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National Renewable Energy Laboratory Researcher - Building Energy Modeling and Data Analytics in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Researcher - Building Energy Modeling and Data Analytics



CO - Golden


Position Type



Hours Per Week



Job Description

This position will be filled at the Researcher Level II or III based on the basic and required qualifications of the selected candidate: 

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducts world-class research in energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, renewable energy technologies, and energy systems integration and optimization. Nestled in the foothills of Golden, Colorado, and convenient to Denver, Boulder, and several suburbs, the NREL campus is a living experiment filled with curious researchers and advanced energy technologies.

The Residential Buildings Research Group has an immediate opening for a Researcher with experience in building energy modeling, data analytics, and/or programming. The ideal candidate will leverage their scientific and engineering skills to address important problems related to the modeling of building energy systems. The ideal candidate would be interested in developing open-source simulation-based workflows/software that benefits the research community and industry, investigating the interaction between buildings and the grid, and/or modeling and visualizing large building stocks at high resolutions.

The Residential Buildings Research Group within the Building Technologies and Science Center (BTSC). BTSC and NREL are committed to fostering a creative, curiosity-driven, inclusive workplace, and to supporting and mentoring research staff as they progress from task execution to principal investigator and beyond.

Job duties and responsibilities may include:

  • Developing, testing, and/or validating physics-based technology models for residential buildings

  • Contributing to open-source residential building simulation workflows that support research and industry use

  • Developing and running large sets of building energy models at all scales, resolutions and time horizons.

  • Processing, analyzing and organizing large data sets that are used to inform building energy models, or resulting from building energy modeling.

  • Developing and running scripts to manage computational processes, process and analyze data, and produce effective visualizations of modeling results.

  • Identifying statistical and/or other analytical metrics for quantifying the accuracy of building stock models.

  • Writing papers for peer-reviewed science journals and professional conferences.


Basic Qualifications

Researcher II:

Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering or related field. Or, Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering, or related field, and 2 or more years of relevant experience.

Researcher III:

PhD in Mechanical Engineering or related field. Or, Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering, or related field, and 3 or more years of relevant experience. Or, Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering, or related field, and 5 or more years of relevant experience .


Additional Required Qualifications

  • Strong background in engineering, applied mathematics, statistics, or related fields.

  • Demonstrated experience with building energy simulation tools such as OpenStudio/EnergyPlus.

  • Demonstrated excellence in programming, in languages such as Python, Ruby, R, Matlab, C++ or similar.

  • Working knowledge of version control software and software development best practices.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

For the Researcher II position:

The Researcher II requires a skilled professional who applies, on a broad basis, existing theories, principles, and concepts, and is fully competent in all conventional applications of knowledge common to the specific discipline and function of work assigned.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities of the Researcher II:

  • Perform some non-routine tasks requiring the exercise of independent judgment

  • Provides solutions to a variety of technical problems of moderate scope and complexity

  • Contributes to the completion of milestones on multiple projects and/or specific programmatic objectives.

  • Receives long- range directions on new assignments and receives occasional oversight on complex features or problems.

  • Requires the ability to recommend and/or determine technical approaches for obtaining solutions.

For the Researcher III position:

The Researcher III requires a seasoned, experienced professional in a broad discipline or narrow, specialized field and has the ability to develop advanced concepts, techniques, and standards for specialized, state-of- the-art technologies and concepts.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities of the Researcher III:

  • Advanced understanding and wide application of concepts in the field

  • Frequently contributes to the development of new theories and methods.

  • Displays a substantial and significant record of achievement through reports, publications, intellectual property, or technical products.

  • Leads technical decision-making and direction at the project level.

  • Works under nominal supervision and provides technical direction

  • Defines deliverables and leads projects for group or center initiatives and/or new technology strategies.

  • Provide technical solutions to a wide range of difficult problems

Preferred Qualifications

  • Strong understanding of building science principles and residential building system integration issues.

  • Demonstrated ability to write technical reports and journal articles documenting research.

  • Experience presenting technical information to wide range of audiences.


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.

Benefits Summary

Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; short- and long-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; paid holidays; and tuition reimbursement. 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. Limited-term positions are not eligible for long-term disability or tuition reimbursement.

* Based on eligibility rules

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, 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.

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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.

NREL is subject to Department of Energy (DOE) access restrictions. All candidates must be authorized to access the facility per DOE rules and guidance within a reasonable time frame for the specified position in order to be considered for an interview. DOE rules for site access during the interview process are the same regardless of whether the candidate is interviewed on-site, off-site, or via telephone or videoconference. Additionally, DOE contractor employees are prohibited from participating in certain Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs (FGTRPs). If a candidate is currently participating in an FGTRP, they will be required to disclose their participation after receiving an offer of employment and may be required to disengage from participation in the FGTRP prior to commencing employment. Any offer of employment is conditional on the ability to obtain work authorization and to be granted access to NREL by the Department of Energy (DOE). We understand that COVID-19 may have caused delays or closures at offices, consulates, and embassies. However, NREL cannot make exceptions to work authorization and access requirements, and exceptions to these requirements are not being made for COVID-19 related delays.

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