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R&D Associate Staff Member - Buildings Equipment Research

Date: Aug 29, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 7794 



The Building Equipment Research Group in the Buildings and Transportation Science Division (BTSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking qualified candidates to fill a Research and Development Scientist position. The work in this group supports the U.S. DOE Building Technology Office and other customers by developing state-of-the-art building equipment for energy efficiency, equipment-to-grid integration, and improved life cycle climate performance.



Major Duties / Responsibilities

The successful candidate will be responsible for conducting, coordinating, and reporting complex research related to energy conversion systems including: (1) advanced residential appliances including clothes dryers, dishwashers, other “white goods,” and cooking appliances, (2) commercial appliances, especially laundry, dishwashing, and cooking, (3) plug loads and miscellaneous electric loads, (4) improving appliance energy efficiency, demand flexibility, and user experience by applying heat pumps (both vapor compression cycles and non-vapor compression technologies), integrating thermal energy storage and multifunction capabilities. In all cases, appliance first cost must be aggressively managed to maximize market impact. This will involve the design, fabrication, measurement, analysis, and modeling of novel systems and components.


The work will involve developing novel designs and experimental setups, conducting experimental campaigns, performing thermodynamic analysis and system modeling, analyzing results, preparing technical documents and research publications, and securing new funding. The work will involve interacting and collaborating with researchers from universities, national laboratories, and private industry.



The successful candidate must have a M.S. or Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science/Engineering, or a related field. At least 5 years (after acquiring a Ph.D.) or 10 years (after acquiring an M.S.) of experience (including industry, postdoctoral, other academic, and/or research fellowship) is highly desired, especially in a field of heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R), water heating, or appliances. The candidate should possess a strong background of training (or other direct experience) in energy conversion systems found in buildings (such as system design, analytical modeling, numerical modeling, experimental design, instrumentation and data acquisition). Knowledge of how systems are installed and operated in the field is also desirable. Knowledge of standards by which appliances are evaluated is a plus, including federal minimum standards, methods of test and metrics defined by ENERGY STAR and REEOs, and common methods used in development by manufacturers.


Expertise in any of the following areas is of particular interest: (a) heat exchanger design and related disciplines (heat transfer, fluid flow, and coupled heat and mass transfer), (b) design and modeling of reverse Rankine (vapor compression) and related thermodynamic cycles, (c) design, measurement, and standards related to residential and commercial equipment, appliances, and water heaters, (d) materials relevant to non-vapor compression heat pumps, (e) phase change materials, (f) membranes, (g) cost reduction and design for manufacturing, (h) advanced manufacturing methods, (i) controls of appliances and other building equipment, and (j) other technologies relevant to developing future building equipment that is efficient and grid-interactive.


The candidate should have the ability to lead teams of engineers and technicians to successfully design, build and evaluate advanced building equipment and energy conversion systems.  Excellent communication skills (oral and written), as well as strong interpersonal skills to support team building, partnering, and leadership are required. The ability to develop and/or maintain strong relationships through active participation in building industry organizations and events is required.  Finally, the successful candidate should have strong, proven publication/patent record. For more information, please contact Brian Fricke (


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