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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Life Cycle Assessment Research

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830
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  • Job Type
    Employee, Contract
  • Job Status
    Full Time

Project Description:

The Energy Efficiency Research and Analysis Group within the Energy and Transportation Science Division (ETSD) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking to fill a Postdoctoral Research position to work in the areas of life cycle energy impacts analysis, technoeconomic analysis, and industrial energy efficiency analysis research under the Strategic Analysis and Industrial Energy Efficiency Programs. The EERA Group supports a multi-laboratory DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office’s (AMO) Strategic Analysis Team that conducts independent, objective, and credible research analysis to inform decision-making. To gain insights on manufacturing supply chains, the team conducts techno-economics, value chain, trade, patent, and global manufacturing competitiveness analysis relevant to advanced manufacturing technologies. The team builds and applies analysis tools and analytics to draw insights on the manufacturing sector’s impact on energy, water, carbon, and materials productivity throughout the U.S. economy and to identify opportunities for improvement. Through the Industrial Energy Efficiency Program, the EERA Group develops a diverse portfolio of industrial energy efficiency tools and resources which are delivered to the manufacturing sector through various technical assistance and training events worldwide. 


The postdoctoral candidate will conduct the techno-economics, value chain, and global manufacturing competitiveness analysis in the areas of sustainable manufacturing, circular economy, smart manufacturing, and water-energy nexus. Sustainable manufacturing encompasses a wide range of systems issues, including energy intensity, carbon intensity, and use intensity. Manufacturing systems have traditionally been designed based on a linear model, starting with raw materials extracted from nature and ending at disposal in a landfill at the end of the product’s useful life. A circular economy redirects this approach by providing opportunities to re-manufacture and reuse end-of-life consumer products, leading to more efficient use of materials. Analyzing the supply chain and material flows through a product’s entire lifecycle can help to identify energy, material, and water savings opportunities throughout the greater U.S. economy, including the production and delivery of energy and energy use within the industrial, transportation, and buildings sectors.


The successful postdoctoral candidate may also support EERA Group’s industrial technical deployment (Better Plants) and Energy System Software Tools development projects. DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) offers a range of Energy System Resources, Activities, and Software Tools which are used to manage and optimize energy efficiency in industrial facilities.  The selected candidate may support the development of new resources, training, and tools to support companies participating in the DOE’s Better Plants program.  



Basic Qualifications:

The successful candidate should possess a Ph.D. in any Engineering field (Mechanical / Industrial Engineering/ Environmental / Chemical Engineering are preferred).  Successful candidates should have an excellent quantitative and analytical research background which can be applied to conduct research analysis on advanced manufacturing technologies and manufacturing systems that could achieve transformative gains in process productivity and enhance manufacturing sustainability.


The candidate should be able to develop optimization and life cycle models analyzing advanced manufacturing technologies and energy and transportation systems of the future. An educational background in sustainable manufacturing technologies is preferable with an emphasis on circular economy research.


Candidates should possess strong analytical capabilities with an experience in the area of life cycle energy and cost assessments for conducting manufacturing technology assessments. Some experience in working with policy issues related to these industries besides the manufacturing supply chain competitiveness analysis would be useful. 


Additional requirements include:

Experience in manufacturing process modeling of advanced manufacturing technologies is valuable but not required. Proficiency in the use of industry standard modeling and simulation tools, such as spreadsheet-based process cost modeling, input/output modeling, and commercially available life cycle analysis tools such as SimaPro and openLCA will be useful.

Excellent oral and written communication skills to make weekly presentations to sponsors and others and to prepare reports, proposals, and publications/journal articles is required.

Strong interpersonal skills to support team building and leadership in addition to a strong commitment to scientific integrity is an important requirement.

Limited travel will be required for this position. No security clearance is required.


Appointments will initially be for 24 months with a possibility of an extension of up to 12 months. Appointments and extensions are subject to annual performance reviews and availability of funding.

Applicants cannot have received the most recent degree more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment

Please contact Sachin Nimbalkar nimbalkarsu@ornl.gov or (865) 576-3590 for further details.


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email ORNLRecruiting@ornl.gov.

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.


Posted: 2019-08-13 Expires: 2019-09-12

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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Life Cycle Assessment Research

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830

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