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Job Information

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Water Power Technoeconomic Engineer/Analyst in Boulder, Colorado

Posting Title

Water Power Technoeconomic Engineer/Analyst



CO - Boulder


Position Type

Limited Term (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week



Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols

Employment at NREL is contingent upon your compliance with all NREL and DOE safety protocols and mitigation efforts directed at the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, NREL requires all employees to be immunized against COVID-19. Upon hire, new employees must be prepared to provide proof of vaccination on your first day of employment. All employees must have completed vaccinations by November 1, 2021.

Working at NREL

NREL’s 305-acre Flatirons Campus is the nation’s premier wind energy, water power, and grid integration research facility. Nestled south of Boulder, Colorado, and north of NREL’s main South Table Mountain campus, Flatirons sits adjacent to the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge and countless acres of open space and parks with stunning views of the Flatirons rock formations.

From day one at NREL, you’ll connect with coworkers driven by the same mission to save the planet. By joining an organization that values a supportive, inclusive, and flexible work environment, you’ll have the opportunity to engage through our eight employee resource groups, numerous employee-driven clubs, and learning and professional development classes.

NREL supports inclusive, diverse, and unbiased hiring practices that promote creativity and innovation. By collaborating with organizations that focus on diverse talent pools, reaching out to underrepresented demographics, and providing an inclusive application and interview process, our Talent Acquisition team aims to hear all voices equally. We strive to attract a highly diverse workforce and create a culture where every employee feels welcomed and respected and they can be their authentic selves.

Job Description

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is seeking a self-motivated and independent junior to mid-level Water Power Technology Engineer to begin by January 2022. This cross-cutting engineering position has significant growth opportunities in the areas of technical cost modeling, innovation impact assessment, early market assessment, and system level design.

The successful candidate will support and collaborate with senior engineers and analysts in carrying out work that evaluates technologies that span Marine Energy and Hydropower in the following areas:

1.) Developing technology and innovation cost models to evaluate current costs as well as explore future cost reduction opportunities across the full range of potentially viable resource and site conditions;

2.) Using engineering principles, develop technical models and system designs to predict subcomponent performance and cost drivers for a variety of different technologies including ocean energy systems (Wave, Tidal, Ocean Current;

3.) Working with internal and external partners to collect primary data and to populate and inform techno-economic models;

4.) Utilizing techno-economic models to support the evaluation of R&D opportunities, technology advancement, and market opportunities across a range of potential market and policy scenarios;

5.) Developing cost models to predict the impact of next generation manufacturing techniques on system and component level costs; and

6.) Working directly with the DOE Water Power Technology Office to develop metrics for early stage technology evaluation;

7.) Synthesizing quantitative results to provide insight to potential future technology research and development opportunities is expected as well as preparation of briefing materials, technical white papers, technical reports, journal articles, and conference presentations.

Specific job duties are expected to include:

  • Design of marine energy systems and develop system performance models for economic feasibility assessment;

  • Data collection and literature review to capture relevant technology, materials, manufacturing and supply chain trends and identify innovation opportunities.

  • Support for the development of analytical methods and models to characterize current and future technology costs, under varied technology development and deployment scenarios

  • Support the integration of Marine Energy resource data and analysis with consideration of technology evolution to quantify the impacts of new technology across the national water power resource.

  • Application of quantitative and qualitative research methods to determine the opportunity or value of technology innovation for Marine Energy and the associated sub-components to identify key variables and sensitivities.

  • Evaluation of early adopter markets for marine energy technologies.

  • Evaluation of next generation manufacturing techniques for Marine Energy technologies.

  • Writing and publishing research results in technical reports, journals/conference proceedings.

  • Presentation of work at conferences, symposia, and review meetings.


Basic Qualifications

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.


Additional Required Qualifications

  • Strong engineering analysis skills using MS Excel

  • Experience with Python, or similar object-oriented languages and have a strong desire to learn other programming languages as needed

  • Experience with energy modeling and optimization of mechanical systems

  • Experience with process modeling

  • Excellent time management skills with demonstrated ability to successfully manage multiple projects.

  • Excellent writing, organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications

Prior knowledge or experience in the following:

  • Marine Energy Technology (Wave, Tidal, Ocean Current)

  • River Current Technology

  • Monte Carlo simulations

  • Experience using techno-economic models such as the NREL System Advisor Model (SAM)

  • System design (e.g. hydraulic systems, electric machine, offshore systems, etc.)

  • Ocean Operations

  • Writing technical reports or journal articles for publication


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.

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