!!! WE ARE HIRING !!! we are looking for a motivated postdoc to work on the modeling of radiation effects on materials powering spacecrafts (solar cells) or on biological molecules as proxies for future human explorers on Mars, via Time Dependent Density Functional Theory/Molecular Dynamics AND also a bit of Monte Carlo (Geant4) for the materials. The postdoc will work in Brussels, see more details at:
ESC2RAD is a Research and Innovation H2020 project financed by the European Commission. It aims at studying Space radiation effects on both biological targets and functional materials (like solar cells) for missions like the ISS and a mission to and on Mars. While the Space radiation effects and Space Weather community rely on some traditional approaches to estimate the induced effects (mainly based on Monte Carlo modelling, appropriate for high energy impacting particles), the ESC2RAD consortium will focus on that energy range where typical assumptions made by such approaches break down, and first principles approaches from the quantum chemistry/electronic structure community (Time Dependent Density Functional Theory, coupled with Molecular Dynamics) allow to gain further insights.
Radiation damage via Monte Carlo approaches has a long and robust tradition in particle physics and also in Space radiation modelling. Nevertheless, it has now come the time to go beyond certain approximations underlying such approach. For this, first-principles (parameter-free) approaches from other communities are very promising in providing a quantum mechanical description of the impact of projectile particles which overcomes such approximations. The final aim of the project is to advance the understanding of radiation damage, and to boost technological developments, by guiding the future search of better radiation-resistant materials and suggesting improvements in the modelling of radiation damage in biological molecules, mainly tackled via Geant4-DNA.
Contact: BIRA-IASB, Av. Circulaire 3, Brussels, Belgium.