Job Details

University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
  • Position Number: 2001907
  • Location: Urbana, IL
  • Position Type: Engineering

Research Scientist
Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering
The Grainger College of Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering is searching to fill the position of Research Scientist. The incumbent will carry out responsibilities related to research and public service. The duties associated with the position are to support the research and development in the area of External Hazard (e.g., seismic, flood) Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) for nuclear power plants, including but not limited to: (a) development of advanced methodologies and full-scope implementation for industry applications; (b) assisting with the project management and proposal developments; and (c) communicating scientific advancements with stakeholders through a variety of outlets, webinars, presentations, and scientific publications, and d) prepare and submit research grants in collaboration with the team members in the SoTeRiA-IAP laboratory.

This position is primarily associated with and funded by the Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) Industry Affiliates Program (IAP) ( in the Grainger College of Engineering. The SoTeRiA-IAP is a first-of-its-kind IAP for risk analysis in academia to promote industry-focused scientific innovation for risk analysis, facilitate collaborative research between industry and academia to address emergent safety concerns, and provide interdisciplinary risk analysis education. The successful candidate should have scientific and practical multidisciplinary knowledge of external hazard PRA of nuclear power plants and data analytics techniques, as well as experience working with industry-facing academic teams.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

  • Prepare and submit research grants in collaboration with other SoTeRiA laboratory and IAP team members.
  • Conduct research on the impacts of natural hazards, such as an earthquake and subsequent fires, on nuclear power plants.
  • Assist with the project management.
  • Develop theoretical and methodological approaches for assessing safety and financial outcomes of complex industries, such as nuclear power, and demonstrate the capability of developed methodologies in informing cost-effective management of technological systems subject to high consequence natural hazards.
  • Leverage advanced machine learning techniques (e.g., text mining) to discover the underlying causal factors in nuclear power plant risk using the Data-Theoretic approach.
  • Communicate scientific advances to stakeholders through a variety of outlets, webinars, presentations, and scientific publications.
  • Other duties as assigned.

    Education: Ph.D. in Civil Engineering or Reliability/Risk Engineering

  • Strong research experience and publications on Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) of nuclear power plants.
  • At least three years of research experience in natural hazard modeling.

    Special consideration will be given to candidates with experience:
  • Conducting research on risk-informed decision-making using financial analysis in the nuclear domain.
  • Research experience in machine learning.

    This Research Scientist position is a part-time (forty percent), six-month, non-tenure track academic position. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date. Applicants may be interviewed before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after that date. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. The appointment duration and percentage are subject to change based on effort and funding availability.

    To apply for this position, please create your candidate profile at and upload your cover letter, resume, and names/contact information for three references by September 29, 2020. Full consideration will be given to complete applications received by the closing date. For further information regarding application procedures, contact Christine Gipson (

    The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility. The University of Illinois must also comply with applicable federal export control laws and regulations and, as such, reserves the right to employ restricted party screening procedures for applicants.

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