Research Engineer

Application ends: March 28, 2025

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Job Description

Full Job Description

Posting Title

Research Engineer II/III – Energy Optimization Analysis and Development


CO – Golden

Position Type


Hours Per Week


Working at NREL

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado is the nation’s primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

From day one at NREL, you’ll connect with coworkers driven by the same mission to save the planet. By joining an organization that values a supportive, inclusive, and flexible work environment, you’ll have the opportunity to engage through our eight employee resource groups, numerous employee-driven clubs, and learning and professional development classes.
NREL supports inclusive, diverse, and unbiased hiring practices that promote creativity and innovation. By collaborating with organizations that focus on diverse talent pools, reaching out to underrepresented demographics, and providing an inclusive application and interview process, our Talent Acquisition team aims to hear all voices equally. We strive to attract a highly diverse workforce and create a culture where every employee feels welcomed and respected and they can be their authentic selves.
Our planet needs us! Learn about NREL’s critical objectives, and

see how NREL is focused on saving the planet.
Note: Research suggests that potential job seekers may self-select out of opportunities if they don’t meet 100% of the job requirements. We encourage anyone who is interested in this opportunity to apply. We seek dedicated people who believe they have the skills and ambition to succeed at NREL to apply for this role.
Job Description
NREL is seeking a research engineer to support energy optimization model development and analyses in the Accelerated Deployment and Decision Support (ADDS) Center within the Energy Systems Integration (ESI) directorate. ADDS works with federal agencies, states, local governments, communities, and the private sector to develop energy strategies, analyze opportunities, and implement an integrated portfolio of distributed energy resources, energy efficiency, and sustainable transportation to meet energy goals.
The incumbent will work under the guidance of senior staff within the Modeling & Analysis Group to develop, maintain, and perform analysis with NREL’s REopt modeling platform for energy systems integration and optimization. The incumbent will conduct engineering analysis using mixed integer linear programming and other energy system analysis tools (i.e., SAM, HOMER) to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of distributed renewable energy, energy efficiency, storage, flexible loads, and conventional generation in buildings, campuses, or microgrids.
The incumbent will work with clients to design analyses to inform distributed energy deployment pathways, and document and present engineering results, including publishing results in technical reports, conference papers, or journal articles.
The successful candidate will have experience in energy analysis and mathematical optimization modeling, especially as it applies to energy technologies and systems.
Candidates at the Level II will receive long- range directions on new assignments and receives occasional oversight on complex features or problems. Work is evaluated upon completion to ensure objectives have been met. Provides technical coordination and/or guidance to others as needed.
Candidates at the Level III will work under nominal supervision and provides technical direction to multiple teams for organizational or business unit initiatives and/or new technology product line strategies. Coordinates and monitors the work of others. Has the ability to develop into a role model for effective and creative technical leadership within a center or directorate.
The preferred candidates will have the following skills:
  • Self-driven and excited to learn new skills as needed
  • Some knowledge of renewable energy technologies
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills; enjoys group problem solving and technical debates
  • Ability to collaborate with team members in a flexible work environment
  • Ability to work independently
  • High standards of work quality
  • Smart, intellectually curious, analytical, and tenacious in finding solutions. Adaptable to a variety of roles and projects.
  • Ability to work with clients to understand questions, design analyses to answer questions, and communicate results effectively
Basic Qualifications

Researcher III- PHD. Or Relevant Masters degree plus 3 or more years of relevant experience

Researcher II- Relevant Master’s Degree . Or, relevant Bachelor’s Degree and 2 or more years of experience .

Additional Required Qualifications
  • Experience with programming in a language such as Python
  • Experience with linear programming / optimization
  • Experience with renewable energy and/or microgrid modeling tools
  • Some knowledge of renewable energy technologies
  • Ability to work with clients to understand questions, design analyses to answer questions, and communicate results effectively
Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience using and developing mathematical optimization models (e.g., JuliaJuMP, Pyomo)
  • Experience building techno-economic models
  • Experience applying engineering skills to renewable energy problems
  • Basic knowledge of economics/finance/cash flow analysis
  • Experience working with and managing large amounts of data
  • Experience using scripting languages for automating computer simulations
  • Ability to transition easily between detailed computer modeling and big-picture client interactions
  • Background in one or more of the following: operations research, mechanical engineering, systems engineering, or electrical engineering.
Annual Salary Range (based on full-time 40 hours per week)

Job Profile: Researcher III / Annual Salary Range: $77,600 – $139,700

Job Profile: Researcher II / Annual Salary Range: $71,300 – $117,600

NREL takes into consideration a candidate’s education, training, and experience, expected quality and quantity of work, required travel (if any), external market and internal value, including seniority and merit systems, and internal pay alignment when determining the salary level for potential new employees. In compliance with the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, a potential new employee’s salary history will not be used in compensation decisions.
Benefits Summary

Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; short*- and long-term disability insurance; pension benefits*; 403(b) Employee Savings Plan with employer match*; life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance; personal time off (PTO) and sick leave; paid holidays; and tuition reimbursement*. NREL employees may be eligible for, but are not guaranteed, performance-, merit-, and achievement- based awards that include a monetary component. Some positions may be eligible for relocation expense reimbursement. Limited-term positions are not eligible for long-term disability or tuition reimbursement.

  • Based on eligibility rules
Submission Guidelines
Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.
EEO Policy
NREL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard basis of age (40 and over), color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin/ancestry, race, religion, creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding), sexual orientation, and any other applicable status protected by federal, state, or local laws.
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