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In Situ Xray Stress Measurement on Cruciform Sample

In Situ Xray Stress Measurement on Cruciform Sample

The NIST Center for Automotive Lightweighting Mission

The use of lightweight materials in vehicles will significantly increase fuel efficiency and cut emissions, but the auto industry lacks data and material models needed to reliably manufacture vehicle components from lightweight substitutes, including aluminum alloys, high-strength steels and polymer composites. Because of computer models based on insufficient measurements, the U.S. auto industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars per year reworking metal forming dies that do not make correct parts.

Our objective is to develop the measurement methodology, standards and analysis necessary for the U.S. auto industry and base metal suppliers to transition to advanced lightweight materials for auto body components without wasteful trial-and-error development cycles, and successfully transfer this technology to our customers in industry. With this knowledge, the U.S. automotive industry will be able to transition to new advanced and lightweight materials more easily, as more accurate data and material models will lead to more accurate die designs, reducing die tryouts and new model development costs. 

We welcome ideas for collaborations with industrial, academic and national lab organizations that make use of our unique experimental capabilities.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES:  Updated 2-25-15

NCAL's BS-level Engineering Positions applications have now closed

****The two post-doc positions (see below) are STILL OPEN****

The review process for the Pathways positions has begun.  The target is 80 days from the close of the job opening (2-23) until selection and offer.  The veterans that applied (and there were a few) get the first look.  If none of them are selected, then the review of the rest of the applicants proceeds.  Updates will be posted here as prudent.  Thanks for your interest.

BS-level engineers: Two (2) Pathways recent-graduate positions with permanent slots awaiting (USAJOBS link pending)

NCAL has a need for two (2) permanent, full-time engineers to be key contributing parts of a dynamic research team.  The duties of these positions may include, but are not limited to:performing mechanical tests on our novel systems (multiaxial, high rate), measuring stresses in loaded samples using xray diffraction, measuring 3D deformation using digital image correlation (DIC), shepherding the design and fabrication of new tooling, fixtures and sample geometries, being responsible for maintenance, upgrades and repairs to various mechanical testing systems, creation and communication of assembly and testing procedures, reporting test results, overseeing mechanical assembly and installation, and identifying and specifying commercial components. We are looking for highly motivated people who are eager to learn to give input and interact as part of a team in brainstorming new solutions.  Applicants should have a strong knowledge of mechanical engineering concepts and their application to measuring the mechanical behavior of materials, a creative desire and curiosity about learning and developing new skills, good communication and interpersonal skills, and good organizational and time management skills. Applicants should have a BS degree in the field of Mechanical, Materials Science, Aerospace Engineering, Engineering Mechanics or related fields.

We want you to bring your basic knowledge and skills, your energy, your desire to learn, your creativity - we'll teach you the rest!

NCAL is seeking highly motivated applicants for several positions. For additional information, contact Tim Foecke (301-975-6592,

Post-Doc Researcher:  Researcher to investigate the mechanical response of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites as part of a DOE-funded collaboration with Ford, Dow, Northwestern University and LSTC.  The program aims for an ICME-based understanding of structure/property relationships of CFRPs to aid their introduction into lightweight auto bodies.  Research will be conducted to provide dynamic and quasistatic properties of fibers, yarns, weaves, matrix and composite materials, and high rate tests of prototype components will validate the resulting models.  PhD in materials science, mechanical engineering or other relevant area with experience in mechanical testing, data evaluation, polymer composites is preferred.  Position will be through the University of Maryland - College Park.  Competitive salary and benefits.  Many opportunities to interact with industrial contacts and expand professional network.  Project funded for 4 years.

Post-Doc Researcher:  Creative individual to help with development of next-generation mechanical testing methods.  Multiaxial, high rate, ballistic, tension/compression testing all of interest.  Incumbent will help develop microstructurally-based constitutive laws for advance high strength steels (AHSS), 3rd gen AHSS and aluminum alloys in conjunction with the NCAL team and our industrial partners.  PhD in materials science, mechanical engineering, engineering mechanics or related area with experience in mechanical testing, data evaluation, xray diffraction is preferred.  Position will be through the University of Maryland - College Park.  Competitive salary and benefits.  Many opportunities to interact with industrial contacts and expand professional network.  Anticipated 2 year term.