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Postdoctoral Researcher – Development of Wind Turbine and Wind Plant CFD Simulation Methods
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Job Description

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado, is the nation’s primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. NREL is leading several projects on high-fidelity computational modeling of wind turbines and plants. This position will be at the National Wind Technology Center, which is located near Boulder, Colorado.

There is an immediate opening for a postdoctoral researcher within NREL. This individual will work with senior NREL researchers, other post-doctoral researchers, and PhD students to develop high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics CFD methods to model onshore and offshore wind turbines and wind plants. The researcher will be part of a large multi-lab, multi-disciplinary team that is funded through the DOE Office of Science/NNSA ExaWind Exascale Computing Project and the DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office Atmosphere to Electrons project.

Primary Duties:

  • Coupling reduced-order OpenFAST turbine and offshore floating platform models with the Nalu time-domain CFD simulation code
  • Developing and/or coupling high-fidelity hydrodynamics simulation methods (e.g. the Volume of Fluid method) with the Nalu time-domain CFD simulation code
  • Ultimate goal is to develop, verify, and validate predictive CFD-based simulation tools that can be used to optimize wind turbine and wind plant performance
  • May also be responsible for co-mentoring a PhD student


The position requires a PhD in applied mathematics, computational science, engineering, or equivalent, with a strong background the following areas:

  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • High-performance computing
  • Expertise in at least one relevant programming language, and knowledge of C++
  • Excellent writing, interpersonal, and communication skills
  • Established publication record including peer-reviewed journal articles.


Required Education, Experience, and Skills

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


Preferred Qualifications

The preferred candidate will have previous experience in the following areas:

  • Reduced order modeling of aeroelastic systems
  • Expertise in C++
  • Knowledge of large-eddy simulation and aerodynamics
  • Knowledge of numerical methods in computational fluid dynamics
  • Multi-phase CFD simulation experience
  • Modern software engineering.


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.

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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.