NREL Center Director - Buildings and Thermal Sciences (BTSC) in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Center Director - Buildings and Thermal Sciences (BTSC)



CO - Golden


Position Type



Hours Per Week



Job Summary

The Mechanical & Thermal Engineering Sciences Directorate is seeking a Center Director for the Buildings and Thermal Sciences Center (BTSC). The BTSC team consists of approximately 100 professional research and support staff in four groups: Thermal Sciences Group, Building Energy Science Group, Residential Buildings Research Group, and Commercial Buildings Research Group. The center supports a diverse set of customers in the public and private sectors as well as the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) programs Concentrating Solar Program, Geothermal Technologies Program, and Building Technologies Program. The center accomplishes its research and development impacts by utilizing multiple laboratory facilities across the NREL campus.

The primary responsibilities of the Center Director are to plan, lead, and direct the Buildings and Thermal Sciences Center staff and research and development (R&D) activities and ensure a safe research environment for Center staff. Responsibilities include developing and maintaining technical capabilities and performing world-class R&D to continue BTSC's leadership role in buildings and thermal research. A successful candidate will demonstrate ability in technical leadership, strategic direction, personnel management, and business acumen.

Other responsibilities include representing NREL and BTSC and the interests of the Buildings, Geothermal, and Concentrated Solar Power programs to technical, industrial, non-governmental, and international stakeholders. This includes leading and coordinating R&D activities with industrial partners across the DOE laboratories engaged in buildings and thermal energy research.

This position reports directly to the Associate Laboratory Director for the Mechanical & Thermal Engineering Sciences Directorate. The goals and initiatives of this Directorate are to increase the Buildings and Thermal Sciences Center’s scientific impact and diversify mission impact through partnerships with federal, state, and local government agencies, non-governmental agencies, and private industry.


Managing the Buildings & Thermal Sciences Center

  • Manage staff resources, including: hiring, coaching, counseling, motivating, and evaluating performance.

  • Ensure staff members understand and are compliant with policies and procedures, create a supportive work environment that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship and that enables staff to reach their full potential.

  • Lead the activities of the BTSC through communication, decision-making, and coordinating activities with other Laboratory operations.

  • Provide leadership to Center managers and team leaders in accomplishing assigned program responsibilities and in promoting positive relationships with the full spectrum of government and non-government agencies, universities, and industry.

  • Implement the Laboratory Affirmative Action Plan and establish guidelines for recruiting and developing staff.

Directing Research & Growing/Maintaining BTSC Capabilities

  • Establish, maintain and manage an effective organization to ensure overall performance of the BTSC within the guidelines set by NREL and DOE to meet the needs of all the BTSC stakeholders.

  • Recruit, develop, train, and motivate staff to produce world-class R&D results.

  • Lead and guide the management of the BTSC research programs by: fostering innovation and creativity; ensuring coordination of R&D program direction, planning and execution, the integration of subcontract research, financial and project management for DOE projects, industry and other potential funding sources; effectively managing basic and applied research efforts to provide support of the development, advancement and communication of R&D; and achieving efficient, cost-effective, and coordinated R&D programs.

  • Guide the transfer of technology, support deployment of technology, and maintain external relationships. Ensure support for the implementation of the Center’s programs.

  • Communicate scientific outputs such as peer-reviewed journal articles and key technical milestones.

  • Ensure the Center is provided leadership to foster an awareness of environment, safety and health (ES&H) excellence. Support DOE and the Laboratory’s Integrated Safety Management System, where "an organization's values and behaviors modeled by its leaders and internalized by its members, serve to make safe performance of work the overriding priority to protect the workers, public, and environment."

Engaging with NREL Executive Management & Strategic Direction(s)

  • Participate in developing new initiatives, Laboratory strategic planning, policies and operating procedures and in leading the Center's strategic operations and project planning.

  • Develop plans for new research capabilities (facilities, research equipment, and laboratories), and support NREL senior management and DOE in acquiring needed funding.

  • Provide strategic planning and implementation of technical partnership agreements and other non-DOE R&D that advance NREL and DOE goals. Partner with industry to achieve the cost and performance goals to make physics-based modeling, building technologies, and thermal energy technologies competitive on a global scale.

  • Forge relationships with other national laboratories and other academic organizations in order to cooperatively advance R&D.

  • Implement the MTES Directorate business plan goals: costing of DOE and Strategic Program Partnership (SPP) opportunities, diversify funding, journal publication goals, and hiring targets.

Desired Knowledge, Skills and Attributes

  • Models and embeds NREL values.

  • Keeps abreast of key issues affecting respective Center/Office industry discipline(s).

  • Builds effective teams; creates strong morale and spirit; shares, wins and successes.

  • Strong interpersonal, communication, organizational, and presentation skills.

  • Ability to lead a diverse NREL professional research staff of approximately 100 employees and to interact with research leaders at other institutions.

  • Demonstrated experience in managing subordinate managers.

  • Strong budgeting skills to oversee the operational funds for the center in support of approximately $15-30 million of research (indirect monetary responsibility).

  • Extensive knowledge of the buildings and renewable energy industries, as well as regulations, principles, procedures, and practices of relevant discipline(s).

  • Solves variety of multi-dimensional problems in absence of guidelines or precedents.

Desired Qualifications:

  • 10 + years of technical experience with a BS degree OR

  • 9 + years of technical experience with Masters degree in a relevant technical discipline

  • 7+ years of technical experience with a PhD in a relevant scientific or engineering discipline

  • A minimum of 10 years progressively complex technical assignments. including

  • At least 6 years management, budget, administrative, program strategy development and implementation experience in a research and development environment.

  • Past leadership accomplishment, to include success in:

  • Managing a similar scale organization

  • Execution in delivering products or services

  • Developing new programmatic funding

  • Exceptional leadership potential, to include:

  • Conceptual intellectual ability

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

  • Differentiated interpersonal, collaborative, and negotiating skills

  • Ability to motivate personnel and model critical leadership skills and values

  • Distinguished insight and commitment regarding inclusion and diversity


Required Education, Experience, and Skills

Previous management and budget administration experience required. Program strategy, development and implementation experience required. Degree in appropriate field is required. Extensive knowledge of the renewable energy industry, as appropriate, as well as regulations, principles, procedures and practices of relevant discipline(s). Solves variety of multi-dimensional problems in absence of guidelines or precedents. Models and embeds NREL values. Keeps abreast of key issues affecting respective Center/Office industry discipline(s). Builds effective teams; creates strong morale and spirit; shares wins and successes. Demonstrated ability to effectively lead and direct personnel with diverse skills, work styles and values, both directly and through subordinate management.


Preferred Qualifications



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 dedicated to the principles of equal employment opportunity. NREL promotes a work environment that does not discriminate against workers or job applicants and prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, marital status, ancestry, actual or perceived sexual orientation, or veteran status, including special disabled veterans.

NREL validates right to work using E-Verify. NREL will provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with information from each new employee’s Form I-9 to confirm work authorization. For additional information, click here at .

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.

Please review the information on our Hiring Process at website before you create an account and apply for a job. We also hope you will learn more about NREL at , visit our Careers site at , and continue to search for job opportunities at at the lab.