Researcher - Offshore Wind Turbine Digital Twin Modeler

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Posting Title
Researcher - Offshore Wind Turbine Digital Twin Modeler
CO - Boulder
Position Type
Hours Per Week
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.
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Job Description
The National Wind Technology Center at the NREL Flatiron’s Campus is seeking a qualified candidate to help support projects in physics-based engineering modeling and digital twins for loads analysis applications for offshore wind systems at both the wind turbine and wind-farm levels. The candidate will work with NREL senior staff to support projects that will focus on addressing offshore wind design and operation needs. Specific responsibilities include:
  • Application of physics-based wind turbine and wind-farm engineering tools (e.g., OpenFAST and FAST.Farm) to conduct loads analysis at both wind turbine and wind-farm levels.
  • Development and application of digital twin modeling capabilities for making informed operation and maintenance decisions, including strategies for extending asset lifetime and predictive maintenance scheduling.
  • Identification and support of improvement of engineering tools, ensuring their effectiveness and reliability.
  • Conducting verification and validation (V&V) activities by comparing results to high-fidelity modeling (e.g., SOWFA, ExaWind) and measurement data to assess applicability, accuracy, and limitations.
  • Collaboration with diverse stakeholders, including the U.S. Department of Energy Wind Energy Technology Office, national laboratories, industry partners, academic institutions, and the international community.
  • 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 meeting.
Basic Qualifications
Relevant Master's Degree . Or, relevant Bachelor's Degree and 2 or more years of experience .
  • Must meet educational requirements prior to employment start date.
Additional Required Qualifications
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.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience with wind-farm modeling tools FLORIS, FAST.Farm, and/or DWM for wind farms.
  • Experience with digital twin applications for structural loads.
  • Experience in commercial structural analysis software like ANSYS, ABAQUS, or NASTRAN.
  • Comfort with standard software workflows on GitHub.
  • Familiarity with data assimilation and machine-learning principles.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage with stakeholders of high visibility projects.
  • Experience with processing measurement data.
Job Application Submission Window
The anticipated closing window for application submission is up to 30 days and may be extended as needed.
Annual Salary Range (based on full-time 40 hours per week)
Job Profile: Researcher II / Annual Salary Range: $73,200 - $120,800
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*- and long-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; paid holidays; and tuition reimbursement*. 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. Limited-term positions are not eligible for long-term disability or tuition reimbursement.
  • Based on eligibility rules
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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.
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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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