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National Renewable Energy Laboratory Electric Vehicle Grid Integration – Controls and Hardware Researcher in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Electric Vehicle Grid Integration – Controls and Hardware Researcher



CO - Golden


Position Type



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

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado is the nation's primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

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

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

As the only national laboratory solely dedicated to energy efficiency and renewable energy research, NREL is laser focused on enabling a clean energy future for the world. To help us answer the challenge, we are seeking a diligent, innovative engineer to join our Electric Vehicle Grid Integration (EVGI) Team to contribute to projects that will make electric vehicle charging fast, accessible, resilient and affordable. Specifically, you will support vehicle charging technology development, integration, and validation that will support these objectives. As a member of the EVGI Team, you will join a cross-disciplinary team of engineers and scientists that conduct advanced energy research in NREL’s world-class Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) as well as other locations within and outside NREL.

This position will develop vehicle charging technologies and concepts and demonstrate these capabilities in a laboratory setting with the aim of enhancing the value of renewables and plug-in electric vehicles. Specific research tasks will investigate technology such as electric vehicle smart charging strategies, ultra-high power (>350kW) DC charging systems, operation of DC microgrids, integration of distributed energy resources, behind the meter storage and integrated building energy management systems. The successful candidate will also support engineering analysis to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of integrated plug-in vehicle and microgrid systems which may include managed electric vehicle charging, renewable energy resources, behind the meter storage and other distributed energy resources.

For the Researcher Level II position:

The Researcher Level II works under general guidance and supervision from the manager and senior analysts. The Level II has general knowledge and application of the technical standards, principles, theories, and techniques.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities of the Researcher Level II:

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

  • Takes initiative to set direction and goals for assigned tasks.

  • Provides technical coordination and/or guidance to others as needed.

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

  • May contribute to the production of materials for technical products, reports, documents, presentations, and concept papers, and has the ability to present findings at national technical meetings.

  • Fully competent in all conventional applications of knowledge common to the specific discipline and function of work assigned.

For the Researcher Level III position:

The Researcher Level III functions independently with minimal supervision and guidance. The Level III has a rich, in-depth understanding and wide application of the technical principles, theories, and concepts.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities of the Researcher Level III:

  • All duties as mentioned above for the Researcher II

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

  • Document and present engineering results to an array of clients and audiences

  • Publish results in technical reports, conference papers, or journal articles

  • Interact with sponsors at the U.S. Department of Energy and elsewhere to refine and manage existing research activities

  • Coordinate complex research planning efforts and conduct research with minimal supervision to include: systems integration planning, strategic model development, laboratory research plan execution, and presentation of complex system conclusions.


Basic Qualifications

Researcher II:

Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering or related field.

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

Researcher III:

PhD in Electrical Engineering or related field.

Or, Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering or related field and 3 or more years of relevant experience.

Or, Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering or related field and 5 or more years of relevant experience.


Additional Required Qualifications

  • Research laboratory working knowledge and experience with vehicles and/or testing. Experience with hardware testing and/or prototype system development.

  • Demonstrated experience using digital oscilloscope, multi-meter, and programmable loads.

  • A broad understanding and wide application of principles, theories, and concepts in operations, controls, and optimization of power systems areas and evaluation of centralized and distributed control algorithms with applications to real time hardware in the loop simulation systems.

  • General knowledge of control algorithms for buildings, managed EVs and/or microgrids

  • Proficiency in electrical system simulation programs (e.g. OpenDSS, GridLAB-D, Matlab/Simulink)

  • Programming in languages such as: Java, JavaScript/TypeScript, Python, C/C++, HTML/CSS

  • Experience on projects using smart grid controls interface systems such as SEP2.0, ModBus, OCPP, BACnet, MQTT, and RESTful APIs.

  • General understanding of electric vehicle-related interface and communications standards CAN, SAE J1772, J2836, J2847, J3068, J3072, IEC 61851, CHAdeMO.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with digital real-time simulators (i.e. Opal-RT, RTDS, Typhoon, etc.)

  • Comprehensive knowledge of the electric vehicle and utility industry; regulated and unregulated electric utility markets, as well as cutting-edge smart grid concepts and developments.

  • Knowledge of utility related standards including UL 1741, IEEE 1547 and IEEE2030, and IEC 61850.

  • Ability to create and/or interpret electrical one-line diagrams, wiring diagrams, and plans.

  • Ability to effectively communicate with and advise external clients.

  • Demonstrates broad understanding and wide application of engineering 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.

  • Experience in management and implementation of real-world engineering projects.

  • Understanding of renewable energy project development fundamentals.

  • Experience deploying and validating distributed energy technologies and systems.

  • Experience working for a utility or with electric distribution systems


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.

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