National Renewable Energy Laboratory Postdoctoral Researcher – Computational Chemistry of Combustion in Golden, Colorado
Postdoctoral Researcher – Computational Chemistry of Combustion
CO - Golden
Postdoc (Fixed Term)
Hours Per Week
Annual Salary Range (based on full-time 40 hours per week)
Annual Salary Range: $68,000 - $112,200
Offers will typically be made in the bottom half of the listed range. NREL takes into consideration a candidate’s education, training, and experience, as well as the position's work location, 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.
Applicants are invited to apply for a postdoctoral position in the Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences focused on the development of mechanistic models for biofuel combustion. These models will focus on understanding chemical mechanisms that govern the reactivity of new biofuel candidates, leveraging quantum chemical calculations and chemical kinetic simulations.
Understanding of chemical reaction mechanisms based on an understanding of organic reactions in combustion-relevant conditions.
Perform ab initio calculations on combustion systems using standard software packages (e.g. Gaussian and/or VASP).
Develop and simulate skeletal kinetic mechanisms to validate proposed chemical mechanisms against experimental concentration data, using software such as Cantera or CHEMKIN, and RMG.
Collaborate with modeling and experimental collaborators at NREL and other institutions to discuss and analyze project results and propose new directions.
Effectively communicate and interact with scientists and engineers to define the requirements of the simulations and models. Obtain necessary input data for simulations and provide meaningful interpretation and analysis of modeling results to guide experiments, operations, and engineering designs.
Disseminate knowledge through publications in technical journals and presentations at conferences, symposia, and review meetings. Provide reports on technical work and input to technical publications and presentations.
Work with management and senior staff to plan and design projects, determine technical objectives, and interact with and provide regular project reports to government and/or industrial clients.
The successful candidate will have the following skills and experience:
Fluency in at least one scientific programming stack (Python/R/MATLAB).
Comfortable with UNIX and HPC environments
Well-versed in quantum chemistry and related software, e.g. Gaussian will be preferred.
Experienced with chemical kinetics simulation software, e.g. Cantera.
Demonstrated experience in performing simulations studies that inform and collaborate with experimental projects.
Ability to work independently and in teams to deliver high-quality results within aggressive timelines.
Strong background in combustion chemistry and physics, modeling and kinetics preferably with an emphasis on bio-fuels applications will be preferred.
Excellent technical writing, interpersonal, and communication skills.
Troubleshooting and problem-solving skills.
Recent (within past three years) PhD in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science or related field with a focus on computational modeling.
Dedication to a safe and clean work environment.
Must be a recent PhD graduate within the last three years.
Additional Required Qualifications
Strong publication record. Applicants should be fluent in at least one scientific programming environment (Python, R, Matlab; Python preferred).
A strong background in DFT calculations, organic reactions, and chemical kinetics are essential.
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
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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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