CLOSED: Post-Doctoral Associate Opportunity (2014): Agent-based Fuel Cycle Optimization

[Updated: March 25, 2014]

The Computational Nuclear Engineering Research Group (CNERG) is leading the development of a novel open-source agent-based platform for the simulation of advanced nuclear fuel cycles, Cyclus ( The core infrastructure of this effort combines concepts from operations research, computer science and nuclear engineering to provide a flexible basis for studying the technical and socioeconomic impacts of different nuclear fuel cycle choices.

A particular focus of the Cyclus project for the next few years is to create market and economic optimizers to improve calculations for the CYCLUS fuel cycle simulator. The team will leverage existing optimization software frameworks within the simulator to resolve top level policy questions. The optimizations will allow CYCLUS to increase the physical fidelity of the models (moving well beyond static material compositions) while simultaneously providing a holistic view of the fuel cycle system.

CNERG is seeking a qualified individual to assist in the development of optimization methodologies for agent-based fuel cycle simulation as part of an open source community of user/developers.

Degree and area of specialization

  • PhD in Operations Research, Nuclear Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering or related field

Required experience

  • Demonstrated experience with scientific software development in one or more of the following areas:

    • multi-variable optimization
    • linear and integer programming
    • agent-based simulation
    • nuclear fuel cycle modeling
    • non-linear dynamics
    • information theory
  • Some experience with components of a modern team-based software development processes:

    • version control (we use git)
    • bug/issue tracking (we use github)
    • test driven development (we use google test and nose)
    • automatic documentation (we use doxygen and sphinx)
    • build & configuration management (we use cmake, make)
    • Strong oral and written communication skills

Desired Experience

  • Demonstrated knowledge of C++ & Python in a linux environment

  • Demonstrated experience with some combination of Cyclus I/O technologies including

    • COIN/OR or other optimization library
    • XML (libxml2/libxml++)
    • SQL (sqlite)
    • HDF5

Specific Duties

  • Investigate different schemes for combining optimization algorithms with the agent based framework
  • Implement new classes and methods in C++ to support user/developer requirements
  • Support Cyclus maintainability
  • Support documentation of source code and software usage
  • Author publications for refereed journals and important conference proceedings
Salary: $50,000-70,000 depending on background and experience
Start: ASAP

To apply, please send a application materials to wilsonp _at_

For further questions please contact either wilsonp _at_ or scopatz _at_