R&D Associate - Industrial Energy Efficiency and Decarbonization

Date: Dec 2, 2023

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11808 


ORNL is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, with an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,200 people! ORNL’s decadal vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation. Come join us and help solve the world's most challenging energy problems!


The Manufacturing Energy Efficiency Research & Analysis (MEERA) Group, housed within the Manufacturing Science Division (MSD), Energy Science and Technology Directorate (ESTD) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is currently seeking to fill a position for a R&D Associate Staff Member. The role entails contributing to MEERA group’s mission of disseminating knowledge on energy, carbon, water, and material efficiency in the manufacturing sector and develop, deploy, and promote impactful practices, tools, and technologies. You play a crucial role in the planning, execution, and optimization of our technical assistance program for energy intensive industries (iron & steel, food, pulp & paper, chemicals, nonferrous metals, and nonmetallic minerals). The primary objective of the energy intensive industries (EIIs) program is to engage with manufacturers from energy-intensive industrial sectors to better understand their specific needs and issues in implementing energy efficiency and decarbonization activities. The candidate will work closely with program allies, domain experts and technical trade associations to ensure successful delivery of technical assistance to energy intensive manufacturing participants.


The MEERA Group actively contributes to the Department of Energy’s Industrial Efficiency & Decarbonization Office (IEDO) by providing technical assistance. This role supports the IEDO’s vision of driving energy savings and decarbonization that can have broader impact across the energy intensive industries, which leads to cost savings, greater resilience, a strengthened workforce, and increased global competitiveness.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

You will contribute to the efforts of the MEERA Group’s Energy Intensive Industries (EIIs) team. This involvement will encompass the support in creating technical assistance activities tailored to the needs of EIIs or target sectors considering factors such as energy and decarbonization assessments, workforce development and technology demonstrations. This contribution will extend to collaborate with program participants and contribute to technical support activities including: visiting manufacturing sites, analyzing technologies, evaluating, and identifying funding opportunities, assisting EIIs to improve energy management practices, perform energy data benchmarking and analysis studies. Moreover, you will coordinate with program partners, allies and domain experts and assist in the execution of technical assistance activities such as assessments, and trainings. This assignment might encompass collaborating with trade associations and national labs and use their knowledge base to provide technical support to EIIs program participants.


You will compose technical reports, create presentations tailored to diverse audiences, publish peer-reviewed papers summarizing the outcomes of technical assistance endeavors, and contribute to periodic progress reports intended for sponsors. Furthermore, the candidate should possess the capacity to work innovatively and harmoniously as an integral member of an interdisciplinary research team.


Additionally, you will have the opportunity to assume leadership roles in projects, collaborate with research personnel and partner organizations on forthcoming research initiatives, establish connections with relevant entities, engage with current sponsors to secure further research funding, and prepare proposals, communicating results to sponsors, peer reviewers, and other stakeholders.


Basic Qualifications:

  • M.S. degree in energy engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, or a related field is required.
  • A minimum of two years of experience in industrial energy efficiency and carbon management subject areas is required.
  • Possess an excellent quantitative and analytical background acquired through research, which can be applied to conduct research analyses on applicable energy efficiency and decarbonization technologies for energy intensive sectors.
  • Demonstrate a profound understanding of industrial energy efficiency and decarbonization technologies. Previous industry experience in energy intensive sectors or related sector is a plus.
  • Familiarity with industrial processes, building science, heating and cooling technologies, and mechanical systems and controls.
  • Proficiency in using Excel for engineering data analysis.
  • Familiarity with numerical calculation and statistical data analysis techniques.
  • Willingness to travel. You will travel to EII program participants manufacturing sites to represent DOE during technical assistance activities.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Certified Energy Manager (CEM®) or other certifications in the field of industrial energy efficiency and carbon management.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills to make weekly presentations to sponsors and others and to prepare reports, proposals, and publications/journal articles is required.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to support team building and leadership in addition to a strong commitment to scientific integrity is an important requirement.
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory.
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs.


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


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 encouraging a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Benefits at ORNL: UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options. Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, coffee stands, and fitness facilities.


Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.



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