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R&D Staff Member - Microgrid Controls & Protection

Date: Sep 13, 2021

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 5333 


Job Description:  


The Grid Components and Controls Group (GCC) 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 perform R&D in the areas of microgrid modeling, controls and protection technologies. Research activities will include novel or improved approaches for controling emerging grid components (e.g. inverter-based resources, energy storage, etc.) in the microgrid, the investigation of new operating modes and the assessment of market impacts of new technologies. Selection will be based on qualifications, relevant experience, skills, and education.


The GCC 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 and emerging grid assets to ensure grid reliability, grid resilience, environmental stewardship, and affordability of energy supplies. GCC conducts modeling, analysis, control R&D specifically related to power electronics-based grid devices, development and design of new grid devices deploying new theory and methodologies, and system operation and control R&D of integrated systems such as microgrids and networked microgrids utilizing intelleligent and smart grid devices.


The successful Senior R&D candidate will be responsible for developing GCC microgrid control and protection capabilities and leading research activities supporting GCC’s core capability on electronic power grid control and other relevant research activities.  The candidate should be a thought leader in developing new modeling, analysis and control methods for determining and evaluating the potential value of smart grid components or devices and their control functionalities on power system reliability, stability and resilience during normal and abnormal conditions under small and large disturbances, and be able to communicate and influence  stakeholders –  internal and external, government and private sector – on new concepts, R&D opportunities, and results. The candidate is expected to work collaboratively to support other ORNL staff and to offer career guidance and mentoring to junior staff.    


Basic Qualifications:

  • Requires a Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering) with a minimum of 6 years relevant experience, an M.S. with a minimum of 12 years experiences, or a B.S. with 15 years experience.
  • Successful candidates should have an strong research background in modeling, analysis, controls and protection of inverter-based power systems.
  • Successful candidates should have an excellent power systems and control 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.
  • The candidate should be familiar with electricity production and delivery technologies and be capable of  conducting technology  assessments.
  • The candidate should have experience writing competitive research proposals as PI.
  • The candidate should have 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.
  • The candidate should have 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 GCC group to develop new grid devices and control technologies applying to electronics power grids.
  • A  strong network of contacts within the electric power industry and power electronics community and experience working collaborative with diverse types of stakeholders is desirable.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of microgrid systems and their interactions with distribution systems.
  • Knowledge of different microgrid control architectures, different control modes of inverter-based resources, droop controls, consensus algorithms and their applications on microgrid load power sharing and voltage regulation.
  • Experience in hardware-in-loop modeling and simulations.
  • Experience in power system dynamics modeling, computing and analysis. 
  • Proficiency in the use of commericallly available and open-source power system steady-state, transient, and stability analyses and simulation software tools.
  • Experience in analyzing and modeling the dyanamics of a diversity of distributed energy and emerging grid resources (solar, wind turbine, small hydros, microturbines, energy storage, electric vehicle charging, power flow controller, etc.). 
  • Open-soucre software development skills and Python, Matlab, C/C++ programming experience.
  • Limited travel will be required for this position. No security clearance is required.



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:


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