R&D Associate - Energy Efficiency Engineer and Researcher

Date: Apr 5, 2024

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12665 



Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the largest US Department of Energy (DOE) science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security. Our diverse capabilities span a broad range of scientific and engineering disciplines, enabling the Laboratory to explore fundamental science challenges and to carry out the research needed to accelerate the delivery of solutions to the marketplace.



The Manufacturing Energy Efficiency Research & Analysis (MEERA) Group in the Manufacturing Science Division (MSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking applicants for a R&D Associate position including communications support in the area of energy efficiency and decarbonization for industry sector. This position augments ORNL's industrial energy efficiency and decarbonization team that is operating in support of DOE's Better Plants and Better Climate Challenge programs. The mission of the MEERA group is to research, analyze, and disseminate knowledge on energy, carbon, water, and material efficiency in the manufacturing sector and develop, deploy, and promote impactful practices, tools, and technologies. MEERA group is a part of ORNL’s Manufacturing Science Division in the Energy Science and Technology Directorate.


Through its energy efficiency & decarbonization technical assistance programs, MEERA group develops a diverse portfolio of industrial energy efficiency tools and resources which are delivered to the manufacturing sector through various technical assistance and training events worldwide. MEERA group actively supports industry partners in improving manufacturing plant energy efficiency and decarbonization via roles in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Plants and Better Climate Challenge programs.


Main Duties/Responsibilities:

The R&D Associate will assist principal investigators and lead projects as part of an expanding program. The candidate’s work will be focused on technical assistance and research related to improved energy management in existing industrial facilities during their operational phase. In addition, the candidate will provide support to the U.S. DOE’s Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO) programs. IEDO is under the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). There may also be opportunities to work on international energy efficiency programs. IEDO’s Technology Partnerships subprogram presently works with some of the largest manufacturing plants in the United States through the DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants and Better Climate Challenge Programs.


The R&D Associate candidate will collaborate on research and analysis of technologies and practices for increasing the energy efficiency of the industrial sectors. The assignment will involve leading projects and supporting ORNL program managers and principal investigators on IEDO programs and projects in a fast-paced multi-tasking environment. The IEDO project work includes supporting activities under the DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program; activities would include: acting as a technical account manager for key companies and interfacing with corporate energy managers, visiting manufacturing sites, analyzing technologies, assisting industrial clients to improve energy management practices, perform energy data benchmarking and analysis studies. The candidate’s work may also include writing technical reports to summarize the results of technical assistance activities and contributing to periodic progress reports for sponsors. The candidate should have the ability to work creatively and cooperatively as a member of an interdisciplinary research team.


The candidate will have the opportunity to lead projects, collaborate with research staff and partner organizations on future research initiatives, network with related organizations, interact with existing sponsors in pursuit of additional research funding, and prepare proposals and present results to sponsors, peer reviewers, and others. 


Deliver ORNL's mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace - in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • M.S. in mechanical engineering, industrial engineering or related discipline with experience with industry and/or buildings, specifically with energy efficiency management and projects is required, plus two years of relevant experience

  • Proficiency with the use of Excel in engineering data reduction and analysis is essential.

  • Experience with mechanical engineering modeling and analysis tools is highly desirable.

  • Knowledge of industrial processes, building science, energy savings performance contracts, heating and cooling technologies, and mechanical systems and controls is desired.

  • Familiarity with numerical calculation and statistical data analysis techniques is desired.


Preferred Qualifications:

  1. Certified Energy Manager Certification.

  2. Excellent oral and written communication skills to support regular interactions with manufacturing partners, sponsors, and others and to prepare reports, proposals, publications and journal articles are required.

  3. Strong interpersonal and communication skills to support team building, partnering and communications are a plus for this position.

  4. Must be willing to travel. You will be involved in meetings with DOE sponsors in Washington, DC and will attend key conferences and workshops. Travel will be periodically required to visit federal facilities and industrial plants.


ORNL Ethics and Conduct: As a member of the ORNL scientific community, you will be expected to commit to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct. Our full code of conduct and a statement by the Lab Director's office can be found here: https://www.ornl.gov/content/research-integrity


About Oak Ridge National Laboratory: 


ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience. 


Other benefits include: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts. 


Working Here:

Leveraging the talents of its world-class researchers and exceptional support staff, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is helping solve critical scientific and technical challenges and, in so doing, creating economic opportunity for the nation. ORNL provides access to unique facilities, laboratories, and equipment, drawing thousands of visiting researchers each year. A vibrant and welcoming scientific community, ORNL embraces the pursuit of innovative ideas and invests in its people to ensure their success. 


Living Here:

Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, ORNL’s campus is just one hour away from the national park. Within a day’s drive of all major cities on the East Coast, ORNL provides the best of both worlds: proximity to the great outdoors and urban centers with diverse cultural attractions. The city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee has 150 miles of shoreline for water recreation, rowing, and boating; and nearby Knoxville, Tennessee is home to the thriving research campus of the University of Tennessee and a historic downtown known for its dining, theaters, shopping, and cultural and music festivals.


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email ORNLRecruiting@ornl.gov.

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville