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National Renewable Energy Laboratory Researcher – Electronic Structure Modeling for Catalysis Science in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Researcher – Electronic Structure Modeling for Catalysis Science



CO - Golden


Position Type

Limited Term (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week



Job Description

The Complex Systems Simulation and Optimization (CSSO) group within NREL's Computational Science Center has an opening for a full-time researcher (term limited) in computational chemistry for water splitting catalysis. The researcher will apply quantum chemical and electronic structure methods to elucidate the role played by different facets and binding motifs in determining catalytic activity and to predict how incorporation of dopants may tune catalyst properties. The researcher will be expected to provide technical expertise in the design, implementation, and execution of research into the interplay between surface science and molecular properties in determining catalyst performance.

We are looking for a dynamic, motivated researcher with a strong technical background and an interest in the mission of NREL who can help advance the CSSO group’s strategic emphasis on use of high-performance computing and computational science in renewable energy research. The successful candidate will collaborate with NREL staff and researchers, other national labs, and universities on efforts to develop and electronic structure methods to real-world problems in renewable energy research.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Conduct independent and collaborative research on problems of catalysis relevant to NREL’s hydrogen fuel cell and H2@Scale programs.

  • Author, present and assist in the preparation of journal papers, technical reports and conference proceedings on research topics.

  • Work with management and senior research staff to develop funding focused on applying computational chemistry methods to clean energy, renewable energy and energy efficiency research.

  • Mentor undergraduate and graduate interns on related research.


Basic Qualifications

Relevant PhD . Or, relevant Master's Degree and 3 or more years of experience . Or, relevant Bachelor's Degree and 5 or more years of experience .


Additional Required Qualifications

Demonstrates complete understanding and wide application of scientific technical procedures, principles, theories and concepts in the field. General knowledge of other related disciplines. Demonstrates leadership in one or more areas of team, task or project lead responsibilities. Demonstrated experience in management of projects. Very good technical writing, interpersonal and communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Familiarity with using electronic structure methods to predict surface adsorption energetics for low-temperature catalysis applications.

  • Familiarity with catalytic reaction pathways at high temperatures.

  • Experience with predicting catalytic properties of non-platinum group metal (PGM) catalysts based on adding thin PGM layers or doping elements into non-PGM materials.


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.

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