 

  • Ph.D. in aerosol sciences or related field (applicants with anticipated degree date by January 2020 will be considered for appointment upon conferral of degree);
  • Written and oral communication skills;
  • Knowledge in aerosol instrumentation;
  • Ability to run, and, when necessary, troubleshoot instrumentation; and,
  • Ability to create and pursue independent research ideas.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Experience working in either field campaigns or laboratory studies 
  • Creativity to design experiments, and the ability, when necessary, to modify instrumentation as driven by the science
  • Ability and comfort at working independently
  • Working familiarity with electronics and plumbing
  • Familiarity with LabView and the ability to modify code as driven by the measurement needs
  • A record of publication in high quality, internationally-recognized journals 
  • Ability to work in a team environment


At Brookhaven National Laboratory we believe that a comprehensive employee benefits program is an important and meaningful part of the compensation employees receive. 

Our benefits program includes, but is not limited to:

  • Medical Plans
  • Dental Plans
  • Vacation Holidays
  • Life Insurance 401(k) Plan
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Swimming Pool, Weight Room, Tennis Courts, and many other employee perks and benefits We invite you to consider Brookhaven National Laboratory for employment.


To be considered for this position, please apply online at BNL Careers and enter the job title into the Keyword Search.

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is an equal opportunity employer committed to ensuring that all qualified applicants receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, status as a veteran, disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

BNL takes affirmative action in support of its policy and to advance in employment individuals who are minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

*VEVRAA Federal Contractor