Careers at Virginia Tech

Postdoctoral Associate - GCR: Convergent Anthropocene Systems

Apply now Back to search results Job no: 527858
Work type: Research Faculty
Senior management: College of Engineering
Department: Civil & Environmental Engineering
Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
Categories: Engineering, Research / Scientific

Job Description

This postdoctoral position is funded by a recently award National Science Foundation Growing Convergence Research project titled: GCR: Convergent Anthropocene Systems (Anthems) – A System-of-Systems Paradigm. The project will develop a systems-of-systems (SoS) convergence paradigm that includes an SoS computational framework, an SoS decision-support system, and an SoS pedagogy, enabling diverse stakeholders to integratively address the suite of societal challenges of the Anthropocene (e.g., climate change and impacts,
renewable energy, adaptive infrastructure, disasters, pandemics, food insecurity, biodiversity loss) and catalyzing a major transformation in our national and global approach to science and engineering. The SoS convergence paradigm will be developed, implemented, and validated in close collaboration with the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP), focusing on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (CBW) region. The CBP is a consortium of governmental and non-governmental entities that manage the CBW, and through their committee structure and outreach provide an avenue for effective stakeholder engagement. The CBW is home to over 17 million people and the CBP stakeholder community needs integrated modeling tools to examine synergies (e.g., nutrient reduction and flood risk mitigation) and tradeoffs (e.g., nutrient reduction and fish productivity) across multiple systems. Together, the CBW and the CBP provide a real-world testbed for the SoS convergence paradigm, enabling intellectually-diverse researchers to address multiple interdependent societal challenges (eutrophication, food and agriculture, and economic growth) by integrating across multiple systems (land use, watershed, economic,
estuary and governance) and multiple disciplines (environmental engineering, city and regional planning, planning policy and design, civil engineering, geography, industrial and systems engineering, political economy and public policy).

Working in close collaboration with the lead PI (John Little) and Co-PIs (Shalini Misra and Theo Lim) at Virginia Tech, the Postdoctoral Associate will be responsible for integrating models (land-use, watershed, and economic systems) in the SoS framework and for helping to manage the entire project. The successful candidate will be responsible for computational research including system modeling and development of simulation software, as well as writing publications, and collaborating in a transdisciplinary team environment. The Postdoctoral Associate will also work in close collaboration with Amro Farid, a systems engineering expert at Stevens Institute of Technology, who is the co-lead on the project.

The Postdoctoral Associate is also expected to spend time mentoring PhD students and attending project meetings. The Postdoctoral Associate will have the opportunity to learn best practices in proposal preparation and will receive guidance and training in the preparation of manuscripts for scientific journals and presentations at conferences. Occasional travel is required to attend annual project meetings and conferences.

Required Qualifications

- PhD in systems, industrial, environmental, mechanical, chemical, or electrical engineering. PhD must be awarded no more than four years prior to the effective date of appointment with a minimum of one year eligibility remaining.
- Strong background in modeling environmental systems, data analytics, simulation and optimization.
- Demonstrate effective writing and presentation skills and be comfortable working
collaboratively with colleagues across multiple disciplines and institutions.

Preferred Qualifications

- Experience in modeling economic and social systems.
- Ability to develop complex simulations in Julia, Python, and/or MATLAB.
- Strong data analytics and visualization skills.
- Familiarity with GIS applications.
- Knowledge of systems architecture, model-based systems engineering, and SysML.

Appointment Type


Salary Information

$54,840 to $60,000

Review Date


Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact John Little at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

Applications close:

Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend