Research Associate

Loughborough University - Department of Chemistry

We are seeking to appoint a Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) in the Department of Chemistry at Loughborough University. The project is funded by EPSRC until 30 November 2020.

The main aim of the project is to study the diffusivities of fission products (I, Cs, Kr, Sr, Ru, Ag, and Eu) in nuclear graphite. Nuclear graphite is used as a moderator and structural component in the extreme environment of the reactor cores in the UK's Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors. Future reactor designs will rely upon a good understanding of the properties of nuclear graphite under high temperature and high irradiation. Particularly how these properties change over the lifetime of the reactor.

The successful applicant will conduct molecular dynamics (MD) and DFT computer simulations to understand the electronic structure and energy landscapes of the fission products in nuclear graphite. This will involve the calculation of energy barriers using suitable techniques such as the nudged elastic band (NEB) method. The effect of many decades of exposure neutron and gamma radiation on the material properties will be investigated using long timescale techniques.

Applicants should hold a PhD in a relevant field (i.e. Physics, Chemistry or Applied Mathematics). Experience of computer modelling using molecular dynamics (MD), Monte-Carlo models or DFT is essential. Excellent computer programming skills, using C or FORTRAN as well as scripting languages such as Python are also essential to the job.

Informal enquiries should be made to Dr Kenny Jolley by email at: K.Jolley@lboro.ac.uk or by telephone on +44 (0)1509 222554.

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Midlands of England