R&D Staff, Transportation-Energy Analysis and Modeling

Date: Sep 13, 2023

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11615 


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our 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.



The Mobility and Energy Transitions Analysis (META) Group within the Buildings and Transportation Science Division (BTSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking applicants for a researcher position in Transportation-Energy Analysis and Modeling to understand and model the complex interactions between transportation systems and energy transitions.  The META group’s research focuses on how technological, socio-economic, and policy drivers related to transportation and energy may involve into the future and, by extension, what the resulting impacts may be for climate, environment, and the broader suite of sustainable development objectives, including social justice and equity and human welfare. A theme that sets this group apart from others is an attention to the question: “How do we get from here to there?,” where ‘there’ is an equitable net zero emissions world. The group’s remit covers not only technology and the environment but also the socio-cultural, institutional, and economic dimensions inherent in pathways toward national and global energy sustainability. This concept is best captured in the META keyword ‘TRANSITIONS’, emphasizing the long-term (multi-decadal) evolution of transport and energy systems in national, sub-national, and international contexts.


For additional information on the META Group, see the following URL: https://www.ornl.gov/group/mobility-and-energy-transitions-analysis


The META Group is comprised of both senior and junior researchers, and it maintains strong collaborations with researchers in numerous other groups within ORNL as well as across the broader scientific ecosystem throughout the U.S. and world. The Group supports multiple sponsors, including the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), other DOE applied R&D offices and the Office of Science, as well as non-DOE sponsors such as the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. State Department, and philanthropic foundations.


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest of the U.S. Department of Energy’s multipurpose national laboratories. Its scientific programs span the spectrum from basic science to applied research and development. This includes energy (transport, buildings, manufacturing, conversion, and storage), Earth systems science (land, water, ecosystems, and biodiversity), and human dynamics, as well as various other research domains ranging from advanced materials and nuclear science to high-performance computing and national security. Climate change, decarbonization, and sustainability are cross-cutting themes across the laboratory.


Major Duties / Responsibilities:

You will research the drivers and impacts of transportation and energy innovations, such as electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, automated vehicles, and shared mobility, on the path toward an equitable net-zero emissions world. The candidate will contribute to furthering the META group’s (and its stakeholders’) collective understanding of how to transition from the current fossil fuel-based transportation system efficiently, effectively, and equitably-energy system to one that is more sustainable, more decarbonized, more socially equitable, and more energy-diverse. You will join the group at a dynamic time, with opportunities for pursuing stimulating and impactful research in a variety of areas.


Specific work may include:

  • Conducting and reporting complex assignments related to transportation data analytics, smart mobility, transportation, energy market projections, policy analysis, consumer behavior and scenario analysis.
  • Designing and developing innovative analytical tools to model and simulate next-generation vehicle adoption patterns, charging/refueling station requirements, and the impact on energy grids as well as performing and providing technical guidance to support in transportation-energy analysis and modeling.
  • Employing machine learning, statistical analysis, and data visualization to project future trends, and make informed decisions about infrastructure development, energy consumption and sustainability initiatives.
  • Applying modeling techniques, simulation and/or optimization skills to large-scale transportation and energy demographics datasets, including spatial-temporal data processing, analysis, and modeling to inform developments of transportation and integrated energy systems models.
  • Collaborating with researchers on projects to build integrated models that simulate the interactions between the transportation sector and the broader integrated energy system.
  • Gathering and processing large volumes of data on transport sector activity, vehicle technologies, and consumer preferences and collaborating with domain experts, data scientists, and analysts who can contribute their expertise in the data processing and analysis process.
  • Promptly addressing the implications of transportation-energy supply and demand from various economic, social, and environmental perspectives.
  • Developing model code collaboratively that is version-controlled, documented, and reproducible, to enable low-cost adaptation of methods for different spatial scopes and/or input data sets.
  • Processing, analyzing, and modeling spatial data to derive insights, make informed decisions, and contribute to projects that require geographic understanding. 
  • Presenting methods and results to both technical and non-technical audiences in both national and international venues.
  • Initiating and organizing conference sessions and taking an active role in planning workshops.
  • Drafting reports, scientific papers, and documentation to communicate findings and methodologies.
  • Taking lead in fundraising/grant applications, related to energy and transport sector transitions and their implication for broader sustainable development objectives.
  • 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:

  • PhD in a relevant field such as transportation engineering, energy systems, economics, environmental science and/or policy analysis, with 4 years of experience.
  • Prior relevant inter-disciplinary research experience may include, for example, travel demand modeling, consumer behavior modeling, discrete choice studies, agent-based modeling, transportation-energy analysis, transportation and energy economics, policy analysis, integrated assessment modeling, vehicle systems modeling and/or macro-energy systems modeling.
  • Strong understanding and working experience with transportation and energy data, modeling techniques, and knowledge of electric and hydrogen vehicle technologies and their associated charging and refueling infrastructure.
  • Demonstrated record of publishing scientific papers, reports, and code in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at international meetings.
  • Proficiency in the use of analysis and modeling tools (e.g., Python, R, Excel® VBA, MATLAB).
  • Knowledge of the transport-energy transitions literature, possibly also including systems-level modeling applications beyond the transportation sector (e.g., buildings, industry, and/or electricity).


Preferred Skills and Experience:

  • Demonstrated strong background in transport-energy systems modeling (e.g., MA3T, TEMPO, ADOPT, TRUCK, VISION/NEAT, MoMo, Roadmap, GCAM, MESSAGE, TIMES, NEMS, EPPA, LEAP, Temoa, REGEN, OSeMOSYS).
  • Strong operations research and computational programming skills, including in areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • Deep experience researching both technical and non-technical issues relevant to transportation and energy transitions (e.g., techno-economics, policy, social justice, and equity).
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, as exhibited by a strong publication record and history of presenting at workshops and conferences.
  • Strong people skills to support team building and leadership.


Some travel will be required for this position.


No clearance is required.



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