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NREL Postdoctoral Researcher – Biojet Conversion in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Postdoctoral Researcher – Biojet Conversion



CO - Golden


Position Type

Postdoc (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week



Job Description

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado, is the nation's only dedicated laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The National Bioenergy Center at NREL has an opening for a Postdoctoral Researcher to evaluate biomass conversion pathways and fuel properties when producing renewable jet fuels from chemical, biological, and hybrid technologies. The candidate will apply state-of-the-art fuel property prediction tools to evaluate biomass conversion pathways, as well as support the generation of biojet fuel samples to measure fuel properties and validate predictive models. The initial appointment is for one year, with possible renewal up to three years.

Job activities will include evaluating biomass-conversion pathways for jet fuel applications based on conversion pathway yields to biojet, predicted and measured fuel properties, and projected techno-economic viability.

Tasks will include utilizing software and computational tools to predict molecule fuel properties, obtaining model compounds and surrogate standards for fuel property testing, laboratory work to support the preparation and distillation of jet fuel fractions from biomass conversion pathways, and chemically analyzing complex biojet fuel samples to determine their composition and physico-chemical properties. The candidate will work closely with a multidisciplinary team of analysts, engineers, chemists, and computational researchers to assess biojet conversion pathway viability.

The candidate will conduct in-depth literature reviews, provide frequent research team updates, present work at conferences, and publish in high-impact journals. Duties will also include working with senior staff to plan and design research activities to meet technical objectives, as well as supporting the preparation of regular project reports to government clients.


Basic Qualifications

A recent Ph.D. (less than 3 years) in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, or a closely related field. Research experience with biomass conversion and/or fuel analytical chemistry. Minimum of a 3.5 cumulative grade point average. Prior laboratory experience working with analytical chemistry techniques relevant to the complex fuel sample characterization.


Additional Qualifications

Track record of high-impact scientific publications; ability to execute research projects with minimal oversight; demonstrate a broad understanding of biomass conversion technology and fuel chemistry.

  • Excellent technical writing, interpersonal, and communication skills;

  • Demonstrated ability to apply engineering knowledge to experimental setups, computational simulations and data analysis;

  • Excellent troubleshooting and problem-solving skills;

  • Attention to detail;

  • Dedication to a safe and clean work environment;

  • Ability to work independently and in multi-disciplinary teams to deliver high-quality results within aggressive timelines.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience with fuel property analysis; experience with batch or continuous reactors; expertise in distillation and analytical chemistry.


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