Research Operations Manager - Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF)

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Posting Title
Research Operations Manager - Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF)
CO - Golden
Position Type
Hours Per Week
Working at NREL
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado is the nation's primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
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 Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), located on the campus of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is the nation’s first research facility that can conduct integrated megawatt-scale research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of the components and strategies needed to safely integrate emerging energy technologies seamlessly into existing infrastructure at the speed and scale need‐ed to meet national goals. Through the funding from the DOE for ESIF’s core operations, ESIF’s capabilities are made available as a Designated User Facility to help technology manufacturers, vendors, equipment suppliers, energy companies, and academic researchers identify and resolve a variety of energy system challenges.
Reporting to the ESIF Research Operations Director, the ESIF Operations Group Manager has responsibility for safe operations of the ESIF to support DOE- and User-sponsored research outcomes. The Group Manager supervises a team of ESIF Operations personnel responsible for ensuring that all activities in their assigned area(s) of ESIF are authorized and within the facility safety envelope that defines risks; and for maintaining situational awareness of all activities occurring in their designated ESIF laboratory area, both routine and non-routine. ESIF Operations personnel also assist users with planning and implementation of their activities, providing input on ESIF capabilities, capacities, rules, requirements, and controls credited with preventing/mitigating hazardous conditions that may be present or arise as a result of a change in activity. The Group Manager oversees a portion of the ESIF budget that includes personnel, equipment maintenance, consumables, and contract support as needed.
Job Duties and Responsibilities:
Oversee research operations activities in the ESIF laboratories at the direction of management, with specific roles and responsibilities including:
  • Implement the Safe Conduct of Work program to ensure research operations are compliant with the NREL Safety Management Programs and performed within the safety envelope of the facility.
  • Owner of the ESIF Hazard Analysis Review (HAR), ensuring that it is fully implemented and maintained as required.
  • Oversee all operations, ensuring adherence to requirements for quality, safety, and environmental protection, complying with all applicable regulations, NREL policy, procedures, and practices. Maintain operational excellence as demonstrated through accreditations for ISO 9001, 14001, and 45001.
  • Coordinate the emergency response procedures, including managing the laboratory alarm response program, for the facility with site emergency preparedness office.
  • Train, develop, and manage the ESIF Research Operations Group, including providing recommendations in the hire/fire process, performance evaluation, and compensation.
  • Build and maintain a highly integrated Research Operations team, including embedded staff from F&O organizations (ESH&Q, Site Operations, ITS, LPM).
  • Ensure all work (facility and user) is planned, evaluated, authorized and deconflicted through Plan of the Week/Work meetings with ESIF staff.
  • Support the Research Operations Director in strategic research initiatives consistent with the ESIF capabilities, NREL, EERE, and industry partner objectives by demonstrating a strong understanding of ESIF operations capabilities and operations.
  • Serve as the authority for the operation and management of the safety programmable logic controller (PLC) system for the laboratory areas, including interfacing with site operations for maintenance of the system.
  • Coordinate required resources are allocated to ensure facility and user program run efficiently.
  • Responsible for implementation of the ESIF Configuration Management and Maintenance Management programs.
  • Manage the ESIF Operations budget and ensure that required resources are allocated to enable the facility and user program to run safely.
  • Build partnerships with other NREL organizations to drive the development and implementation of the process and technology systems required to ensure consistent operational excellence and project support.
  • Manage access control within the facility to support the user facility model, safety protocols, and research operations.
  • Maintain knowledge of legal and ethical management issues and practices.
  • Support the ESIF Designated User Facility model.
  • Other activities and duties as required to ensure ESIF success.
Basic Qualifications
Relevant Bachelor's Degree and 14 or more years of experience or equivalent relevant education/experience. Or, relevant Master's Degree and 12 or more years of experience or equivalent relevant education/experience. Or, relevant PhD and 9 or more years of experience or equivalent relevant education/experience.
  • Must meet educational requirements prior to employment start date.
Additional Required Qualifications
  • Applies advanced technical principles, theories and concepts.
  • Contributes to the development of new principles and concepts.
  • Develops advanced concepts, techniques and standards.
  • Comprehensive and advanced knowledge of laws, regulations, principles, procedures and practices related to specific field.
  • Strong leadership, project management and problem solving skills.
  • Ability to use various computer software programs.
  • In-depth knowledge of the issues and best practices in the applicable field of expertise.
  • Generally viewed as subject matter expert for group or work units.
  • Excellent organization, project management, budgeting, interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to make appropriate decisions regarding work activities and projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead and direct personnel with diverse skills, work styles and values.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of legal and ethical management issues and practices
  • One or more years of formal performance management experience
Preferred Qualifications
  • At least 10 years professional experience directly related to laboratory operations
  • Multi-disciplinary operations experience with background in electric power energy systems, utilities, and hydrogen fuel energy systems
  • Extensive knowledge of operational support equipment including hoisting and rigging, material handling equipment, OSHA safety requirements, electrical safety, compressed gas safety, configuration management, quality management, maintenance management, facility systems management
  • Strong communication and collaboration skill set
  • Strong team leader, able to quickly assemble and manage a solution development team as required
  • Demonstrated experience implementing configuration management, quality management, maintenance management, facility systems management programs
  • Has excellent business analysis skills used to create compelling business cases
  • Possesses solid working knowledge of common computer applications (e.g., MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Project, etc.)
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: Group Manager III / Annual Salary Range: $137,600 - $247,700
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
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.
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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