Post-Doctoral Researcher - Ceramic & High Temperature Materials

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is a national leader in scientific research and development and is located midway between Baltimore and Washington, DC. JHU APL is actively seeking a Post-Doctoral Researcher - Ceramic & High Temperature Materials.

Job Summary:

The Research and Exploratory Development Department (REDD) at APL has a growing R&D initiative to pursue design and synthesis of innovative high-temperature materials for defense and security applications, including protective coatings and materials for ultra-high temperature applications, metal matrix or ceramic gradient composites, C-C composites, reactive material coatings and films, and other innovative materials via plasma-spray and additive manufacturing. The successful candidate would work and communicate closely and effectively with the materials R&D team to conceptualize new materials and research projects, propose new ideas to Sponsors, perform tasking on a variety of research efforts, and ensure all tasks are performed to extremely high standards.


1.Conduct innovative R&D in the field of high temperature materials. Duties include, but are not limited to development and synthesis of materials via additive manufacturing, plasma spray, and spark plasma sintering (SPS); material characterization, and integration; and maintenance of laboratory equipment. (55%)

2.Communicate daily with project teams and leadership on materials development and characterization activities to support programmatic needs. Participate in discussion of ideas, options, and approaches. Report work progress in both oral and written form. (10%)

3.Independently pursue research in high-temperature materials under the mentorship and supervision of APL staff members. Formulate and manage projects from conceptualization and proposal-writing through the final delivery of successful results or prototypes to meet our customer needs. (25%)

4.Contribute to sponsor briefings and proposals, publish original research in this area, and present the work at academic and technical conferences. (10%)


This job summary and listing of duties is for the purpose of describing the position and its essential functions at time of hire and may change over time.

Required Qualifications:

  • PhD in materials science, physics, chemistry, mechanical or electrical engineering, or related field, with dissertation work related to high temperature materials, C-C composites, refractory materials, and ceramics.
  • Hands-on experience with various coating and material processing techniques such as thermal and plasma spray, chemical doping mechanisms, and chemical vapor deposition/infiltration.
  • Hands-on experience in material characterization including high-temperature mechanical testing and optical techniques.
  • Experience and knowledge in conducting materials characterization and analysis techniques such as X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, SEM imaging and sample preparation, and optical characterization.
  • Ability to self-direct new research paths based on results and propose new ideas.
  • Organizational skills to maintain laboratory process inventories and notebooks.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office to include Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
  • Good oral and written communication and interpersonal skills.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with optical characterization of materials at high temperatures.
  • Experience and knowledge in other coating methods including, but not limited to, electroless deposition, atomic layer deposition, and sintering methods.
  • Experience with lab data acquisition and analysis tools such as Labview and Matlab.

Special Working Conditions:

Occasional travel can be necessary for other purposes (conferences, sponsor visits, etc.) after initial work assignment.


Applicant selected will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.


APL offers a comprehensive benefits package including a liberal vacation plan, a matching retirement program, significant educational assistance, a scholarship tuition program for staff with dependents, and competitive salaries commensurate with skills and experience. For more information about our organization, please visit our web site at

Equal Employment Opportunity:

Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments Acts of 1972, as well as other applicable laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

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