Researcher III - Industrial and Fuel Supply Optimization Modeling/Analysis

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Posting Title
Researcher III - Industrial and Fuel Supply Optimization Modeling/Analysis
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 eight 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 Integrated Modeling and Economic Analysis Group within the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is hiring a Researcher to join a highly interdisciplinary and collaborative team of researchers developing and applying energy systems models to evaluate transitions to sustainable futures.
NREL is the nation's primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Nestled in the foothills of Golden, Colorado, surrounded by grassland, and convenient to Denver, Boulder, and several suburbs, the NREL campus is a living experiment filled with curious researchers and concrete demonstrations of advanced energy technologies (e.g., best-in-class energy efficiency, daylighting, MW-scale solar photovoltaics, buildings heated by computers, optimized electric vehicle charging, hydrogen fueling station).
The Integrated Modeling and Economic Analysis Group develops and applies energy and economic models to evaluate and inform the evolution of the energy system and the associated implications for the economy, environment, and society. We are looking forward to welcoming a new researcher to our team to contribute to a growing body of research evaluating alternative pathways to cross-sectoral decarbonization of the US economy.
Working with senior researchers, the successful candidate will develop and apply the Fuels and Industry Integrated Optimization (FINITO) model—a new model simulating the evolution of the US industrial and fuel supply sectors—to a range of research topics, including:
  • evaluation of the implications of alternative policy designs for industrial decarbonization,
  • evaluation of research and development (R&D) driven improvements to the cost and performance of clean energy technologies,
  • evaluation of how industrial decarbonization would interact with other energy sectors (e.g., electricity),
  • explore impacts of a clean manufacturing transition on US manufacturing competitiveness.
In particular, the researcher will lead aspects of all components of research—from project conceptualization and proposal development, to methods development and implementation, and finally to analysis and communications. Communication products will include presentations to deliver at workshops/conferences, technical articles for submission to peer-reviewed journals, as well as shorter written products for policy audiences.
The ideal candidate will have a high level of enthusiasm to expand one’s knowledge of the energy system, learn new skills, and apply such knowledge and skills to help identify how the US can transition to a sustainable energy system, what the implications are for society, and how policy can be designed to help shape those outcomes. We welcome applicants with PhDs from any field, but the applicant must have experience developing and applying optimization models and experience in analysis of the energy system.
General job duties include:
  • Conducting objective research that generates independent, high quality, and reproducible results,
  • Research, acquisition, and analysis of large data sets,
  • Lead development of new data architectures to flexibly describe infrastructure systems,
  • Lead development and implementation of new advanced methods for modeling of energy system evolution,
  • Executing scenarios and visualizing, analyzing, and interpreting results for reporting,
  • Leading the design, implementation, and reporting of the research project,
  • Leading technical reports, journal articles, and presentations,
  • Communicating effectively and succinctly both in written products and in speaking roles.
Basic Qualifications
Relevant PhD . Or, relevant Master's Degree and 3 or more years of experience . Or, relevant Bachelor's Degree and 5 or more years of experience . Demonstrated full knowledge of laws, regulations, principles, procedures and practices related to specific field. Strong leadership, communication, problem solving and project management skills. Ability to use various computer software programs.
  • Must meet educational requirements prior to employment start date.
Additional Required Qualifications
  • Working knowledge of all subsectors of the US energy system and associated markets, policies, and regulations,
  • Demonstrated experience presenting research findings to broad—technical and non-technical—audiences,
  • Demonstrated experience in code-based data management and analysis using leading coding environments: e.g., Python,
  • Working knowledge of decarbonization literature,
  • Exceptional teaming and organizational skills,
  • Exceptional writing skills and a demonstrated record of publication in the technical/peer-reviewed literature.
  • Experience developing and applying optimization models (ideally in energy system applications) and experience with leading modeling coding environments, e.g., GAMS, MPSGE, Julia;
Preferred Qualifications
  • PhD in economics (with a focus on energy/environment), policy, engineering or other related field; however, we encourage applicants with training in any field to apply if they have interest and experience in the energy sector and experience with quantitative methods, especially optimization.
  • Experience in public policy—either direct experience or in analysis of policy design or impacts,
  • Prior work experience in the energy industry, at state- or federal agencies, or research institutions focused on energy.
Annual Salary Range (based on full-time 40 hours per week)
Job Profile: Researcher III / Annual Salary Range: $77,600 - $139,700
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
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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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