Postdoctoral Researcher (PREP0002340)

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Gaithersburg, MARYLAND


Posted: 05-Apr-24

Location: Gaithersburg, Maryland

Type: Full-time

Salary: Open


Other - Academic/Faculty

Internal Number: A-143868-26

General Description

Title: Understanding Concrete Foundation Deterioration by Modeling the Impact of Pyrrhotite


Project Description:

Damage to concrete structures in residential and commercial construction in central Connecticut has been attributed to the iron sulfide mineral pyrrhotite. Iron sulfides in concrete aggregate are not desirable as their relative instability results in decomposition with associated staining, expansion, and pop-outs near concrete surfaces or, in severe cases, cracking of the structure. There are no standardized test methods to assess pyrrhotite occurrence and abundance in aggregate or in concrete due to its low concentrations while still having a significant impact. Developing a standard test method, including a set of calibration reference standards will provide a means for accurate, consistent analysis of pyrrhotite in concrete.  An improved understanding, based on modeling and experimental data, of the pyrrhotite/aggregate/concrete reaction types, reaction rates, and reaction product impact on concrete expansion, is needed so that the most deleterious reactions can be efficiently reduced or eliminated. 

In this opportunity, the PREP researcher will develop models to better understand the microstructural characteristics relevant to the internal sulfate expansion phenomena, including its volume expansion.


The PREP researcher will be responsible for activities associated with:


1)      chemo-mechanical modeling to simulate the expansion and the damage in concrete,

2)      moisture transport modeling that considers the distressed concrete due to pyrrhotite,

3)      surface coating simulation modeling,

4)      interfacing with NIST experimentalists to support and validate modeling work,

5)      analyzing modeling results and drafting manuscripts.


Ph.D in Chemistry/ Physics/ Mechanical Engineering/ Chemical Engineering/ Civil Engineering 

Application Instructions

Pleas eincldue the follwoing below:


2 professional references 


Privacy Act Statement

Authority:  15 U.S.C. § 278g-1(e)(1) and (e)(3) and 15 U.S.C. § 272(b) and (c)

Purpose:  The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) hosts the  Professional Research Experience Program (PREP)  which is designed to provide valuable laboratory experience and financial assistance to undergraduates, post-bachelor's degree holders, graduate students, master's degree holders, postdocs, and faculty.  

PREP is a 5-year cooperative agreement between NIST laboratories and participating PREP Universities to establish a collaborative research relationship between NIST and U.S. institutions of higher education in the following disciplines including (but may not be limited to) biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, engineering, electronics, materials science, mathematics, nanoscale science, neutron science, physical science, physics, and statistics. This collection of information is needed to facilitate administrative functions of the PREP Program.

Routine Uses:  NIST will use the information collected to perform the requisite reviews of the applications to determine eligibility, and to meet programmatic requirements. Disclosure of this information is also subject to all the published routine uses as identified in the Privacy Act System of Records Notices:  NIST-1: NIST Associates. 

Disclosure:  Furnishing this information is voluntary. When you submit the form, you are indicating your voluntary consent for NIST to use of the information you submit for the purpose stated.

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