Postdoctoral Researcher - Reaction Engineering for Catalytic Ammonia Reforming

Job Description

Posting Title
Postdoctoral Researcher - Reaction Engineering for Catalytic Ammonia Reforming


CO - Golden


Position Type
Postdoc (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week


Working at NREL

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

The Catalytic Carbon Transformation and Scale-up Center at NREL has an opening for a full-time postdoctoral researcher to work as critical part of a multi-Center team developing new catalysts and reaction engineering technologies to enable the use of ammonia (NH3) as a net-zero-carbon hydrogen (H2) carrier. Primary emphases of this role will include catalytic reaction testing and analysis of idealized laboratory reactor data; synthesis of supported heterogeneous catalyst material families; physical and chemical catalyst characterization methods; technical leadership in planning, design and execution of research; and strong, effective communication of scientific results in both written and oral formats. The successful candidate is expected to have rigorous knowledge of traditional chemical engineering principles, such as chemical reaction engineering, chemical kinetics, catalysis and transport phenomena, alongside the utmost attention to laboratory and process safety.


Basic Qualifications
Must be a recent PhD graduate within the last three years.

* Must meet educational requirements prior to employment start date.

Additional Required Qualifications

  • Must be a recent Ph.D. graduate within the last three years in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry or a closely related field.
  • Ability to work safely, independently and collaboratively in a laboratory setting.
  • Excellent command of catalytic flow reactor design of experiments, operation and data analysis.
  • Experience with Swagelok-style tubing and fittings, pressure and temperature measurement and regulation, and use of basic hand tools.
  • Experience with numerical data fitting or parameter estimation methods.
  • Desire to learn new techniques, methods and protocols.
  • Creative problem-solving and troubleshooting skills.
  • Strong record of quality peer-reviewed publications.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Synthesis and physicochemical characterization of heterogeneous supported metal oxide catalyst material families;
  • Operation of packed bed (flow) reactors in differential and integral kinetic regimes, with a quantitative awareness of transport phenomena affecting observed kinetic measurements;
  • Design of experiments for non-isothermal reaction engineering for kinetically- and thermally-coupled reaction pathways;
  • Development of elementary chemical reactor models via first principles, numerical data fitting and parameter estimation methods;
  • Collaboration with atomic- and systems-level modeling experts to generate and interpret complementary findings to enable targeted follow-up experiments;
  • Preparation and presentation of findings in high-impact journals, conference talks; and
  • Rigorous command of chemical safety, hygiene and complex standard operating procedures.


Annual Salary Range (based on full-time 40 hours per week)
Job Profile: Postdoctoral Researcher / 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-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; and paid holidays. 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.

* Based on eligibility rules

Drug Free Workplace

NREL is committed to a drug-free workplace supported by Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs.

If you are offered employment at NREL, you must pass a drug test prior to commencing employment. NREL complies with federal law regarding illegal drug use. Under federal law, marijuana remains an illegal drug. If you test positive for any illegal controlled substance, including marijuana, your offer of employment will be withdrawn.

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, domestic partner 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.

EEO is the Law | Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination | Reasonable Accommodations

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