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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Building Controls Research Engineer 3 in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 308805

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Division: Electricity Infrastructure & Buildings

Group: Building & Connected Systems

Job Description

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution tackling some of the most challenging problems in energy, the environment, and national security. PNNL’s 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 Position

The Buildings & Connected Systems Group seeks a Building Controls Research Engineer to support research on building performance optimization. This position offers the opportunity to investigate, develop, and demonstrate novel methods for building HVAC and equipment control and decision support for building systems operations and maintenance.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Applying science and engineering principles and theories and developing technical approaches to solve building control system research challenges, including:

  • Developing algorithms for maintaining specific control system processes within a desired range

  • Assessing and implementing controls optimization and re-tuning methods on federal buildings, and training federal building operators and energy managers in those methods.

  • Supporting efforts to integrate diverse operating systems and control technologies into seamless platforms, including developing enterprise solutions.

  • Developing, testing, and demonstrating methods for automated predictive fault detection and diagnostics.

  • Developing and executing experimental test plans that simulate real-world building conditions from new control optimization research methods.

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

  • 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 junior staff and taking on operational assignments.

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 Optimization Team Lead, for general staff performance and development, operational discipline (e.g., maintaining training qualifications, procedural compliance, safe operations), and project execution.

About You

You will bring to this position:

  • Practical experience with building HVAC control systems (design, programming, commissioning, or operations), analyzing control system data to optimize building performance, and developing diagnostic and prognostic methods to enable more timely and proactive operation and maintenance of building systems.

  • A passion for learning and innovation, and a desire to advance the building sciences domain through improvements in energy and water efficiency. Demonstrated innovation in building control system operations and emerging research challenges.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with an interest in documenting and publishing findings from research and field work through technical reports, journal articles and conference presentations.

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

  • The ability to interact and communicate effectively with clients.

  • Willingness to travel up to 25% of time.

Minimum Qualifications

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

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or Ph.D. mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or related field.

  • Knowledgeable of building HVAC equipment and systems.

  • Certifications or experience in one or more control systems (e.g. JCI, Allerton, Niagara, Siemens).

  • Practical experience conducting building energy evaluations (e.g. ASHRAE level 2).

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

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Engineering/Engineering Techs

Group: Bldgs & Connected Systems

Opening Date: 2019-01-15

Closing Date: 2019-04-29