NREL Intern – Hardware-in-the-loop simulation of next-generation power distribution systems in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Intern – Hardware-in-the-loop simulation of next-generation power distribution systems



CO - Golden


Position Type

Intern (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week



Job Description

The Grid Automation and Controls (GAC) Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is looking for an exceptional graduate intern to support their team’s research in software and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation of next-generation power distribution systems. The successful candidate will conduct research in the area of distribution systems with high penetrations of distributed energy resources (DERs)­—such as rooftop PV systems—and advanced controls at the device, DER group and distribution system levels. Our research specifically includes advanced distribution management systems (ADMS) that provide control and optimization at the distribution system level.

Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with a diverse engineering team to conduct real-time HIL simulation studies using modeling platforms for electric distribution systems, including real-time modeling platforms, managed by advanced controls such as an ADMS controller.

  • Collaborate with engineers working on the models and related communication and analog inputs and outputs across models.

  • Analyze results and develop illustrative graphics for presentation of results.

  • Support publication of results in a technical journal or conference proceedings


Basic Qualifications

Must be enrolled as a full-time student in a degree granting program, or graduated in the past 12 months from an accredited institution. Internship period cannot exceed 12 months past graduation. Minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Please Note: You will need to upload unofficial transcripts and a letter of recommendation as part of the application process.


Additional Qualifications

Required Education, Experience, and Skills

  • Must be a current M.S. or Ph.D. student enrolled in an electrical engineering program.

  • Must be enrolled as a full-time student in a degree granting program, or graduated in the past 12 months from an accredited institution.

  • Internship period cannot exceed 12 months past graduation.

  • Minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.

  • Experience with distribution system simulation tools and digital real-time simulators.

  • Knowledge of power systems operations and controls.

  • Previous experience working in a power engineering laboratory.

  • Demonstrated experience in developing test setup, laboratory instrumentation, and running tests with electrical systems.

  • Demonstrated experience in data acquisition and data processing for electrical testing.

  • Excellent writing, interpersonal, and communication skills.

  • Must be proficient in Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio).

Preferred Qualifications

  • Relevant B.S. in electrical engineering or equivalent.

  • Proficiency with the OpenDSS distribution power system simulation tool.

  • Experience with using the Python programming language.

  • Proficiency in Opal-RT real-time simulation platform and RT-LAB software.

  • Experience with HIL simulation.

  • Experience with modeling the integration of distributed energy resources such as solar, wind, and energy storage into the power grid.

Preferred Qualifications


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