3-5 years of experience
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Employment Type:
Full time
Job Category:
Postdoctoral Position in Advanced Analytics for Autonomous Energy Grid (AEG) Research
(This job is no longer available)
Grad Date

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Job Description

NREL is spearheading the fundamental research and development needed to transform American electrical grids into autonomous systems that are highly resilient to natural and man-made disturbances; secure against cyber and physical threats; reliable and affordable; and flexible, accommodating energy in all forms, including variable renewable resources.

Research will focus on overcoming barriers standing in the way of progress toward AEGs, which if removed, would radically accelerate the progress of electrical grid advancements. A key, relevant barrier is the lack of a fully integrated simulation environment that (1) directly couples the energy dynamics of multiple buildings to electricity flows through electrical transmission and distribution systems and that (2) incorporates thermal energy distribution by district-scale systems in addition to electricity distribution by the grid.


Develop an analytical platform for simulating AEGs that: (1) simulates the energy dynamics of up to several hundred buildings, (2) seamlessly links those buildings thermally, through district-scale systems, (3) can represent an arbitrary number of on-site and off-site distributed energy resources, and (4) explicitly models transmission and distribution grid electrical flows, with direct coupling to the buildings and DERs. The resulting tool will be fast enough (< 1 second per run) to simulate AEG operation and to enable the application of cutting edge optimization techniques to the system configuration and controls to achieve specified performance goals. We also intend to use the AEG simulator as a real-time tool for managing and troubleshooting real-world grid operations. As part of this effort, the candidate will develop meta-models with ultra-fast run times, by using the following example processes:

· Kriging or Gaussian process regression

· Iterative proportional fitting procedure (IPFP)

· Random decision forests


This position requires a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Building Science, Architectural Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or a closely related field of study. Demonstrated experience in thermal-system simulation and modeling is required. Proficiency with programming languages, Python, Matlab, C++, Ruby, and Engineering Equation Solver (EES) is preferred. Proficiency with building energy modeling tools such as OpenStudio, EnergyPlus and Modelica is also preferred as well as grid simulation platforms, OpenDSS, CYME and Synergi.

The successful candidate will have a track record of research and publications in thermal-system modeling, experimental design and operation, and building energy science.


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.


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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.