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Job #: R-00024686
Location: Morgantown, WV
Category: Research Scientist
Schedule (FT/PT): Full Time
Travel Required: No
Shift: Day
Potential for Telework: No
Clearance Required: None
Referral Eligibility: Ineligible
Group: Civil

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Job Description:

An opportunity exists for a Computational Scientist to develop and utilize computational multiphysics models and data analysis tools to support the US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory’s solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) research.

Research efforts focus primarily on: (1) the development of models that accurately represent relevant physical and chemical processes within a fuel cell; and (2) the calibration, validation, and utilization of those models using detailed in-house experiments and independently published reports. Among individual model development tasks, priority has been assigned to ensure that the models and tools are computationally efficient, widely accessible, and share data among discrete modules. This position will provide support to transfer existing models to a high-performance computing platform, operate the models to ensure accurate results are being obtained, apply user interfaces on models to facilitate broader accessibility, and integrate component models.

Primary Responsibilities Include:

1) Generate, enhance, and increase efficiency of fuel cell component models using commercially relevant programs and modeling techniques to facilitate rapid execution.

2) Establish user interfaces for various fuel cell modeling modules to permit a novice simulator to complete relevant simulations.

3) Implement a methodology for data exchange between independent modules, ultimately producing a comprehensive SOFC performance model.

4) Ensure that models utilize efficient computational methods, including computations in true parallel fashion.

5) Utilize the developed models and tools in collaboration with other members of the NETL research group and with SOFC program partners. These research efforts currently involve, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Incorporate multistep reaction mechanisms for oxygen reduction and fuel oxidation (e.g., hydrogen, methane, coal syngas) for better understanding of physical and chemical processes within SOFCs.
  • Develop/Calibrate high-fidelity simulations of impedance behavior and polarization analysis for cell performance analysis.
  • Incorporate multiple cell performance degradation modes such as grain coarsening, crack formation/electrode delamination, secondary phase formation, etc.
  • Establish numerical models for nanoparticle infiltration into fuel cell electrodes
  • Perform Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations using commercial software (COMSOL & ANSYS Fluent) for optimum experimental design.
  • Optimize electrode microstructural and/or material properties based on conventional and/or novel electrode materials/fabrication techniques.

Required Qualifications:

  • Relevant PhD degree and less than 2 years prior relevant experience; possess demonstrable skill in advanced mathematical algorithms and computational methods for solving complex reaction and transport problems.
  • Possess significant experience in identified computer programming (C++, FORTRAN, MATLAB) and will preferably have experience in programming simulation jobs within a high-performance computing environment (e.g. parallel processing and programming in a message passing interface (MPI) environment).
  • Excellent communication skills and should have a history of taking part in collaborations between modeling and experimental research efforts.

Preferred Qualifications:

With respect to solid oxide fuel cells, the preferred candidate should have a deep understanding of factors impacting long-term fuel cell performance, such as performance limitations in cell components and common degradation phenomena in SOFCs.

Additional preferred qualifications include:

  • Experience with numerous modeling tools including open source software (such as OpenFOAM and MOOSE) and commercial software (such as ANSYS FLUENT and COMSOL Multiphysics).
  • Geometry meshing techniques and meshing software such as ICEM CFD. Proficient in utilizing post-processing tools such as Tecplot and Paraview and using other methods such as MATLAB scripts for more complex post-processing demands.
  • Programming skills:  Proficient in FORTRAN and Matlab. Familiarity preferred in C++, Python, LUA and Visual Basic.
  • Submitting jobs and managing simulations and data within a supercomputing facility using Slurm, including parallelization of tasks. 

TERM OF COMMITMENT: These research positions are intended to be term positions, with varying levels of commitment that are not expected to last longer than 2 years.  Candidates will be informed prior to applying what length of commitment is anticipated. Also, candidates who successfully fill a term position, may be invited to apply for an additional terms.  Nothing in this paragraph is intended to create an employment contract.  Employment will remain at will.

External Referral Bonus:


Potential for Telework:


Clearance Level Required:




Scheduled Weekly Hours:




Requisition Category:


Job Family:

Research Scientist


Leidos is a Fortune 500® information technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader working to solve the world's toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, civil, and health markets. The company's 33,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $10.19 billion for the fiscal year ended December 28, 2018. For more information, visit

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