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Postdoctoral Associate

Engineering, Research / Scientific


Postdoctoral Associate

  • 521915
  • Blacksburg, Virginia, United States
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Research / Scientific
  • Research Faculty
  • Virginia Tech University

Job Description

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech invites applications for a funded post-doctoral researcher position starting as soon as possible.

Metal additive manufacturing (AM) enables rapid fabrication of structural parts with complex geometries, which cannot easily be manufactured with traditional methods. While originally limited to rapid prototyping, recent advances of metal AM technology also enable direct fabrication of functional end-use parts in, e.g. aerospace, medical devices, and military applications. However, the transition from rapid prototyping to fabricating end-use parts also reveals technology barriers, including fabrication speed, accuracy, part variability, and uncertainty about the process-structure-property relationship, which must be overcome to render metal AM a scalable, reliable, and high-throughput manufacturing process that will be widely adopted.
Crucially, measuring, quantifying, and describing the multiscale surface topography of metal AM parts, and connecting this knowledge to the metal AM process parameters and the resulting mechanical properties of the part, is currently not well-understood. However, the ability to do so would allow producing metal AM parts with designer surface topography and mechanical properties, reduce the need for post-processing and, thus, reduce barriers to widely adopting metal AM as a viable manufacturing process.
The individual filling this position will be expected to work on measuring and characterizing the surface topography of metal AM parts and relating that knowledge to contact mechanics of as-built metal AM surfaces. The work will involve surface topography measurements and leveraging that data to derive data-driven models using machine learning algorithms, to relate surface topography of as-built metal AM surfaces to AM process parameters.
Experience with metal AM, tribology, design of experiments, statistics and/or machine learning is desirable. A PhD specializing in mechanical engineering or related scientific field is expected. The project is sponsored by the Department of Defense, and is led by Prof. B. Raeymaekers at the Virginia Tech Manufacturing and Tribology Laboratory (me.vt.edu/tribology). The post-doctoral researcher will join a vibrant research group with PhD, MS, and undergraduate students, and will have the opportunity to collaborate with several other lab members and contribute to mentoring graduate students.
The project is currently funded, so the start date is as soon as practical. The position will be located at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. Candidates should submit a curriculum vitae, publication list, statement of research plans, and list of three references.

Required Qualifications

• A PhD degree in mechanical engineering or other related scientific discipline or equivalency required. PhD must be awarded no more than four years prior to the effective date of appointment with a minimum of one year eligibility remaining.
• Established track-record of high-quality research publications.
• Self-motivated and go-getter personality; and demonstrated human relations and effective communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications

• Knowledge of metal additive manufacturing, tribology, and/or machine learning.

Appointment Type


Review Date

October 10, 2022

Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Amanda Collins at mandamcg@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.


Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employer

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