Post-doctoral Researcher - Shape Memory Alloy Development & Manufacturing

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), a national leader in scientific research and development, is actively seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher - Shape Memory Alloy Development & Manufacturing. JHU APL is located midway between Baltimore and Washington, DC.

Job Summary:

APL's Research and Exploratory Development Department (REDD) has a growing R&D initiative to pursue design and synthesis of innovative alloys and structures for defense and security applications. This R&D initiative's focus includes shape memory alloys, high entropy alloys, metal matrix composites or metal to ceramic gradients, and other innovative materials and structures exploiting unique thermal gradients possible with additive manufacturing or plasma spray. 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.

Duties (Listed in order of importance with the estimated amount of time spent at each task):

1. Conduct innovative R&D in the field of design, synthesis and manufacture of novel alloys, including shape memory metals. Duties include, but are not limited to alloy design using thermodynamic modeling; synthesis of materials via additive manufacturing (powder bed fusion and direct metal laser sintering); shape memory effect modeling; material and structural 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 design, development and application of novel alloys 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%)

Note: 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, mechanical engineering, physics, chemistry, or related field, with dissertation work related to development or manufacture of shape memory metals, including modeling of the shape change effects.
  • Hands-on experience in material characterization, including mechanical testing, microscopy, compositional analysis and microstructural analysis, using techniques including SEM, EBSD, x-ray diffraction, spectroscopy.
  • 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:
  • Experience with alloy design and manufacturing.
  • Hands-on experience with additive manufacturing of metals.
  • 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.

#LI-SR1 #15284

Meet Some of Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory's Employees

Gianni P.

Electrical Engineer

Gianni works on the design, modeling, and simulation of low- to high-fidelity radar projects for the lab. He also conducts tests to evaluate new technologies.

Mary A.

Lead RF Systems Engineer

Mary Ann builds prototypes and integrates software and hardware communications in order to create complete systems for APL contracts and projects. She also collaborates with her team to fix software issues.

Back to top