3-5 years of experience
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Employment Type:
Full time
Job Category:
Postdoctoral - Engineering Optimization and Probabilistic Modeling
(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 operations research, mechanical engineering or a closely related field of study. The candidate will work with other engineers and scientists in the Thermal Systems Group and Commercial Buildings Research Group within the Buildings & Thermal Systems Center. The candidate will join a team of engineers and scientists studying solar thermal power and building technologies. Work carried out will support research and development activities within the Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and Buildings Programs 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 knowledge of simulation and optimization of engineered systems, with preference given to previous experience in the area of thermal systems such as CSP and buildings technologies. Basic work responsibilities will include developing supervisory operation controls models, probabilistic component failure and degradation models, or other stochastic or statistical models relating to systems of interest, and software for interfacing with these complex models. Emphasis will be placed on using advanced mathematical or probabilistic techniques to understand and optimize the performance of power generation and buildings systems in the face of varying ambient conditions and system level constraints. The successful candidate will have completed coursework or have demonstrated experience related to linear and mixed-integer programming, simulation, statistics, computer programming, and renewable energy systems. Relevant experience can include thermodynamic power cycles, building energy modeling, or simulation of power systems.

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, and presenting and publishing research in technical forums.


Ph.D. in Operations Research, Mechanical Engineering or closely related field of study. Demonstrated experience in probabilistic simulation and modeling is required. Proficiency with programming languages with Matlab, C++, R, and Python is preferred. Proficiency with CSP modeling tools such as NREL’s SAM is preferred as well as DOE’s building energy modeling tools, OpenStudio and EnergyPlus. Proficiency with version control systems such as Subversion and Git is preferred.

The successful candidate will have a track record of research and publications in simulation and operations research. Modeling experience with power generation and buildings systems is desired. Knowledge of CSP and buildings operating principles and technologies is beneficial, as is familiarity with software development tools and practices.

The candidate must demonstrate a research capability to solve challenging problems, have excellent interpersonal, communication, writing and documentation skills. This position requires creativity, independence, 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.