Postdoctoral Research Associate -Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Date: Jul 3, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 13143 


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.


The Manufacturing Energy Efficiency Research & Analysis (MEERA) Group, housed within the Manufacturing Science Division (MSD), Energy Science and Technology Directorate (ESTD) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is currently seeking to fill a position for a Postdoctoral Research Associate. This role entails engaging in research within the domains of renewable energy and the implementation of clean energy technologies on-site, along with their associated supportive technologies (such as solar photovoltaics, solar thermal systems, wind power, renewable fuels, geothermal solutions, battery storage, thermal storage, and industrial heat pumps). The role also involves research and analysis of technologies and practices for increasing the energy efficiency of the industrial sectors. The primary objective is the direct reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the industrial sector.


The MEERA Group actively contributes to the efforts of the Department of Energy’s Industrial Efficiency & Decarbonization Office (IEDO) in providing technical assistance. The focus of this assistance revolves around identifying and facilitating the deployment of on-site clean energy solutions. These solutions aim to generate energy that is both flexible and dependable, thereby contributing to the reduction of GHG emissions. Furthermore, these efforts align with the overarching goal of promoting corporate sustainability within the industrial sector.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Contribute to the efforts of the MEERA Group’s Onsite Technical Analysis (OTA) Team.
  • Encompass the provision of expertise, research, and analysis concerning the onsite energy program of the DOE IEDO, along with the array of technologies that the program will endorse.
  • Play a role in advancing the OTA team’s core mission, which involves conducting comprehensive market analyses to pinpoint opportunities pertaining to onsite energy technologies within the industrial sector.
  • Informing strategic planning, devising protocols and tools for onsite energy technology assessments, creating, and upkeeping tools and resources for the onsite energy program, and providing support for technical assistance, engagements, and related activities.
  • Engage in technical assistance activities, involving collaboration on research and analysis of technologies and methodologies aimed at augmenting the implementation of on-site clean energy within the industrial sector. This assignment might encompass taking the lead on projects, as well as providing support to ORNL program managers and principal investigators involved in IEDO programs and projects, all within a dynamic and fast-paced multitasking environment.
  • Compose technical reports, create presentations tailored to diverse audiences, publish peer-reviewed papers summarizing the outcomes of technical assistance endeavors, and contribute to periodic progress reports intended for sponsors.
  • Work innovatively and harmoniously as an integral member of an interdisciplinary research team.
  • An opportunity to assume leadership roles in projects, collaborate with research personnel and partner organizations on forthcoming research initiatives, establish connections with relevant entities, engage with current sponsors to secure further research funding, and prepare proposals while presenting results to sponsors, peer reviewers, and other stakeholders.
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in energy engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Possess an excellent quantitative and analytical background acquired through PhD research, which can be applied to conduct research analyses on on-site clean energy technologies.
  • Proficiency in using Excel for engineering data analysis is essential.
  • Must be willing to travel. You will be involved in meetings with DOE sponsors in Washington, DC and will attend key conferences and workshops.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Previous industry experience with a renewable energy developer or renewable energy solutions entity is preferrable.
  • Certified Energy Manager (CEM®) or Renewable Energy Professional (REP™) certifications are desired.
  • Proven track record in renewable energy modeling and utilization of analysis tools for distributed energy resources (REopt, DER-CAM, DER-VET, Homer, System Advisor Model (SAM), TRNSYS, etc.) is highly advantageous.
  • Familiarity with numerical calculation and statistical data analysis techniques is preferred.
  • Demonstrate a profound understanding of renewable and clean energy technologies.
  • Showcase experience in the industry and/or buildings sector, with a specific focus on renewable energy, distributed energy resources, and clean energy technologies.
  • Familiarity with industrial processes, building science, heating and cooling technologies, and mechanical systems and controls is desirable.
  • Possess the capability to perform techno-economic analysis, interpret data, conduct statistical analysis of datasets, visualize spatial data, deliver presentations to diverse audiences, and publish peer-reviewed papers.
  • 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


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.


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


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.


Other benefits include: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Life Insurance, Pet Insurance, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.


If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email: 


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