Postdoctoral Research Associate - Energy Efficiency Engineer

Date: Feb 2, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12183 


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 postdoctoral research associate position in energy efficiency and decarbonization for the industry sector. This position augments ORNL's industrial energy efficiency and decarbonization team, which operates 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 to develop, deploy, and promote impactful practices, tools, and technologies. The 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, the MEERA group develops a diverse portfolio of industrial energy efficiency tools and resources delivered to the manufacturing sector through various technical assistance and training events worldwide. The MEERA group actively supports industry partners in improving manufacturing plant energy efficiency and decarbonization through roles in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Plants and Better Climate Challenge programs.  

Main Duties/Responsibilities:

  • The successful candidate will assist principal investigators and lead energy efficiency technology deployment 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. Additionally, you will provide support to the U.S. DOE’s Industrial Efficiency & Decarbonization Office (IEDO) programs.
  • IEDO operates 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 collaborates with some of the largest manufacturing plants in the United States through the DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Program.
  • The postdoctoral associate will collaborate on research and analysis of technologies and practices for increasing the energy efficiency of the industrial and buildings 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, interfacing with corporate energy managers, visiting manufacturing sites, analyzing technologies, assisting industrial clients to improve energy management practices, and performing energy data benchmarking and analysis studies.
  • The postdoc 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. 

Basic Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, or a related discipline with experience in industry and/or buildings, specifically in energy efficiency management and projects, is required.
  • Proficiency in the use of Excel for 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:

  • Certified Energy Manager Certification.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills are required to support regular interactions with manufacturing partners, sponsors, and others, as well as to prepare reports, proposals, publications, and journal articles.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, beneficial for team building, partnering, and communications, are a plus for this position.
  • Must be willing to travel. You will be involved in meetings with DOE sponsors in Washington, DC, and will attend key conferences and workshops. Periodic travel will be 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:

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.

Relocation: 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. For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at


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.

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