15. October 2018 - MIT Cambridge, USA
Postdoctoral position
Postdoctoral position in ab initio modelling
15. October 2018 - MIT Cambridge, USA
Postdoctoral position
Postdoctoral position in ab initio modelling
MIT Cambridge, USA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nuclear Reactor Laboratory


Molten salts are widely used for electrical and thermal energy storage, materials processing, and in Generation-IV Molten-Salt Fission Reactors (MSR) and future fusion reactors (ARC) as a coolant and/or fuel. In particular, the MSR application requires detailed knowledge of the molten salt properties in order to understand and predict the salt’s behavior in service. Fundamental properties of interest include molecular structure and speciation, as well as dynamic properties such as diffusion coefficients for the salt and corrosion and fission products dissolved in it. Computer modeling is necessary to predict changes in physical and chemical properties due to irradiation and burning of dissolved fuel. Our group will perform ab initio molecular dynamics simulations to understand the multi-component liquid solution. Machine learning algorithms will be used to develop a fast-acting model that can handle molten salt with an arbitrary number of chemical elements and be able to predict chemical potential as a function of composition and temperature. The measurement data for the modeling will be obtained with the help of advanced neutron and x-ray scattering and spectroscopy, which provide the most reliable and direct determination of the structure and dynamics of the melts.

Description of Institution

The MIT Nuclear Reactor Laboratory (MIT-NRL) is an interdepartmental center that operates a high performance 6 MW nuclear research reactor known as the MITR. It is the second largest university research reactor in the U.S. and the only one located on the campus of a major research university. During its long and distinguished history, the NRL has supported educational training and cutting-edge research in the areas of nuclear fission engineering, material science, radiation effects in biology and medicine, neutron physics, geochemistry, and environmental studies.

It is the only university research facility in the U.S. where students can be directly involved in the development and implementation of nuclear engineering experimental programs with neutron flux levels comparable to power reactors. The MITR is an indispensable resource for developing the workforce for the future of nuclear power.

The MITR is equipped with experimental facilities available to users both within and outside MIT. The NRL staff provides technical assistance for research projects for high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, university researchers and faculty members, and national laboratory users.

Job description

The successful candidate will work with Dr. Boris Khaykovich and Prof. Ju Li at MIT to analyze the experimental data and use the data to build and test atomistic structural and dynamics models with the help of artificial intelligence.

Requested Profile

Interest and experience are required in ab initio simulations of materials, machine learning, and/or data processing and evaluation of neutron and x-ray diffraction measurements. Background in chemistry, physics, chemical engineering and nuclear engineering are preferred.


Dr Boris Khaykovich




Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nuclear Reactor Laboratory

How to Apply

Please send your info, full resume, and up to three (3) papers, potentially relevant to this project, and any questions to:

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