Postdoctoral Researcher – Formulations, Rheology, Coatings, and Process Science

Job Description

Posting Title
Postdoctoral Researcher – Formulations, Rheology, Coatings, and Process Science


CO - Golden


Position Type
Postdoc (Fixed Term)


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

The Thin Film and Manufacturing Science group has openings for postdoctoral researchers to conduct research related to the manufacturing and scale up of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, water electrolyzers, and CO/CO2 electrolyzers. We are seeking candidates with expertise and interest in conducting research in one of the following areas:

  • Catalyst ink/slurry formulations
  • Liquid coating processes (such as slot die and other roll-to-roll coating methods)
  • Drying of particle and polymer dispersions and novel drying methods

Multiple hires may be made from this requisition to address the staffing needs of the group, therefore candidates with interests and skills relevant to any of these topic areas are encouraged to apply.

In this position you will be engaged in collaborative projects with other NREL researchers and external collaborators. The objective of projects is to accelerate the transition of fuel cells and electrolyzers to high-volume manufacturing.  These larger efforts probe the effects of formulation composition and manufacturing process steps such as coating and drying on film morphology with a focus on developing low-cost, high-performance devices.

Job activities may include:

  • Plan and execute experiments to answer relevant science questions and achieve project deliverables
  • Formulate or design inks/slurries to study interparticle interactions, rheology, or for use in coating/drying process studies
  • Develop roll-to-roll coating processes to produce uniform films
  • Conduct studies on drying/liquid film consolidation to determine impacts of process parameters on film structure and morphology
  • Analyze and present experimental findings to colleagues and collaborators
  • Work in project teams (including internal and external collaborations) to achieve project goals and meet deliverables
  • Publish results in peer reviewed journals and present at technical conferences


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

Qualified candidates must demonstrate skill in interpreting and assessing the experimental results of their own work and that of others and have a demonstrated record of success from graduate and/or post-graduate work.  Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills are essential for success in this role. Inclusion and diversity are core values, and the postdoctoral researcher will be expected to support a work environment that maximizes the unique talents and innovative ideas of every employee.

Preferred Qualifications

Ph.D. in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, physics, or another related field.

Experience in any of the following areas is desired:

  • Colloid science
  • Rheology (particularly in the area of polymer and particle dispersions)
  • Polymer science and engineering
  • Working with and operating solution coating equipment – preferably roll-to-roll coating (e.g., slot die, gravure, slide die)
  • Conducting experiments related to coating process phenomena
  • Development of coating processes to produce uniform films
  • Conducting experiments related to drying processes and physics
  • Coating process fundamentals and related fluid mechanics
  • Record of publications/presentations in areas relevant to this posting and current NREL projects.


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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