Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

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Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Building Systems Research Engineer in PORTLAND, Oregon

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311714

Directorate: Energy and Environment

Division: Electricity Infrastructure and Buildings

Group:Buildings and Connected Systems

Job Description

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s (PNNL) Buildings & Connected Systems Group performs applied research to enhance the energy and water efficiency, occupant productivity, and resilient operation of buildings and their connected energy and water systems. Our core research capabilities span building energy simulation, building performance evaluation, building control system optimization, and site-level assessment and planning for energy and water resilience.

The Buildings & Connected Systems Group seeks mid-level Building Systems Engineer (Level 2/3) to contribute to the research and development of solutions to make federal buildings and sites (e.g. campuses, installations) more energy- and water-resilient. This position offers the opportunity to provide technical expertise, analysis, and publishable products to address challenges associated with energy and water resilience assessment, planning, and solution design. The Building Systems Engineer will gather, analyze, and evaluate information on energy and water sources and use, as well as utility infrastructure condition, configuration and redundancy. The candidate will anticipate sponsor challenges and recommend operational, capital investment or policy improvements that enhance site-level resilience. This includes identifying and solving unique and complex problems that have a broad potential impact on the missions of federal agencies such as the Department of Defense. Candidates are expected to utilize their expertise in energy and/or water system operations and engineering (mechanical and/or electrical), distributed generation feasibility assessment (e.g. microgrids), and systems integration to support both the development solutions and new tools and methods to facilitate the evaluation of alternatives.

Key responsibilities will include:

  • Applying science and engineering theories and developing technical approaches to solve building systems research challenges through:

  • Energy and water use/load data analysis

  • Development and use of energy and water systems modeling tools

  • Lifecycle-cost analysis of energy and water solutions

  • Developing creative solutions to complex problems that may inform new policies, practices or use of technologies.

  • Serving as a principal investigator on projects or tasks, building effective multi-disciplinary project teams, and executing tasks within budget and timeframes allotted.

  • Developing resources on efficiency and resilience related topics

  • Representing PNNL’s technical contributions through regular engagement with sponsors and other external stakeholders.

  • Leading and contributing to the development of technical products, such as technical reports and journal articles, and presenting at conferences and technical forums.

  • Generating new ideas and leading the development of proposals for business and capability development opportunities.

  • Mentoring, growing the skills and inspiring the commitment of other staff.

The successful candidate will be accountable to:

  • Project and/or Task Managers for performing assigned roles, following applicable project and field procedures, and performance of assigned tasks on time and within budget;

  • The Buildings & Connected Systems Technical Group Manager, and Building Performance Evaluation Team Lead, for general staff performance and development, operational discipline (e.g., maintaining training qualifications, procedural compliance, safe operations), and project execution.

The hiring level will be determined based on the education, experience and skill set of the successful candidate based on the following:

Level II: Manages small to moderate projects and/or project tasks. Integrates intellectual and technical capabilities of work teams. Enhances technical/professional skills of junior staff through active mentoring and training. Generates ideas for new proposals and participates in business development activities. Excellent verbal and written communication skills. A proactive and collaborative approach to problem-solving with the ability to work well on interdisciplinary teams. A passion for learning and innovation, and a desire to advance the buildings research domain.

Level III: Leads project teams by assigning operational tasks/projects/functions to proactively identify and promote new capabilities. Selects and develops technical approaches to complex challenges. Principal investigator or co-PI on multiple or significantly complex projects or tasks and/or involving multiple tasks, capabilities. Develops, and realizes new significant project opportunities, leading the development of technical sections of large proposals. Takes lead in scope, schedule, and budget for projects\tasks. Demonstrates ability to acquire funding for self and task level teams. Serves as a role model for quality, safety, and security. Mentors staff and peers. Lead author or developer on a significant number of technical products. Recognized by sponsors and collaborators for delivery on important programmatic elements.

Minimum Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 2 years of experience, MS/MA with 0-2 years of experience, PhD with 0 years of experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 5 years of experience, MS/MA with 3 years of experience, PhD with 1 year of experience.

  • A Master’s degree in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or related field such as environmental science is preferred.

  • Practical experience analyzing energy and water systems, including distributed energy generation systems, and using advanced analytics and tools to support such assessments.

  • A passion for learning and innovation, with the ability to investigate new topics, understand cross-cutting impacts across a range of topics, and apply knowledge directly to analysis and resource development.

  • Desire to demonstrate new technologies or ways of integrating tools to support more robust analysis methods.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with a demonstrated ability for writing concisely and clearly to broad audiences.

  • A collaborative approach to problem-solving and the ability to work well with inter-disciplinary teams (e.g. experts in mechanical systems, electrical systems, cyber security).

  • Direct experience in energy management, public works, or master planning within the Department of Defense with knowledge of project planning, funding, and execution.

  • Willingness to travel domestically to U.S. military installations as required by the project.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Other Information

  • Based on client and project requirements, US citizenship required.

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Engineering/Engineering Techs

Group: Buildings & Connected Systems

Opening Date: 2021-02-25

Closing Date: 2021-06-11