Duke University, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

841 27493
Position ID:Duke-MEMS-ARPCURTAROLO [#27493]
Position Title: Assistant Research Professor
Position Type:Non-regular rank faculty
Position Location:Durham, North Carolina 27701, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Areas: Engineering / Computational Science and Engineering, Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering
Appl Deadline:2024/04/22 11:59PMhelp popup finished (2024/04/11, finished 2024/04/22, listed until 2024/10/11)
Position Description:    

*** this position has been closed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

Occupational Summary

The Duke University - Center of Extreme Materials - seeks for an Assistant Research Professor to perform computational studies in materials. The successful candidate should demonstrate a strong previous research record and be ready to collaborate on and lead educational research efforts. They should also be committed to facilitating learning and acting as a mentor and advisor for research. This position offers an opportunity that integrates creativity and leadership at the intersection of graduate education, physical science, and data science. The position has an initial appointment funded for three years.

Work Performed

Research Activities (100% of time): • conducting first-principles electronic and thermodynamic structure calculations • designing software solutions for multi-scale material integration • preparing scientific manuscripts and proposals

Required Qualifications at this Level


A PhD in Materials Science, Physics, or Chemistry is required.


1. Extensive experience in conducting first-principles electronic and thermodynamic structure calculations for various materials systems, including metals, semiconductors, and insulators.

2. Proven expertise in interpreting and analyzing the results of these calculations, including structural, vibrational, and electronic properties.

3. Experience in developing and programming methods to map first-principles results onto a tight-binding basis set and atomistic potentials, thereby increasing the size of the systems that can be studied.

4. Demonstrated ability to manage large groups and projects, including proposal preparation and collaboration with colleagues and external partners.

5. Strong record of publications and presentations in top-tier scientific journals and conferences.

6. Record of innovation and creativity in tackling complex scientific problems and developing new methods and techniques.


To excel in this role, a candidate must possess a unique combination of skills and knowledge spanning various areas of science and technology.

Key requirements include:

1. In-depth understanding of thermodynamics, kinetics, solid-state physics, crystallography, group theory, and inorganic chemistry. This foundation is essential for interpreting and analyzing complex data, developing innovative solutions, and communicating effectively with colleagues and collaborators.

2. Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written. The candidate must be able to articulate complex scientific concepts, collaborate effectively with colleagues, and present findings to various audiences.

3. Fluency in using scientific communication and rendering software such as LaTeX, VMD, VESTA, and POVRAY. These tools are essential for creating accurate visualizations, documentation, and dissemination of research results.

4. Strong C, C++, Fortran, Verilog, and Assembly programming skills. Proficiency in these languages enables the candidate to write efficient code, optimize algorithms, and integrate various software tools for simulations and data analysis.

5. Proven experience in materials simulation software like VASP and Quantum Espresso. Familiarity with these programs is essential for uncovering materials' properties and behavior.

6. Knowledge of molecular dynamics simulation software like LAMMPS or NAMD. Candidates must have this skill set to model and study complex chemical and physical systems on larger time and length scales.

7. Experience with solving scientific problems using Finite Element Method (FEM) tools such as COMSO or FreeFEM. A solid foundation in FEM allows to bridge material properties with application needs.

8. Experience managing large data repositories using SQL or noSQL methods. The candidate must be able to organize, store, and retrieve data efficiently and integrate datasets with different tools and systems.

9. Proven experience in managing High-Performance Computing (HPC) clusters. The ability to work with large datasets, optimize computational resources, and ensure smooth operation of simulations on HPC systems is crucial for this role.

In summary, the ideal candidate must possess a broad scientific theory and programming foundation, proficiency in various software tools for simulations and data analysis, extensive experience with HPC environments, and strong communication skills.

Essential Physical Job Functions

Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essential job functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas-an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
email address
Duke University
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Box 90300
Durham, NC 27708