Share this Job

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Mobility and Energy Transitions Analysis

Date: Dec 8, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9243 


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. 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.


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Mobility and Energy Transitions Analysis (META) Group within the Buildings and Transportation Science Division (BTSD), Energy Science and Technology Directorate (ESTD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The Postdoctoral Research Associate will work in (1) transportation-energy analysis and modeling and (2) integrated energy systems modeling. 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:


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. 


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

The selected candidate 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 efficiently, effectively, and equitably-energy system to one that is more sustainable, more decarbonized, more socially equitable, and more energy-diverse. The candidate will join the group at a dynamic time, with numerous 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, and scenario analysis.
  • Performing assessments of energy and mobility issues pertaining to the transportation sector and extending to integrated energy systems.
  • Applying quantitative modeling, simulation and/or optimization skills to large-scale transportation and energy demographics datasets, to inform developments of transportation and integrated energy systems models.
  • Collaborating with other researchers on projects that develop and utilize models of transportation and integrated energy systems.
  • Processing large volumes of data on (inter alia) transport sector activity, technology attributes, and consumer preferences.
  • Producing figures, maps, and visualizations to check results and efficiently communicate findings.
  • Collaboratively developing model code that is version-controlled, documented, and reproducible, to enable low-cost adaptation of methods for different spatial scopes and/or input data sets.
  • Presenting methods and results to both technical and non-technical audiences in both national and international venues.
  • Initiating and organizing conference sessions and workshops.
  • Writing reports, scientific papers, and documentation to communicate findings and methodologies.
  • Participating in fundraising/grant applications, related to energy and transport sector transitions and their implication for broader sustainable development objectives.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in engineering, economics, and/or policy analysis, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • A background/experience in programming, including simulation modeling and/or optimization, and development of models/applications/tools associated with multi-decadal transitions of transportation-energy systems.
  • Relevant inter-disciplinary research experience may include, for example, travel demand modeling, consumer behavior modeling, vehicle choice modeling, discrete choice studies, agent-based modeling, transportation-energy analysis, transportation and energy economics, policy analysis, integrated assessment modeling, and/or macro-energy systems modeling.
  • Strong understanding and working experience with transportation and energy data.
  • Demonstrated record of publishing scientific papers, reports, and code.
  • Proficiency in the use of analysis and modeling tools (e.g., R, Python, MATLAB, Excel® VBA, GAMS).


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of the energy transitions literature, including systems-level modeling applications, beyond the transportation sector (e.g., buildings, industry, and/or electricity).
  • Demonstrated strong background in transportation and/or integrated energy systems modeling (e.g., MA3T, TEMPO, ADOPT, TRUCK, VISION/NEAT, MoMo, Roadmap, GCAM, MESSAGE, TIMES, NEMS, EPPA, LEAP, Temoa, REGEN, OSeMOSYS).
  • Strong programming skills, including in areas such as 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.
  • 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.


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • 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.


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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville