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Two postdoctoral positions available at UBC

mponga's picture

Two postdoctoral positions are available in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver Campus. The positions are described below and involve the use of large-scale ab-initio simulations in combination with machine learning models to accelerate materials discovery. The positions are funded for two-years and available in the modelling and simulation group, lead by Prof. Mauricio Ponga.


Candidates should send an application package to Prof. Ponga at including an updated CV, a copy of the two most relevant publications and list at least two names that could provide reference for the candidates. 


Computational design of lightweight high-entropy alloys with large scale ab-initio simulations: PDF1 will be in charge of extending and developing our in-house DFT (MacroDFT) code to use pseudo-potential and all-electrons and to handle different geometries, under the close supervision of Dr. Ponga. PDF1 must have a good background in computational mechanics, materials science, and high-performance computing. PDF1 will perform several special quasi-random calculations, and work closely with PDF2 to train an ML model and use the nonlinear optimization algorithm. Previous experience with high-entropy alloys and other DFT codes is an asset. This position is in Collaboration with J. Jelovica (UBC). 


Computational design of radio-isotope/ligand (RIL) combinations: PDF2 will be performing ab-initio simulations and in charge of developing the surrogate model for analyzing the electronic structure of different RIL combinations. This person will focus on developing models for predicting the binding energy of multiple RIL using DFT and machine learning. The surrogate model will be based on mechanistic considerations of the link between the RIL combinations, using the electronic structure information obtained with the all-electron calculations. Good knowledge of molecular simulation of biomolecules and peptide is required. Use of GROMACS and other tools to simulate molecules and chemical interactions are an asset. This position is in collaboration with Prof. C. Orvig in Chemistry (UBC). 


Diversity and underrepresented candidates (Women, visible minorities, indigenous and disabled persons) are urged to apply to these positions. The selection will be based on academic merit, and only the active period of applicants will be considered (for instance, leaves must be indicated and won’t be counted as an active period of activities). The successful candidates are expected to participate in EDI training provided through our home institutions and funding agencies. 


Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) policies: 


Our team honestly believe that research excellence depends on the integration of diverse perspectives and experiences brought by the members of the group. Thus, having a diverse, equal, and inclusive environment will only benefit our research output. Our research team is committed to making EDI a key element of its governance plan, and to developing an inclusive and diverse environment with equal opportunities for all members.


Primordial to this goal is the devotion of our home institution in EDI. UBC's Point Grey Campus is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people, and the students, faculties, and administrators are exposed every day to this harmonious co-existence between the university and the native American culture. From administrators to faculty members, UBC is committed to developing an inclusive environment. Due to this unprecedented commitment to EDI, UBC has one of the most diverse students and faculty bodies in North America, which places our team in a privileged position to identify EDI obstacles and promote actions to abolish barriers. The PIs’ groups operate based on fairness, politeness, and universal inclusion without any differences for members of different gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or background. A safe and tolerant environment is critical for inclusion, together with intentional design and implementation of policies and education. The leaders of the team will work towards building an inclusive research environment where all individuals in the group feel valued and respected for their contributions and equally supported. 

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