Careers at UMass Amherst

Post Doctoral Research Associate (2 positions)

Apply now Job no: 503272
Work type: Post Doc (Amherst Only)
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Physics
Union: Post Doc
Categories: Postdoctoral Research Associate

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

 

Job Summary

Two postdoctoral research positions in the EXO-200/nEXO group at UMass Amherst.

The EXO-200/nEXO program comprises various activities, carried out by two distinct collaborations representing different phases of a long-term program to measure neutrinoless double beta decay of xenon-136. EXO-200 is an experiment operating at the WIPP mine in New Mexico and producing physics results. The nEXO project is a scaled-up experiment that will extend the sensitivity reach of EXO-200 ~100-fold. nEXO is in an R&D phase to perfection design choices in view of a proposal to US and international funding agencies. Both use liquid xenon Time Projection Chambers (TPCs) operated with enriched xenon (>80% Xe-136).

The postdoc will reside at UMass Amherst where an R&D laboratory in support of nEXO is operated. In the lab we measure the properties (e.g. light collection efficiency and electronic parameters) of Silicon Photo-Multipliers (SiPMs), the photon detector of choice for nEXO. An ancillary goal of the nEXO R&D program at UMass is to measure optical properties at the interface of solids and liquefied xenon (less-than-ambient temperature of 170 K). The postdoc will be in charge of day-to-day operations in the UMass laboratory, including hardware upgrades to the system.

 

Essential Functions

Examples of duties:

  • Lead the analysis and data extraction from measurements performed in the laboratory, under the scientific coordination of the PI.
  • Operate the cryogenic setup to test silicon photo-sensors illuminated by x-rays, VUV and visible light; collection and analysis of acquired data.
  • Operate the xenon liquefaction setup to test silicon photo-sensors; collection and analysis of acquired data.
  • Consider and implement hardware upgrades to the laboratory infrastructure according to the scientific goals identified by and with the PI.
  • Mentor graduate and undergraduate students in the laboratory, participate in all other aspects of nEXO R&D carried out by the UMass group (e.g. items in the design of the nEXO TPC, cryogenics, and investigation of physics channels).
  • Be involved in the EXO-200 campaign, by covering required shift duties for the UMass group, possibly contributing to the technical management of the detector and its data analysis.

 

Other Functions

  • DarkSide: participation in the commissioning activities and simulation studies of sensitivity and backgrounds for DarkSide-20k; low-energy scintillation and ionization yield studies for liquid argon; investigation into a “low WIMP mass” option for a DarkSide-style detector.
  • Borexino: leading role in the search for CNO solar neutrinos (data analysis activity).
  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness. 
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.

 

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • PhD in particle/nuclear physics.
  • Strong hardware expertise (vacuum, cryogenics, equipment controls, data acquisition).
  • General and extended expertise in particle detection, nuclear electronics, vacuum and cryogenic hardware and control instrumentation are required.

 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Track record of working with students a plus.
  • Past postdoctoral experience preferred.
  • Candidates with previous expertise on double beta decay and/or neutrino physics, including the EXO-200 and nEXO projects will be given special consideration.

 

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment.

 

Work Schedule

Monday – Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm

 

Salary Information

Salary will be commensurate with experience.

 

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please submit cover letter, CV and contact information for three letters of recommendation by the priority review date of November 19, 2019.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. (https://www.cns.umass.edu/diversity-equity-inclusion)

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the

 

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