3-5 years of experience
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Employment Type:
Full time
Job Category:
Postdoctoral Researcher – Control and Optimization Theory
(This job is no longer available)
Grad Date

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Job Description

The energy system integration team at NREL is looking for an accomplished and dynamic candidate with a positive attitude and excellent collaboration skills to join our cutting-edge research team to work on Autonomous Energy Grids (https://www.nrel.gov/grid/autonomous-energy.html). The ideal candidate will bring a strong track record in Control Theory and Optimization Theory, along with the design and analysis of distributed optimization and control methods for future large-scale energy systems. The candidate should demonstrate experience in performing algorithm development, simulation studies, and conducting real-time simulations. Application domains include, but are not limited to: distributed optimization and control of smart grids, microgrid control, frequency regulation, optimal power flow, demand response. Ideal candidates will work towards the implementation of scalable, distributed control and optimization algorithms for power systems operations in simulation platforms and support the implementation of control and optimization algorithms in hardware tests and possibly field deployments.

The successful candidate will be part of the Energy Systems Optimization and Control group under the Power Systems Engineering Center (PSEC) at NREL. PSEC supports the science and technology goals of the U.S. Department of Energy and NREL toward a sustainable energy future. The center works with the electricity industry to optimize strategies for effectively interconnecting renewable resources and emerging energy efficiency technologies in the existing electric power system. The center focuses on resolving grid integration barriers and providing improved control and management strategies for increased grid flexibility, consumer empowerment, and transportation electrification.

The job responsibilities include:

  • Collaborate with management and senior staff to develop proposals in the area of optimization and control of next-generation energy systems
  • Execute major projects as a principal technical contributor
  • Demonstrate leadership in several areas of team, task, or project lead responsibilities
  • Provide reports on technical work and input to technical publications and presentations
  • Publish results in top technical journals and conference proceedings; present work at conferences, symposia, and review meetings
  • Follow all Environment, Safety, and Health policies and procedures to ensure and maintain a safe working environment


Required Education, Experience, and Skills

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


Preferred Qualifications

Relevant PhD in Electrical Engineering or computer engineering or other systems engineering fields and 3 or more years of experience or equivalent relevant education/experience.

Ideal candidates will have a background and expertise in one or more of the following topics:

  • Distributed and decentralized control
  • Convex and nonconvex optimization
  • Distributed solution methods for convex and/or nonconvex programs
  • Familiarity with latest findings in control and optimization literature within the context of power systems
  • Demonstrates broad understanding and wide application of principles, theories, and concepts in operations, controls, and optimization of power systems areas
  • General knowledge of other related disciplines
  • Knowledge of communication protocols used in power systems
  • Proficiency in electrical system simulation programs (e.g. OpenDSS, GridLAB-D, Matlab/Simulink)
  • Proficiency in one or more of the following programming languages: Python, Julia, Java, C, C++, C#
  • Experience in developing control algorithms for buildings and electric power distribution systems
  • Knowledge of building modeling tools and load modeling methodologies would be an added advantage


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.