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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Analysis and Modeling of Structural Behavior of Materials


Material Measurement Laboratory, Applied Chemicals and Materials Division

opportunity location
50.64.72.B7374 Boulder, CO

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Andrew J. Slifka 303.497.3744


The Materials Reliability Division at NIST houses one of the nation’s leading laboratories for testing the reliability of structural materials. We are at the forefront of mechanical testing of these materials, performing fracture, fatigue, and ductility testing on samples, which scale from micron-sized to meters long. We characterize their structure-property relationships with support of a comprehensive metallographic laboratory, including optical microscopy, SEM, and TEM capabilities.

We are looking to expand our network of collaborators by inviting dynamic young scientists, capable of theoretical fracture mechanics and related modeling techniques, to join our team to probe cutting edge issues in fatigue and fracture. Some examples of research opportunities include:

(1) Understanding of hydrogen interactions with metals during cyclic stressing in pressurized hydrogen, to explore mechanisms of enhanced fatigue initiation susceptibility and fatigue crack growth rate. Other gases of interest include CO2 and methane, greenhouse gases whose influence on global warming could be mitigated by sequestration.

(2) Evaluation of corrosion fatigue and stress corrosion fatigue mechanisms which accelerate fatigue crack growth in steels and other metals exposed to alternative fuels such as ethanol, iso-butanol, and bio-diesel.

(3) Modeling of energy absorption in dynamic tests, to understand the relative influence of deformation, fracture, and friction, and enable improved predictive capability for structural response of systems manufactured from advanced materials.

(4) Modeling of energy absorption during testing under cryogenic conditions, as are common in space applications.

The work in our laboratories supports some of society’s most critical reliability problems, including ensuring the reliability of our nation’s infrastructure, development of methods for storage and transport of alternative fuels, and development of critical data on radiation’s effects on structural materials. Our laboratory also maintains the nation’s energy scale for dynamic impact (Charpy) testing, collaborating with colleagues around the world to maintain robust and relevant impact test methods which are critical to ensuring structural performance. For more information please visit our website at


key words
Materials; Alternative energy; Fracture; Mechanics; Fatigue; Alternative fuel; Finite element; Hydrogen, Corrosion;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
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