Sr. R&D Staff, Building Equipment Research

Date: Feb 11, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12234 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, with an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,200 people! ORNL’s decadal 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. Come join us as we solve the nation's biggest challenges!


The Building Equipment Research Group in the Buildings and Transportation Science Division (BTSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking qualified engineering researchers to fill a Senior Research and Development Staff 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 assignments related to the design and evaluation of advanced heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) systems for residential and commercial building applications, including cold climate heat pumps, integrated heat pumps, and thermal energy storage heat pumps. Additionally, it will support vapor compression system modelling and analyses for new refrigerants having lower global warming potentials.


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.


You will 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

  • M.S. or Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science/Engineering, or a related field.
  • At least 10 years (after acquiring a Ph.D.) or 15 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.
  • 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 equipment are evaluated is a plus, including federal minimum standards, methods of test and metrics defined by ENERGY STAR and regional energy efficiency organizations, and common methods used in development by manufacturers.


Expertise in any of the following areas is of particular interest: (a) design and modeling of reverse Rankine (vapor compression) and related thermodynamic cycles, (b) design, measurement, and standards related to residential and commercial equipment, appliances, and water heaters, (d) heat exchanger design and related disciplines (heat transfer, fluid flow, and coupled heat and mass transfer), (e) materials relevant to non-vapor compression heat pumps, (f) cost reduction and design for manufacturing, (g) controls of appliances and other building equipment, and (h) 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