Postdoctoral Associate—Miniature High-Vacuum Pumps for Compact Mass Spectrometry

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

Job posting number: #7080638 (Ref:Job Number: 19810)

Posted: June 30, 2021

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

The Velasquez Group @ MIT has a postdoc opening on miniature, 3D-printed compact high-vacuum pumps. The work is part of a multi-institution, multi-year, industry- sponsored project on compact mass spectrometry for healthcare applications. In this project, the postdoc will develop additively manufactured, miniaturized hardware for creating and maintaining microtorr-level vacuum in a small volume (liter-sized or smaller) via one of two approaches (the postdoc will work on either approach, not on both approaches):
—Creating and maintaining high vacuum in a small volume using high-speed jets that transfer momentum to background gas molecules (i.e., diffusion vacuum pumps).
—Creating and maintaining high vacuum in a small volume via electron impact ionization and getter implantation of gas molecules using a stream of electromagnetically trapped electrons (i.e., ion vacuum pumps).

The project starts on September 1, 2021. The initial appointment is for 1 year, with the possibility to extend it 1 year at a time for up to 2 more years if funding is renewed and progress is satisfactory. The postdoc is expected to mentor one or more graduate students working on associated efforts and to publish their work in top tier scientific journals and conference proceedings.

MIT postdoctoral Associates qualify for all standard MIT benefits and for optional membership to the MIT Postdoctoral Association. More information about HR benefits can be found at More information about MIT Postdoctoral Association can be found at More information about MIT postdoctoral benefits, funding and salary levels, and resources can be found at

Researchers interested in this opportunity should submit their resume with list of publications and the contact information of at least three references (at least two academic references, up to one industrial reference) familiar with their work that can provide an assessment of their accomplishments and potential.

—PhD in Engineering (e.g., Electrical, Mechanical, Aerospace), Materials Science, Applied Physics, or similar, awarded between January 2017 and August of 2021.
—Hands-on experience running experiments while collecting data with a computer (e.g., LabVIEW).
—Experience analyzing data.
—Ability to effectively communicate complex technical material to a broad audience.
—Ability to effectively draft technical communications, e.g., scientific manuscripts, reports.
—Ability to work in a team and mentor junior researchers.
—For diffusion vacuum pump: modeling experience on rarefied gas dynamics phenomena, experimental experience on compact thermofluidic systems (e.g., heat exchangers, phase change microfluidics).
—For ion vacuum pump: modeling and experimental experience on topics such as vacuum devices, molecular flow, high-vacuum pumps, field emission, ion traps, and electron impact ionization.
—Experience with design of experiments (DoE) is a plus.
—Experience running experiments in vacuum (e.g., characterizing vacuum electronic/mechanical devices vs. pressure) is a plus.
—Experience on 3D printing finely featured, complex metal and ceramic objects is a plus.
—Experience using CAD software, e.g., SolidWorks, is a plus.
—Experience using COMSOL Multiphysics is a plus.

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