Postdoctoral Researcher - Offshore Wind Turbine Modeler

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Posting Title
Postdoctoral Researcher - Offshore Wind Turbine Modeler
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Location
CO - Boulder
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Position Type
Postdoc (Fixed Term)
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Hours Per Week
40
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Working at NREL
NREL’s 305-acre Flatirons Campus is the nation’s premier wind energy, water power, and grid integration research facility. Nestled south of Boulder, Colorado, and north of NREL’s main South Table Mountain campus, Flatirons sits adjacent to the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge and countless acres of open space and parks with stunning views of the Flatirons rock formations.
From day one at NREL, you’ll connect with coworkers driven by the same mission to save the planet. By joining an organization that values a supportive, inclusive, and flexible work environment, you’ll have the opportunity to engage through our ten employee resource groups, numerous employee-driven clubs, and learning and professional development classes.
NREL supports inclusive, diverse, and unbiased hiring practices that promote creativity and innovation. By collaborating with organizations that focus on diverse talent pools, reaching out to underrepresented demographics, and providing an inclusive application and interview process, our Talent Acquisition team aims to hear all voices equally. We strive to attract a highly diverse workforce and create a culture where every employee feels welcomed and respected and they can be their authentic selves.
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Note: Research suggests that potential job seekers may self-select out of opportunities if they don't meet 100% of the job requirements. We encourage anyone who is interested in this opportunity to apply. We seek dedicated people who believe they have the skills and ambition to succeed at NREL to apply for this role.
Job Description
The National Wind Technology Center at the NREL Flatiron’s Campus is seeking a qualified candidate to help execute projects related to physics-based engineering modeling for loads analysis applications for offshore wind systems at both the wind turbine and wind-farm levels. The researcher will apply physics-based wind turbine and wind-farm engineering tools (e.g., OpenFAST and FAST.Farm) to wind turbine and wind farm loads analysis applications, including understanding the impact of wakes from upstream wind turbines in a farm on the response and structural loading of downstream turbines, both land-based and turbines installed on fixed-bottom and floating offshore support structures. The engineer will identify and support improvements to the engineering tools. They may systematically verify and validate (V&V) physics-based wind turbine and wind-farm engineering tools (e.g., OpenFAST and FAST.Farm) through comparisons to high-fidelity modeling results (e.g., SOWFA, ExaWind) and measurement data to quantitatively understand their applicability, accuracy, and limitations. They may also work on supporting optimization approaches for offshore wind turbine design. The researcher will be able to move fluidly between applications, scripting, and underlying software code.
The researcher will work with a wide variety of customers including the U.S. Department of Energy Wind Energy Technology Office. They may also work collaboratively with other national laboratories, industry and academic partners, and the international community to execute projects and promote the wind industry. The researcher is expected to demonstrate a broad understanding and wide application of engineering principles, theories, and concepts as well as general knowledge of wind energy-related disciplines, applications and challenges. Candidates with aerospace, mechanical, or naval design backgrounds with some knowledge of wind engineering applications are encouraged to apply.
The successful candidate will have excellent writing, interpersonal, and communication skills. The candidate will be expected to publish research results in technical journals/conference proceedings and present work at conferences, symposia, and review meetings. They will also be expected to support the development of new work proposals, preparations, and reviews.
In addition, the candidate is expected to have:
  • Experience with physics-based wind turbine and/or wind-farm modeling principles, including aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, structural dynamics, and/or controls.
  • Experience with offshore wind turbine modeling tools used within the industry and research communities, e.g., FAST/OpenFAST, Bladed, and/or HAWC2.
  • Knowledge of international wind turbine design standards, e.g., IEC 61400-1, -2, -3-1, and/or -3-2.
  • Experience with programming languages, including familiarity with (or the ability to quickly learn) Python and/or MATLAB, Fortran and/or C++, and high-performance computing environments.
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Basic Qualifications
Must be a recent PhD graduate within the last three years.
  • Must meet educational requirements prior to employment start date.
Additional Required Qualifications
The successful candidate will have excellent writing, interpersonal, and communication skills. The candidate will be expected to publish research results in technical journals/conference proceedings and present work at conferences, symposia, and review meetings. They will also be expected to support the development of new work proposals, preparations, and reviews.

In addition, the candidate is expected to have:
  • Experience with physics-based wind turbine and/or wind-farm modeling principles, including aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, structural dynamics, and/or controls.
  • Experience with offshore wind turbine modeling tools used within the industry and research communities, e.g., FAST/OpenFAST, Bladed, and/or HAWC2.
  • Experience with programming languages, including familiarity with (or the ability to quickly learn) Python and/or MATLAB, Fortran and/or C++, and high-performance computing environments.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Knowledge of international wind turbine design standards, e.g., IEC 61400-1, -2, -3-1, and/or -3-2.
  • Experience with wind-farm modeling tools FLORIS, FAST.Farm, and/or DWM for wind farms.
  • Knowledge of optimization processes related to wind systems.
  • Comfort with standard software workflows on GitHub.
  • Familiarity with uncertainty quantification and machine-learning principles.
  • Knowledge of high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling.
  • Experience with processing measurement data.
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Annual Salary Range (based on full-time 40 hours per week)
Job Profile: Postdoctoral Researcher / Annual Salary Range: $71,300 - $117,600
NREL takes into consideration a candidate’s education, training, and experience, expected quality and quantity of work, required travel (if any), external market and internal value, including seniority and merit systems, and internal pay alignment when determining the salary level for potential new employees. In compliance with the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, a potential new employee’s salary history will not be used in compensation decisions.
Benefits Summary
Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; short-term disability insurance*; pension benefits*; 403(b) Employee Savings Plan with employer match*; life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance; personal time off (PTO) and sick leave; and paid holidays. NREL employees may be eligible for, but are not guaranteed, performance-, merit-, and achievement- based awards that include a monetary component. Some positions may be eligible for relocation expense reimbursement.
  • Based on eligibility rules
Drug Free Workplace
NREL is committed to maintaining a drug-free workplace in accordance with the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs. Under federal law, marijuana remains an illegal drug.
If you are offered employment at NREL, you must pass a pre-employment drug test prior to commencing employment. Unless prohibited by state or local law, the pre-employment drug test will include marijuana. If you test positive on the pre-employment drug test, your offer of employment may be withdrawn.
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.
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EEO Policy
NREL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard basis of age (40 and over), color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, domestic partner status, military or veteran status, national origin/ancestry, race, religion, creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding), sexual orientation, and any other applicable status protected by federal, state, or local laws.
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