NREL Technology Innovation, Modelling and Assessment Engineer in Boulder, Colorado

Posting Title

Technology Innovation, Modelling and Assessment Engineer



CO - Boulder


Position Type



Hours Per Week



Job Summary

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.

NREL’s Water Power Program is based within the National Wind Technology Center to enable the advancement of water power technologies covering marine and hydrokinetics (MHK) and hydropower.

This R&D program has an immediate opening for a full-time engineer position in Technology Innovation, Modelling and Assessment. The candidate will be responsible for the application and advancement of existing and the development of new techniques and tools supporting the methodological innovation, modelling, validation and assessment of primarily MHK and therein wave energy technologies.

These techniques include inventive problem-solving methods, technology concept innovation e.g. Techniques for Inventive Problem Solving (TIPS, TRIZ), resolving challenging trade-offs, theoretical modeling and numerical simulation as well as empirical systems testing and validation. For wave energy,a range of engineering and techno-economic performance assessment methods and tools are essential.

The candidate will use and further develop existing assessment tools and will develop new assessment tools.

The candidate will support, execute and lead lab internal projects, DOE projects as well as industry projects, as principle investigator.

The Engineer will perform the following activities:

  • Plan, document and report project activities

  • Set-up theoretical models for MHK technologies, predominantly wave energy technology concepts covering a diverse range of wave energy converter archetypes with both rigid and flexible (with large deformation) absorbers

  • Implement theoretical models in different numerical platforms

  • Apply a range of innovation techniques for methodological technology concept invention

  • Identifying engineering challenges in the development of MHK technologies and application of design problem solving techniques

  • Advance and develop MHK technology assessment criteria and tools to measure engineering performance and techno-economic performance

  • Provide expert advice to commercial, academic, and government partners on MHK technologies

  • Where relevant, extend expertise into the hydropower space

  • Plan, set-up, execute, analyze experimental testing and validation

  • Present and publish scientific and engineering work at international conferences and journal publications

  • Support interaction with the Department of Energy and the MHK Industry

  • Provide responsible leadership of projects as principal investigator

Preferred Experience

  • Deep understanding of engineering systems, related challenges and engineering problem solving and investigation techniques

  • Hydrodynamic and systems dynamic theoretical modelling and simulation expertise including related state-of-the-art simulation tools

  • Hydrodynamic, systems dynamic model expertise

  • Experience in systems assessment methods and application of tools for engineering performance and techno-economic performance

  • Demonstrated leadership and project management experience

  • Electronics and mechanical design experience

  • Familiarity with marine regulations for instrumentation and marine energy.


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

  • Minimum Qualifications

  • Ph.D and 4 or more years of experience in mechanical, systems dynamic or ocean engineering, or equivalent or Master's Degree and 7 or more years of experience in mechanical, systems dynamic or ocean engineering, or equivalent.

  • Project management and budget adherence experience

  • Experience developing hydrodynamic and systems dynamic simulation tools.

  • Excellent time management skills with demonstrated ability to successfully manage multiple projects.

  • Excellent writing, organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills.

  • Presentation and publishing of scientific and engineering work at international conferences and primarily through journal publications

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a large dynamic team environment with evolving requirements and schedules.

  • Proficiency in Power Point and Excel and other relevant software packages.

  • Preferred Qualifications

  • Practical knowledge of procedures and techniques for inventive problem solving and innovation.

  • Familiarity with a wide range of engineering system assessment and optimization methods

  • Experience with customer relations to understand needs and develop value-added solutions.

  • Experience with stakeholder engagement and outreach to local, state, and federal agencies.


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 environmentally and economically sustainable energy future. With locations in Golden and Boulder, Colorado, and a satellite office in Washington, D.C., NREL is the primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy technologies in the United States.

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