Jobs at Western

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Apply now Work type: NTT Faculty
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: College of Science & Engineering

Position Title Postdoctoral Research Associate
About the University Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 90,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings.
About the Department

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is comprised of 16 full-time faculty and 110 undergraduate physics majors.  Physics B.S. and Math/Physics B.A.Ed. degrees are offered in addition to minor degrees in both physics and astronomy.  In recent years, the department has placed increased emphasis on providing meaningful research opportunities for its majors, including hiring new tenure-track faculty committed to undergraduate research. Members of the department are also active in the development of new educational materials and innovative teaching methods.  The common vision shared within the department is to make the WWU Department of Physics and Astronomy the most outstanding undergraduate program of its kind in the nation.

The department and college are committed to creating equitable and inclusive learning and working environments for their students, faculty and staff.  A number of faculty-led initiatives and committees focus on diversity and inclusivity in the classroom and beyond. The college’s STEM Inclusion & Outreach Specialist, who also teaches in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, maintains partnerships with faculty and inclusion programs locally and nationally that are devoted to recruitment and advancement of underrepresented students in STEM.  New faculty are supported by mentoring both within the department and through university-wide initiatives, and individual faculty involvement in the Faculty Success Program has recently been supported by our department. Student clubs such as SACNAS, Physicists for Inclusion in STEM (PhIS), and Out in Science are also vital to advancing inclusion within the college.

Detailed information is available for the Department of Physics and Astronomy at

The Department and the College of Science and Engineering support WWU’s mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

About the Position

The position is for a postdoctoral research associate in theoretical and computational quantum science to begin in Fall 2021.
The postdoc will assist the PI (Armin Rahmani) with analytical studies and numerical simulations of the optimally controlled quantum dynamics. They will also work on writing manuscripts to disseminate the results. The areas of interest are patterns in the optimal dynamical protocols, the evolution of entanglement and correlations in driven quantum systems, noisy and stochastic quantum dynamics, simulation of strongly correlated systems on quantum hardware, and optimal control in topological quantum computing. The research will utilize numerical optimization, optimal control theory, theoretical methods for strongly correlated systems, and the density-matrix renormalization group.
The position is for a two-year appointment.

Duties will include:

  • Perform numerical simulations of nonequilibrium quantum dynamics
  • Perform numerical and analytical investigations of optimal protocols in nonequilibrium quantum systems
  • Contribute to writing manuscripts to disseminate the results
Required Qualifications
  • Ph. D. in theoretical or computational physics or closely related fields.
  • Research experience in the general area of theoretical quantum science broadly defined (e.g., quantum information or computation or quantum condensed matter physics)
  • Excellent numerical and computational skills.
  • Familiarity with nonequilibrium quantum dynamics.
  • Significant record of peer-reviewed publications.
  • Strong communication skills.

All employees must comply with our Immunization policies, including COVID vaccination by time of hire and Proof of Rubeola Measles Immunity within 60-days of hire. Please reach out to if you need information regarding medical or religious exemption and applicable accommodations.


Preferred Qualifications
  • Demonstrated commitment to cultivating equitable and inclusive learning and working environments for students, faculty and staff.
  • Extensive experience with nonequilibrium quantum dynamics.
  • Familiarity with the physics of strongly correlated quantum systems.
  • Familiarity with topological quantum computing and Majorana fermions.



 Commensurate with experience and qualifications

Bargaining Unit

 United Faculty of Western Washington

Application Instructions

Applications must include (1) a detailed cover letter addressing your experience related to the position responsibilities and the required and preferred qualifications, including your demonstrated commitment to cultivating equitable and inclusive learning and working environments for students, faculty and staff, (2) a research statement, (3) a full curriculum vitae, and (4) the names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of three professional references.  Letters of recommendation will be requested only for semi-finalists. All application materials must be uploaded at

Closing Date Notes Application review begin May 18, 2021 ; position is open until filled.

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 498465
Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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