Research Engineer
Luna Innovations Incorporated
Charlottesville, VA

About $75,000 - $99,000 a year

Luna Innovations is seeking a Research Engineer to lead measurement system, monitoring, and modeling research and development in the areas of materials science, corrosion, and coating degradation. It is desired that the candidate have a background in one or more of the following: corrosion theory and modeling, corrosion testing, environment assisted cracking, and materials science. Experience experimentally validating model predictions and a strong knowledge of atmospheric corrosion are beneficial. The successful candidate will be proficient in applying technical knowledge and program management skills as a member and leader of multidisciplinary teams. The candidate will develop and apply empirical and physics based models and test advanced materials systems for military and commercial applications. Knowledge of condition based maintenance concepts as well as health monitoring for managing military/commercial aircraft, coastal and offshore infrastructure, and chemical process industry equipment would be advantageous. The candidate will assist with and lead the preparation of detailed proposals for research and development programs to secure federal and industry funding. The successful candidate will write research reports, technical papers, present results at conferences and to customers, and participate in relevant professional societies.

Duties and Major Responsibilities:
Apply knowledge of materials and corrosion to develop, test, and validate sensors, measurement systems, and corrosion models to investigate and predict corrosion damage, environmental assisted cracking, and coating performance.
Participate in multidisciplinary teams to develop, demonstrate, and commercialize novel sensing technology and diagnostic and prognostic models for the assessment of corrosion damage, environment assisted cracking, and coating performance.
Carry out detailed design of experiments following industry and military standards as well as leveraging novel methods and equipment.
Develop and experimentally validate empirical and physics based models for predicting corrosion performance.
Interact with government and industry sponsors to understand customer needs, propose technical solutions, and demonstrate technology.
Identify research and development opportunities and prepare proposals for government and commercial customers.
Publish research by authoring technical papers and presenting research in national and international engineering forums.
Manage multiple, disparate programs and tasks in parallel.
Prepare detailed reports according to contract schedules and present findings to government and industry sponsors.
Education: Ph.D., or Master’s degree with significant experience, in engineering with specialization in corrosion or materials science

Familiarity with:
Corrosion/electrochemical test methods and theory
Environment assisted cracking including stress corrosion cracking, hydrogen embrittlement, and corrosion fatigue
Coatings and polymer systems for corrosion protection
Corrosion modeling methods such as multiphysics modeling of current and potential distributions of multi-material systems
Ability to develop scientific methods and approaches to advance corrosion research
Balance multiple priorities across several projects and work teams
Demonstrated ability to manage, support, and advance several parallel projects
Excellent interpersonal, organizational, and problem solving skills
Excellent writing and communication skills

Beneficial Skills and Experience
Electrochemistry skills including electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), potentiodynamic polarization, cyclic voltammetry, and zero resistance ammeter (ZRA) measurements
Experience writing research proposals to government and / or non-government organizations
Proven record of working in a research team with the ability to generate new ideas and technologies for future programs
Familiarity with mechanical and fatigue testing of metals and polymers
Specific knowledge of atmospheric corrosion
Background in modeling chemical or electrochemical processes using MATLAB or COMSOL
Statistical analysis

Due to government contracting regulations, U.S. Citizenship or Permanent resident status is a firm requirement.