Postdoctoral Research Associate - Grid Controls

Date: Sep 14, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 7025 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Grid Components and Controls Group (GCC) in the Electrification and Energy Infrastructure Division (EEID), Energy Science and Technology Directorate (ESTD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to perform R&D in the areas of decentralized or distributed power grid controls utilizing smart inverters for the applications of distribution systems and microgrids. Selection will be based on qualifications, relevant experience, skills, and education. The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and independent in conducting research under general guidance, and is expected to prepare manuscripts for scientific publication and present the work to sponsors and at conferences.


The GCC Group supports the energy security and prosperity mission of the Energy Department (DOE) through transformative science and technology solutions, including research supporting the Office of Electricity (OE), Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response (CESER) and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) on the integration of new technologies, 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. The GCC group focuses on dynamic grid modeling, analysis, and control R&D specifically related to power electronics-based devices, develops and designs new grid devices deploying new theory and methodologies, and conducts system operation and control R&D of integrated systems such as microgrids and networked microgrids.



Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • R&D on adaptive droop or droop-free (consensus-based) control methods for power grids (e.g. micorgrids or distribution feeders) with high-penetration renewable, energy storage, and other types of distributed energy resources to achieve system objectives and benefits, such as minimzed system loss, power sharing, and voltage management, etc.
  • Define grid control and communication architectures
  • Develop and advance the state-of-the-art smart inverter control functionalities
  • Develop simulation models, test/validate new control algorithms, and publish research outcomes


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Electrical Engineering or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Expertise in power electronics modeling and controls


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Expertise various exsiting inverter control methods such as grid-forming, grid-following, grid-supporting, and VSG controls
  • Expertise on small-signal and/or large-signal control stability analysis
  • Experience in using common commercial or open-source simulation tools and major programming languages
  • Understanding of power system operation and control framework
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • 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


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


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  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.


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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.

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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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