Postdoctoral Researcher – Develop Thermal Energy Storage Technology

Job Description

Posting Title
Postdoctoral Researcher – Develop Thermal Energy Storage Technology


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

NREL is seeking to hire a Postdoctoral Researcher to participate in various projects to develop thermal energy storage technology. The candidate will work with other engineers and scientists in the Thermal Systems R&D Group, within the Energy Conversion and Storage Systems Center (ECaSS) Center. The Thermal Energy Systems Group is focused on innovative research and development on concentrating solar power technologies and hybrid thermal energy systems.

The candidate will contribute to develop energy storage technologies including thermal energy storage (TES) and hydrogen technologies integrating with concentrating solar power (CSP). Responsibilities under this position include leading research work on modeling, testing, reporting, and publications.

Work includes:
1. Design and analyze solar receiver, TES, and test prototypes.
2. Develop and perform laboratory testing on component prototypes.
3. Write technical reports and contribute to project review meetings.
4. Publish research results in peer-reviewed conferences and high-impact scientific journals.


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

  • Knowledge or classwork related to energy systems with design and computational model analysis using engineering software will be necessary.
  • Familiar with thermal systems and component modeling and testing.
  • Demonstrated research capability and initiation in the following areas are helpful:
  • Strong background on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and design software using ANSYS and SolidWorks.
  • Knowledge on multiphase (gas-particle two phase system), thermal energy storage, and/or renewable hydrogen technologies.
  • Experience on machine learning, thermal system performance and technoeconomic analysis.
  • Familiar with laboratory works, testing instrumentation and software such as LabView for data acquisition and control.

Preferred Qualifications

  • The candidate will work collaboratively within a multi-disciplinary team, should possess excellent engineering analytical and experimental skills, and have strong interpersonal and communication abilities and independent-working attitude towards achieving research goals.
  • Research focus on energy storage technology with solar energy, thermal energy storage, and hydrogen systems.
  • The candidate should indicate demonstrated interest in energy storage and have strong modeling and experimental experiences on thermal systems and components.
  • Problem solving skills by design, testing, modeling, and analysis using engineering software and tools for component and system development and laboratory prototype testing. 
  • Creativity, adaptability, motivation, independence, excellent communication skill, and working well in a research team.
  • Experience on high performance computing is desirable.


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 maintaining a drug-free workplace in accordance with the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs. Under federal law, marijuana remains an illegal drug.

If you are offered employment at NREL, you must pass a pre-employment drug test prior to commencing employment. Unless prohibited by state or local law, the pre-employment drug test will include marijuana. If you test positive on the pre-employment drug test, your offer of employment may 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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