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Senior R&D Staff Member - Electric Grid Energy Economist

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Date: Nov 20, 2020

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4314 



The Power Systems Resilience Group (PSR) within the Electrification and Energy Infrastructures Division (EEID) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking to fill a Senior R&D Staff position to work in the areas of energy economics, system operations and planning, technology and market impacts of new technologies or new operating modes for research supporting programs within PSR and across ORNL technology offices. Selection will be based on qualifications, relevant experience, skills, and education.


The PSR Group supports multi-laboratory research, including research supporting DOE’s Office of Electricity (OE), Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response (CESER) and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) on the electricity grid’s resilience and reliability, grid modeling and analysis, integration of new technologies, and identifying and validating new ways of using existing grid assets to ensure grid reliability, grid resilience, environmental stewardship, and affordability of energy supplies. PSR conducts modeling, analysis and R&D specifically related to the grid and  applies PSR’s expertise to other technologies and generation assets, such as hydropower, to develop and evaluate options and methodologies for operations, dispatch, and planning.



You will be responsible for leading research services and managing research projects supporting PSR’s power system operations, planning, and modeling research activities focused on asset acquisition, operations, dispatch, production cost, and valuation of alternatives.  You should be a thought leader in developing new methods for determining and evaluating the potential value of grid services or costs based on asset and grid operations under normnal and contrained conditions and be able to communicate and influence  stakeholders –  internal and external, government and private sector –  on new concepts, R&D opportunities, and results.  You will work collaboratively to support other ORNL staff and to offer career guidance and mentoring to junior staff.    


Basic Qualifications:

  • Requires a Ph.D. (Electrical / Mechanical Engineering are preferred) with a minimum of 6 years relevant experience, a M.S. with a minimum of 12 years experiences, or a B.S. with 15 years experience.
  • Successful candidates should have an excellent quantitative and analytical research background which can be applied to conduct research analysis on advanced grid resilience and reliability technologies, operational concepts, and future needs to achieve transformative changes in defining the grid of the future.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills to make  presentations to sponsors, industry organizations, and National Laboratories 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.
  • The candidate should be able lead and mentor junior staff within the PSR group to develop, improve and apply production cost  and life cycle analyses and models for grid technologies, modes of operations, and  market operations. An educational background in power systems operations is preferable, with an emphasis on techno-economic research.
  • The candidate should possess strong analytical capabilities with  experience in the area of utility operations, planning, reliability, energy and cost assessments.
  • The candidate should be familiar with electricity production and delivery technologies and capable of  conducting technology  assessments.
  • A  strong network of contacts within the electric power industry and experience working collaborative with diverse types of stakeholders is desirable.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in utility operations and planning. 
  • Proficiency in the use of industry standard modeling, simulation tools,  production cost models (such as Plexos or other commercially available  tools, unit commitment models, generation/asset planning/expansion models, and/or reliability assessment models. 
  • Experience in analyzing, modeling, and comparing the costs, capabilities, constraints, services, and performance provided by multiple generation technologies (nuclear, gas turbines, coal-fired eneration, hydropower, solar, wind, etc.). 
  • Experience  working with policy issues related to the energy industry.
  • Limited travel will be required for this position. No security 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

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