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R&D Staff Member, Bioresource Science & Engineering Group

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Date: Nov 10, 2020

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4249 


The Bioresource Science & Engineering Group in the ORNL Environmental Sciences Division is an interdisciplinary team of engineers and natural resource scientists who generate foundational data, conduct scientific analyses, and develop models and tools that inform policymakers and stakeholders in on development of a sustainable U.S. bioeconomy. A key research goal of the Bioresource Science & Engineering Group is to conduct research and analysis that enables development of technologies to transform biomass resources of the U.S. into cost-competitive, high-performance biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. Designing innovative biomass supply chains to achieve cost, quantity, and quality targets is an important research focus.  A position is available for a staff researcher to study the economic and spatial availability of biomass resources and help develop strategies to sustainably produce and use these resources in expanding the U.S. bioeconomy.

The Environmental Sciences Division is an interdisciplinary research and development organization with more than 60 years of achievement in local, regional, national, and international environmental research. Our vision is to expand scientific knowledge and develop innovative strategies and technologies that will strengthen the nation’s leadership in creating solutions to help sustain Earth’s natural resources.


Major Duties/Responsibilities

You will have the opportunity to work closely with ORNL engineers, scientists, and economists to develop, refine, and apply models to develop strategies for economic and sustainable production of agricultural and forest resources as feedstocks for bioenergy, bioproducts, and carbon sequestration.  Such analysis will include: 

  • Develop mathematical and spatial models to assess the availability, costs, and environmental impacts of agricultural and forest resources
  • Apply models to gain insight into economic and environmental tradeoffs of producing biomass for fuel, power, products, and carbon sequestration
  • Calibrate algorithms using field data from academic and industry partners
  • Conduct rigorous model verification and validation analysis
  • Augment capabilities in biomass resource assessment and strengthen connectivity between resource assessment and quantification of sustainability indicators. 
  • Advance team capabilities in high-performance computing and data visualization.

You will also be responsible for:

  • Interacting with staff working on projects in a team environment
  • Contributing to strategic planning and visioning for the Renewable Energy Systems Group and Environmental Sciences Division
  • Communicating and working with sponsors from the Department of Energy as well as collaborators from other government agencies, national laboratories, universities, and industry stakeholders
  • Contributing to development of proposals for internal and external research funding
  • Documenting research in journals, conference papers and technical reports.


Qualifications Required

You will possess a Ph.D. in engineering, economics or related discipline. In addition, three or more years of post-PhD experience in agricultural and/or forest economics, spatial analysis, data visualization, statistics, data management, and/or programming (e.g., Python) is preferred. You should also demonstrate good interpersonal skills and excellent oral and written communication skills.  A strong record of research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals and research funding is desired.


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