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Geospatial Data Science Postdoctoral Researcher
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Job Description

The Geospatial Data Science (GDS) team in NREL’s Strategic Energy Analysis Center is seeking a Post-Doctoral scientist to address prominent challenges in geospatial modeling of complex energy systems. The researcher will conduct investigations to expose critical knowledge gaps and opportunities in the broad-scale characterization and quantification of renewable energy systems with the aim of developing highly efficient, robust, and scalable methods to support global analysis. This position will contribute to the growing research portfolio of the GDS team that is advancing innovative solutions through predictive modeling of spatiotemporal energy endpoints. The researcher will possess expert knowledge in state-of-the-art practices and is expected to actively engage with key players in research and industry to keep pace with the latest advances and to disseminate findings through peer-reviewed publications and professional conferences. The successful candidate will exercise ingenuity in identifying, designing and conducting research to accelerate comprehension needed to inform broad-scale deployment of complex energy systems. Potential research areas include multi-dimensional characterization of renewable energy resource (e.g., solar or wind), reduced-form modeling of energy production and system performance, energy demand characterization, and computer vision aided data augmentation.

Duties will include:

  • Identifying and pursuing tractable research questions around development of innovative spatiotemporal methods in machine learning, information extraction and predictive modeling to illuminate sustainable energy solutions at various geographic and temporal scales.
  • Integrating multiple data sources, models, and software tools with scientific and engineering workflows for decision support and data analysis. These workflows will include the use of distributed computing and utilization of both cloud and high-performance parallel computing (HPC) resources.
  • Evaluating and communicating results through written research reports for publication in journals and presentation at seminars, participating in group meetings and seminars, and assisting in developing proposals for new research directions.


Required Education, Experience, and Skills

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


Preferred Qualifications

The ideal candidate will bring a deep background in spatial data analysis and predictive modeling, as well as programming skills to integrate various models and tools to solve complex design problems of foundational and applied nature. Experience with Linux-based, scalable, open-source analysis tools is required; Google Earth Engine experience is a plus; experience with ESRI products is not a preferred skill due to computational demands and the need for highly customized solutions. The candidate should be willing and eager to work in an interdisciplinary field, together with computer scientists, policy analysts, and engineers, and will require excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Other required skills include:

  • Track record of peer-reviewed publications and independent research;
  • Proficiency and extensive experience in geospatial analysis and modeling techniques;
  • Strong quantitative background in predictive modeling, machine learning, remote sensing, spatial statistics and/or information extraction;
  • Strong scientific programming and algorithm development skills and demonstrated use of Python in spatial analysis.

The NREL Geospatial Data Science team (www.nrel.gov/gis) is the pre-eminent geospatial team working in renewable energy research today. Our foundational research and solutions are advancing NREL’s world-class capabilities. Join our team and help advance the science to inform the critical energy decisions of today and tomorrow.


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.