Postdoctoral Researcher - Transportation Systems Modeling/Analysis

Job Description

Posting Title
Postdoctoral Researcher - Transportation Systems Modeling/Analysis


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 transportation sector, currently the largest source of GHG emissions, is on the verge of an unprecedented period of transition. Electric vehicles, on-demand mobility, and advanced mobility solutions have all increased dramatically in recent years and trends suggest no sign of slowing. These new technologies have proven disruptive and created opportunities to re-imagine a transportation/energy system that is more convenient, efficient, and equitable than what Americans experienced historically. 

Do you have a strong modeling and analytical background and a passion for improving energy and transportation systems? NREL’s Transportation Energy Transition Analysis (TETA) group in the Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences (CIMS) is seeking a passionate Postdoctoral Researcher to contribute to multiple projects around clean energy transitions for the transportation sector, including: 1) improving and using transportation system models to estimate energy use, emissions, infrastructure requirements (e.g., EV charging), and related topics; 2) contribute to perform quantitative analysis and document results to provide insightful results and document them in scientific publication and stakeholder briefings.

The TETA group focuses on modeling and analysis that improve our understanding of long-term transformations of transportation and mobility system (e.g., transition towards clean energy and sustainable solutions) and their integration with the broader energy system. Analysis from this team supports understanding and improving the viability of clean energy solutions in the transportation and mobility space and the infrastructure that supports it, including major focus on EV charging. TETA heavily collaborates with other NREL groups and centers as well as other National Labs and external partners to explore the nexus between transportation and other parts of the energy system (e.g., electrical grid) and economy (e.g., jobs, environment, infrastructure, etc.).

In this exciting role, you will contribute to projects leveraging tools like TEMPO and EVI-Pro largely used to support multiple clients (e.g., DOE, EPA, CEC) and inform key National and local stakeholders. We are seeking passionate candidates with some understanding of transportation and/or energy systems and with interest in improving their expertise on the transportation-clean energy nexus. Candidates must have some experience using software tools and performing analysis, be a good verbal and written communicator, proven ability to self-manage their time and be proactive in problem solving.

Specific tasks may include:

  • Work collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary team to explore clean energy transition pathways for transportation systems and related infrastructure by performing quantitative analysis (i.e., run and improve NREL models and tools).
  • Develop and process datasets to inform modeling.
  • Work to maintain and/or to implement new features in existing software using programming languages including Julia, Python, and R.
  • Refactor existing codebases to improve usability, performance, and efficiency.
  • Interpret and visualize results in an intuitive manner.
  • Regularly document progress in technical presentations given to internal staff and help prepare briefings for clients.
  • Contribute to publishing results in scientific journals and conference proceedings.


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

  • Experience with successful client engagement and communication
  • Passion for innovative data visualization and animations.
  • Cumulative undergraduate/graduate GPA over 3.8 on a 4.0 scale.

Preferred Qualifications

Preferred candidates will have some knowledge of and experience with transportation and/or energy systems, ideally (but not necessarily) electricity and EV charging/refueling infrastructure, including background and experience in the following:

  • Strong software engineering skills, as demonstrated by a substantial public code portfolio, or through contributing to a substantial codebase used to deliver a public-facing service.
    • ​Particularly interested in application development experience in Python, Julia, and/or R.
    • Experience with open source, collaborative software development and use of tools such as GitHub or GitLab for project management and version control.
  • Experience with data analytics, big data management, scraping data off the web, high-performance/distributed computing, machine learning and/or deep learning.
  • Demonstrated experience in data-driven analysis and modeling of transportation and energy systems, including demonstrated ability to interpret and visualize complex quantitative results and synthesize them effectively in papers or slide presentations.
  • Strong collaboration skills—thrives working in a collaborative team environment but is comfortable working independently when necessary.
  • Attention to detail and ability to effectively manage time work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Exceptional written and spoken communication skills, including producing effective figures and visuals and leading preparation of peer-reviewed journal papers.


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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