Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate research is a great opportunity to explore cutting-edge projects and gain experience that will help you obtain a job or admission to graduate/medical school. WFU offers this unique opportunity for undergraduate students to work with faculty—especially in their junior or senior year of study. There are two options for getting involved in our research group: Research (PHY 381) for credit or paid summer projects in the form of summer research fellowships.

There are NO prerequirements, other than an interest in physics, mathematics, and computers! However, basic knowledge of quantum mechanics and LINUX are useful. Students from all areas of science are welcome!

Interested students should send an e-mail to Prof. Thonhauser .


Graduate Students

The department always welcomes applications for graduate (MS and PhD) studies—the deadline is generally in mid January. See WFU Graduate Admissions and the WFU Physics Grad Program for further details. For international students whose first language is not English, the TOEFL is required.

Once admitted, a graduate student is typically supported by the supervisor (in a research assistant position) or the department (in a teaching assistant position) for the entire duration of their program—this is to say that one does not have to pay for his/her studies, but rather is paid. Note that applications do not go directly to a prospective supervisor, but to the university and department. The key is thus getting admitted by the department.

To become a graduate student in the Materials Simulation Group, the following qualifications are desirable:

  • Undergraduate degree in physics or closely related field
  • Computer and programming skills (LINUX, Fortran, scripting, etc.)
  • Knowledge of quantum mechanics

Interested students should send an e-mail to Prof. Thonhauser .


Post Docs

Postdoctoral Position in Computational Electronic Structure Theory

A three-year postdoctoral position is available in the Materials Simulation Group of Prof. Thonhauser (http://thonhauser.physics.wfu.edu). The position focuses on first-principles electronic-structure simulations of metal organic framework (MOF) materials for a variety of important industrial and chemical applications. The project is part of a larger effort bringing together a theorist from WFU (Prof. Thonhauser) and experimentalists from UT Dallas (Prof. Chabal) and Rutgers (Dr. Li). The postdoc will be part of this team, which will provide an exciting learning and research environment. The position is funded by the Department of Energy and is offered as a one-year contract, renewable from year-to-year, pending DOE approval, and starting as early as May 15, 2016. Consideration of candidates will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

A PhD degree in physics, chemistry, materials science, or a closely related field is required. Experience with first-principles density-functional methods and modern electronic-structure theory is also required, as is proficiency with LINUX and FORTRAN. Experience with VASP, PWscf, LAMMPS, MOFs, beyond-DFT methods, and molecular-dynamics simulations is highly beneficial. Experience with gas storage and separation, catalysis, diffusion, calculation of optical properties and quantum-chemistry approaches is desirable. Interested applicants should complete the application at https://wakejobs.silkroad.com (follow "Employment Listings", "Search Current Openings", "Postdoctoral Research", and look for position No. 2229-141; alternatively, applicants may also use the direct link SilkRoad. The application requires a single PDF attachment, containing (1) a cover letter addressing the list of required/desired experiences from above, the names and contact information for three references, and the earliest possible start date; and (2) a complete CV. Applications via e-mail cannot be accepted. All applicants have to go through the online SilkRoad portal.

WFU is a private university founded in 1834 and ranked No. 27 among national universities. It is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina—part of the beautiful Piedmont Triad metropolitan region which is listed among the top 35 best places to live in North America with a very reasonable cost of living and a high quality of life. WFU is also close to the Research Triangle, with an easy commute to universities such as Duke, UNC, and NC State. WFU is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce.