California Institute of Technology, Physics, Mathematics & Astronomy Division

Position ID:Caltech-PMA-PD [#25200]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Position in mm/submm Astronomy/Cosmology
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Pasadena, California 91125, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Area: Radio/mm/submm Astrophysics and Cosmology incl. instrumentation development
Appl Deadline: (posted 2023/07/24, listed until 2024/01/24)
Position Description:   URMs  

We are seeking to hire a postdoctoral researcher to participate in studies of galaxy clusters and the CGM and the development of millimeter and submillimeter detectors and optics. Work in the group, led by Sunil Golwala and Jack Sayers, includes the following topics:
  • Data analysis and new observations of galaxy clusters using the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect, X- rays, galaxy spectroscopy, and gravitational lensing. Our group is playing a significant role in the large XMM-Newton Heritage project CHEX-MATE, with a particular emphasis on multi-probe three-dimensional triaxial modeling of the gas and dark matter distributions. We are also actively involved in characterizing the CHEX-MATE selection function, along with the broader program goals of understanding how large scale structure assembles and better calibrating cluster masses for cosmological analyses. In addition to CHEX-MATE, we are also using observational data to probe both plane-of-sky morphological features and line-of-sight velocities in major galaxy cluster mergers, which are then compared to numerical simulations to constrain the constituents, geometry, and epoch of the mergers. Finally, we are studying a sample of galaxy clusters using data from Herschel, Chandra, HST, and ground-based mm-wave surveys to better understand how the interaction of dust and hot gas impacts star formation.  
  • Use of the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect in concert with X-rays, fast radio bursts, and UV spectroscopy to constrain the hot circumgalactic medium of galaxies, both via analysis of existing data sets and forecasts for future instruments.  
  • The development of detector and optics technologies for continuum imaging and low-resolution spectroscopy in the 30-420 GHz range, possibly higher, for the study of CMB polarization, galaxy clusters via the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect, thermal sources such as dusty, star-forming galaxies and star forming regions and the ISM in our galaxy, and spectral line emission. The technical developments include: 
    • microstrip-coupled titanium nitride and aluminum kinetic inductance detectors (KIDs)  
    • low-loss amorphous silicon as a dielectric for KID capacitors and superconducting microstripline  
    • hierarchical, phased-array superconducting antennas for mm/submm wavelengths  
    • high-frequency (500 GHz - 2 THz) microstripline using amorphous silicon, NbTiN, and MgB2 broadband silicon metamaterial optics  

For more details on these developments, see doi:10.1117/12.2056777, doi:10.1007/s10909-022-02890-x, doi:10.1364/AO.57.005196, doi:10.1007/s10909-019-02294-4, doi:10.1007/s10909-019-02255-x. 

Applicants should have: 
  • a PhD in astronomy, physics, applied physics, electrical engineering, materials science, or any other field relevant to the above work; 
  • strong technical skills in experimental measurements and their analysis and interpretation. Experience with superconducting detectors such as KIDs, SIS mixers, HEBs, or TESs will be particularly useful. Experience in astronomical data analysis is not a requirement. 
  • and, the ability to work independently, set priorities, multitask, seek technical input from diverse sources, and maintain good familiarity with related technical developments 
The position is for a term of 1 year with the possibility of two or more one-year reappointments assuming satisfactory performance and availability of funding. Applicants should submit a CV, publications list, and a statement of research interests and arrange for 3 letters of reference to be submitted. Inquiries about the position may be directed to Sunil Golwala ( and/or Jack Sayers ( Applications received by September 1, 2023 will receive full consideration, but review of the applications will continue until the position is filled. The successful applicant may start at any mutually agreeable date in 2023 or early 2024. 

Hiring Range $68,000 – $75,000 per year. The salary of the finalist(s) selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to, experience, qualifications, skills, education, specialty, training, and internal equity.

As one of the largest employers in Pasadena, CA, Caltech is committed to providing comprehensive benefits to eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Our benefits package includes competitive compensation, health, dental, and vision insurance, retirement savings plans, generous paid time off, parental leave, tuition reimbursement, and more. Learn more about our benefits and who is eligible.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. To read more Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) go to eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf.
If you would like to request an accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to the contact on the job posting.

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Further Info:
email address
California Institute of Technology
1200 E. California Blvd.
MC 367-17
Pasadena, CA 91125