Penn State Postdoctoral Position

For those looking for a postdoctoral position, see the announcement below!

SWE Community,

We are looking for a U.S. citizen with specific technical expertise in the area of protecting personnel, electronics, and infrastructure from Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), with a specific emphasis on radiological and nuclear threats, to place them at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, or DTRA, located in Fort Belvoir, Virginia within the next few months. Candidates must be able to obtain a security clearance.

Postdoctoral Research Scholar Program

The Postdoctoral Research Scholar Program was established by Penn State University to develop and execute a program to address critical scientific, technology, and engineering needs for reducing the threat from Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).  This project enables DTRA to utilize mission-critical expertise possessed by highly qualified faculty and graduate students (nearing completion of their degree) who hold doctoral or terminal professional degrees in relevant scientific, technical and engineering disciplines. Postdoctoral Fellows will be selected based upon their responsive ability to enhance DTRA’s mission requirements.

At this time we are specifically looking for a candidate to fill a position in Thrust Area 3: Science for Protection.


Strong quantitative abilities and communication skills are sought. The candidate should have a Ph.D. in physical science or engineering, such as electrical engineering, materials science, nuclear physics or engineering, physics, chemistry, or a related field. A multidisciplinary background is preferred.  Exposure to, or experience in, nuclear physics, electronics fabrication, modeling and simulation, optoelectronics, or radiation effects in materials is beneficial.

Work Description:

This position is located on-site at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and is not a lab research position, incorporating neither laboratory time nor academic research.

The successful candidate will be expected to assist in the development of research topics and management of grants that improve the understanding of science with the objective of protection from Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).  Science for Protection involves fundamental investigations to advance the knowledge of physical, biological, chemical, and engineering sciences to protect personnel, sensitive electronic systems, and infrastructure from the effects of weapons of mass destruction. Protection includes both passive and active defense against threats.

Further Detail

For a qualified candidate, this opportunity would provide the following:

$83,664 annual salary which includes a $1,000 monthly living allowance

$6,000 Domestic Travel allowance

Reminder: applicants must be a U.S. citizen, capable of obtaining a security clearance at the Secret level.  Postdoctoral scholars will spend one year with the possibility of renewal for up to three years, working at DTRA (Fort Belvior, VA) as employees of The Pennsylvania State University.

Applications are accepted online at

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. The target start date is Spring 2016 or earlier.  Please email for more information.


Looking forward to you sharing this opportunity,

Jan Mahar Sturdevant

Professor of Practice

College of Information Science and Technology

Penn State University


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