3-5 years of experience
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Employment Type:
Full time
Job Category:
Postdoctoral Position in Thermal Storage
(This job is no longer available)
Grad Date

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Job Description

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the world’s leading research and development laboratory for renewable energy technologies, is seeking to hire a post- doctoral candidate in materials, chemical or physics engineering or a closely-related field of study. The candidate will work with other engineers and scientists in the Thermal Sciences Group within the Buildings & Thermal Sciences Center. The primary responsibility will be conducting research and development activities in support of the Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Program (see www.nrel.gov/csp). The candidate will join a team of engineers and scientists studying solar thermal power and thermal storage technologies. Work carried out will support research and development activities within the CSP Program that are conducted internally at NREL and externally by industry and university participants. The candidate will work under direct supervision on assigned activities.


This position requires advanced understanding of materials thermodynamics and familiarity with CSP molten salt thermal technologies and applications, especially ceramic materials (refractory/insulation) compatibility with molten salts at temperatures higher than 540°C. Work responsibilities will include studying thermal insulation models, researching potential modifications of thermal storage designs, and optimizing the new design and operation based on minimizing thermal losses. The successful candidate will have completed coursework or have demonstrated experience related to thermodynamics, heat transfer, materials chemical compatibility, and mechanical integrity of refractories (monolithic, bricks, or cements).

Assumed responsibilities include close attention to documenting work in detailed technical records, maintaining clean and safe work conditions, conducting work with the highest professional standards, publishing peer-reviewed papers in high-impact journals and presenting results in technical forums.


This position requires a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, Physics Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or a closely related field of study. Demonstrated experience testing and researching chemical compatibility and mechanical stability of ceramics and metals, experience with design and operation high temperature storage systems is preferred. Understanding microstructural and chemical changes in refractory ceramics is preferred. Demonstrated experience with high-temperature, controlled atmosphere testing set-ups is also preferred. Familiarity with concentrating solar power cycles (e.g., steam Rankine cycles, supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycles) is beneficial. The successful candidate will have a track record of research and publications. The candidate must demonstrate a research capability to solve challenging problems, have excellent interpersonal, communication, writing and documentation skills. This position requires creativity, innovation, and adaptability.


Required Education, Experience, and Skills

Must be a recent PhD graduate within the last three years.


Preferred Qualifications


Submission Guidelines

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.


EEO Policy

NREL is dedicated to the principles of equal employment opportunity. NREL promotes a work environment that does not discriminate against workers or job applicants and prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, marital status, ancestry, actual or perceived sexual orientation, or veteran status, including special disabled veterans.

NREL validates right to work using E-Verify. NREL will provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with information from each new employee’s Form I-9 to confirm work authorization. For additional information, click here.

About National Renewable Energy Laboratory

At NREL, we focus on creative answers to today's energy challenges. From breakthroughs in fundamental science to new clean technologies to integrated energy systems that power our lives, NREL researchers are transforming the way the nation and the world use energy.