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Postdoctoral position in theoretical and computational astrophysics

The Astronomy & Astrophysics Section of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) is offering a postdoctoral fellowship for research on theoretical and computational astrophysics in the group of Dr. Jonathan Mackey. The project is to develop and use a multi-ion chemical-kinetics code module for 3D simulations and synthetic observations of nebulae around evolved massive stars.

The scientific motivation is that evolved massive stars have winds with atypical elemental abundances, sometimes dramatically changing on timescales of 10,000 years. Interpreting observations of circumstellar nebulae can be difficult, but promises to give understanding of the uncertain evolutionary history of the central star(s). Elements such as H, He, C, N, O are expected to have spatially varying abundances within these nebulae, and their ions are both strong coolants and important diagnostic ions. A non-equilibrium and multi-ion module including collisional and photo-ionization allows to produce synthetic spectral line observations directly from simulation snapshots. These can be compared with, e.g., integral field unit observations such as with MUSE on the VLT, mid-IR spectroscopy with JWST, and potentially X-ray spectra from XMM-Newton and Chandra.

The Postdoctoral Fellow will receive a salary starting at Point 1 of the current SFI Level 2A scale (€39,523) (plus pension and social insurance contributions), computer equipment needed for work, and a travel allowance. This is a fixed-term position for 2 years, including an initial probationary period. The proposed start date is September or October 2022, and the place of work will be DIAS Dunsink Observatory.

The successful candidate will have a PhD in Physics or Astronomy & Astrophysics, with research experience in theoretical Astrophysics. Strong candidates should have demonstrated excellent mathematical and computational skills, be strongly self-motivated, able to conduct independent research as part of a team, and have excellent written and spoken English language skills. Experience with computational fluid-dynamics is beneficial, and ability to program in C++ and python is expected. Access to a local 160-core server and supercomputing time in Ireland will be provided, and application to other European supercomputing centres will be supported.

For informal scientific enquiries, contact Jonathan Mackey: jmackey@cp.dias.ie
For questions about the application process, please contact Sophie Murray: sophie.murray@dias.ie

Candidates should apply at https://dias.ie/applyPDocTheorCompAstrophy where they will be asked to upload a curriculum vitae (2-page max.), a publication list, and a statement of research interests and career goals (2-page max.), all as a PDF document, and arrange for two letters of reference to be sent to, Sophie Murray: sophie.murray@dias.ie

The deadline for applications and reference letters is Friday 8th July 2022 at 5pm Irish Summer Time.

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