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Materials Researcher - Characterization

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
United States, Maryland, Laurel
11100 Johns Hopkins Road (Show on map)
November 30, 2023

Do you love uncovering the mechanisms behind how materials perform?

Are you motivated by inventing new materials and analyzing and predicting component failure in extreme environments?

Are you excited by applying your skills as a problem solver, innovator, and engineer to make meaningful contributions to the defense and national health fields?

Do you love working on diverse teams to apply your experimental and analytical skills to accelerate material development for a variety of applications?

If so, we're looking for someone like you to join our team at APL.

Our team is seeking a materials researcher to help us in the performance evaluation and invention of new materials. As a member of our team, you will apply your strong background in engineering, laboratory testing, and data analysis to characterize material structure and performance and generate impactful solutions to our country's most important challenges. By joining our team of subject matter experts in testing and evaluation (T&E), experimental mechanics, and non-destructive evaluation (NDE) you will have the opportunity to uncover structure property relationships in a wide range of cutting edge materials and advanced hardware systems. You will innovate in a hands-on, applied laboratory setting by utilizing our state-of-the art characterization facility to expedite APL's technology development cycle and contribute to laboratory wide initiatives.

At APL, we strive to foster a collaborative environment with strong technical knowledge that achieves groundbreaking impact. Our employees are our most valuable asset and the primary source of our strength. Our APL team values integrity and creative ideas that will ensure our nation's preeminence in the 21st century.

As a Materials Researcher...

  • Your primary responsibility will be experimentation in our materials laboratories.
  • You will utilize a suite of destructive and non-destructive instruments, and collaborate on multiple project teams to develop new materials then apply them to new applications.
  • You will develop testing and evaluation approaches to understand mechanical performance of materials and hardware in our 'Breaker Space' testing laboratory.
  • You will apply X-ray computed tomography (XRCT) non-destructive evaluation techniques in our 'Engineering and Materials Imaging Laboratory' (EMILy).
  • You will have opportunity to pursue your own scientific interests and grow your influence and career as an engineer/scientist.


You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you...

  • Possess a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering or Materials Science, or related field.
  • Have 2+ years laboratory test and evaluation experience operating mechanical test equipment and strain sensing instrumentation.
  • Have a strong technical background in experimental mechanics.
  • Have experience using test instrumentation (strain gages, DIC, transducers, signal conditioning) for data collection and troubleshooting.
  • Are adaptable and able to learn new instrumentation quickly.
  • Can demonstrate the ability to communicate test results in a format which is easily interpreted by both a technical and non-technical audience.
  • Are able to work effectively in both a team environment and independently.
  • Have outstanding organizational and analytical skills.
  • Are comfortable working in a laboratory environment and demonstrate safe work practices.
  • Are able to obtain Secret level security clearance. If selected, you will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.

You'll go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you...

  • Possess a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering or Materials Science, or related field.
  • Can demonstrate a history of leveraging laboratory instrumentation to uncover materials performance mechanisms.
  • Have experience applying camera technology and Digital Image Correlation (DIC) for motion tracking.
  • Have experience in custom test fixture design and engineering calculations.
  • Have demonstrated experience leveraging X-ray computed tomography (XRCT) to investigate and understand material and hardware behavior.
  • Are a practiced user of data processing software (example; MATLAB, or similar) and statistical data analysis software (example; JMP, Minitab, or similar).

Why work at APL?

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation's most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. While we are dedicated to solving complex challenges and pioneering new technologies, what makes us truly outstanding is our culture. We offer a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere where you can bring your authentic self to work, continue to grow, and build strong connections with inspiring teammates.

At APL, we celebrate our differences and encourage creativity and bold, new ideas. Our employees enjoy generous benefits, including a robust education assistance program, unparalleled retirement contributions, and a healthy work/life balance. APL's campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at.

About Us

APL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, occupation, marital or familial status, political opinion, personal appearance, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

APL is committed to promoting an innovative environment that embraces diversity, encourages creativity, and supports inclusion of new ideas. In doing so, we are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals of all abilities, including those with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in any part of the hiring process, please contact Accommodations@jhuapl.edu. Only by ensuring that everyone's voice is heard are we empowered to be bold, do great things, and make the world a better place.

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