NREL Senior Researcher – Autonomous Energy Systems - Control and Optimization in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Senior Researcher – Autonomous Energy Systems - Control and Optimization



CO - Golden


Position Type



Hours Per Week



Job Summary

NREL is looking for an accomplished and dynamic candidate with a positive attitude and excellent collaboration skills to join our cutting-edge, cross-discipline research team to work on Autonomous Energy Grids ( ). The ideal candidate will bring a strong track record in analysis and application of control theory, distributed and centralized optimization theory and control architecture development toward the design, modeling, and operation of next-generation autonomous energy systems. The candidate should demonstrate extensive experience and leadership in performing advanced mathematics and algorithm development, as well as analytical and simulation studies. Application domains include, but are not limited to: complex systems, distributed optimization and control of smart grids, microgrid control, frequency regulation, optimal power flow, demand response, controllable buildings, and electric vehicles. Ideal candidates will lead the implementation of algorithms for operations, control, and optimization in simulation platforms and assist the implementation of control and optimization algorithms in hardware tests and possibly field deployments for a range of complex energy systems.

The successful candidate will be part of the Energy Systems Optimization and Control group under the Power Systems Engineering Center (PSEC) at NREL. PSEC supports the science and technology goals of the U.S. Department of Energy and NREL toward a sustainable energy future. The center develops foundational science in grid and complex system applications and works with the electricity industry to optimize strategies for effectively interconnecting renewable resources and emerging energy efficiency technologies in the existing electric power system. The center focuses on resolving grid integration barriers and providing improved control and management strategies for increased grid flexibility, consumer empowerment, and transportation electrification.


Required Education, Experience, and Skills

Relevant PhD and 4 or more years of experience . Or, relevant Master's Degree and 7 or more years of experience . Or, relevant Bachelor's Degree and 9 or more years of experience . Applies extensive engineering technical expertise, and has full knowledge of other related disciplines. Considered a technical resource. Demonstrates leadership in several areas of team, task or project lead responsibilities. Demonstrated experience in management of projects. Excellent writing, interpersonal and communication skills.


Preferred Qualifications

Ideal candidates will have a background and expertise in one or more of the following topics:

  • Distributed and decentralized control

  • Convex and nonconvex optimization

  • Mixed integer nonlinear optimization

  • Distributed solution methods for convex and/or nonconvex programs

  • Familiarity with latest findings in control and optimization literature within the context of power systems.

  • Development and evaluation of centralized control algorithms with applications to Advanced Distribution Management Systems and Microgrid Management Systems

  • Distribution state estimation or topology identification algorithms, integrated applications that span across multiple management systems

  • Machine learning, big data modeling, deterministic and/or probabilistic forecasting, linear/nonlinear optimization, pattern recognition, other data analytics technology applications to solve real-time power system operation problems

  • Experience in data analytics for power system, power system modeling is preferred.

  • Demonstrates broad understanding and wide application of principles, theories, and concepts in operations, controls, and optimization of power systems areas.

  • Comprehensive knowledge of the electric utility industry, regulated and unregulated markets, as well as cutting edge smart grid concepts and developments.

  • Experience in smart building modeling and control

  • General knowledge of other related disciplines

  • Knowledge of communication protocols used in power systems.

  • Proficiency in electrical system simulation programs (e.g. OpenDSS, GridLAB-D, Matlab/Simulink)

  • Proficiency in one or more of the following programming languages: Python, Julia, Java, C, C++, C#

  • Experience in developing control algorithms for buildings and electric power distribution systems

  • Knowledge of building modeling tools and load modeling methodologies would be an added advantage


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

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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a leader in the U.S. Department of Energy’s effort to secure an energy future that is both environmentally and economically sustainable. With locations in Golden, Boulder and Washington D.C., NREL is the primary laboratory for research, development and deployment of renewable energy technologies in the United States. The NREL mission is to develop renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and practices, advance related science and engineering, and transfer knowledge and innovation to address the nation’s energy and environmental goals.