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Employment Type:
Full time
Job Category:
Postdoctoral Researcher - Synthesis and Characterization of Advanced Catalytic Materials
(This job is no longer available)
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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 only dedicated laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The National Bioenergy Center at NREL has an opening for a full time Postdoctoral Researcher in the area of catalyst design for carbon conversion technologies focused on transforming renewable and waste carbon sources (e.g, biomass, CO2) into fuels, chemicals, and materials. The initial appointment is for one year, with possible renewal up to three years.

Job Duties:

The successful candidate will support multi-investigator interdisciplinary projects focused on the design, synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of advanced catalytic materials, with a specific focus on developing correlations between catalyst structure and performance through in-situ and operando spectroscopic characterization techniques. The successful candidate will be expected to arrive with substantial experience in several physical (material) characterization techniques, laboratory safety, and communication of the significance of new data. Experience in specific techniques will be less important than overall breadth in materials characterization and chemistry. Emphasis is placed on:

  • Design and synthesis of heterogeneous catalysts with control over key features of the active phase(s) such as size, surface structure, and composition;
  • Familiarity with materials characterization techniques, particularly those that include in-situ or operando evaluation;
  • Presentation of findings in patents, high-impact journals, and conferences;
  • Development of new concepts and ideas for controlling materials properties across multiple length scales.

Desired Education and Experience:

  • Doctoral degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or Materials Science granted within the last three years;
  • Extensive experience with chemical and material handling including solution chemistry techniques;
  • General working knowledge of catalyst synthesis;
  • Experience with at least 4 common catalyst characterization techniques (XRD, XPS, XAS, Raman or IR spectroscopy, electron microscopy, NMR, TGA, BET, chemisorption, etc.);
  • Demonstrated ability to publish high impact research (first author on at least one publication with impact factor > 6);

This should be considered the minimum, although applicants with superb skills and experience within other disciplines will be considered.

Additional Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated excellence in chemical and materials synthesis supported by a strong publication record;
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills;
  • Troubleshooting and problem-solving skills;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Dedication to a safe and clean work environment;
  • Ability to work independently and in multi-disciplinary teams;
  • Ability to deliver high-quality results within aggressive timelines;
  • Experience with chemical hazard analysis.


Required Education, Experience, and Skills

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


Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with reaction engineering related to heterogeneous catalysis; experience with high temperature or pressure in-situ/operando characterization techniques;
  • Experience working with gas cylinders, Swagelok tubing and fittings, pressure and temperature measurement and regulation, and basic hand tools;
  • Experience with at least two analytical quantification techniques (e.g., mass spectrometry, gas or liquid chromatography, FTIR, acid/base titration, NMR, etc.);
  • A strong background in materials and nanomaterials characterization for catalytic applications (e.g., site titrations);
  • Experience in the synthesis or characterization of high-surface area metal oxides, carbides, nitrides, and phosphides.


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.