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Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Buildings Energy Modeling Engineer in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311783

Directorate: Energy and Environment Directorate

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 a mid-level Building Energy Modeling Engineer (Level 2 or 3) to support the development, upgrade, and use of PNNL’s large-scale building energy modeling infrastructure and associated analytical tools for the following research areas:

  • Residential and commercial prototype building models development using EnergyPlus and OpenStudio

  • EnergyPlus, OpenStudio and associated building energy modeling tool development/enhancement

  • National and regional building energy code upgrades, such as ASHRAE Standard 90.1, International Energy Efficiency Code, ASHRAE Standard 189.1

  • Energy impacts analysis of building energy code compliance

  • Building energy system design for resilience

  • Grid-interactive efficient building design and controls

  • Urban-scale building modeling for buildings-to-grid scenario planning.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Applying science and engineering theories and developing technical approaches to solve building performance research challenges.

  • Executing tasks independently or with limited guidance on new assignments.

  • Defining and leading small tasks and executing within budget and timeframes allotted.

  • Contributing to or leading the development of sections of technical products, such as technical reports and journal articles, and presenting at conferences and technical forums.

  • Teaming with staff across the group and division to share resources and optimize approaches. Contributing to the development of proposals for business and capability development opportunities.

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 Group Leader, and Building Energy Simulation Team Leader, 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

  • Level 2: BS with 2 years of experience, MS with 0-2 years of experience, PhD with 0 years of experience.

  • Level 3: BS with 5 years of experience, MS with 3 years of experience, PhD with 1 years of experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced experience with whole building energy modeling for buildings with complex energy systems and controls. Experience with EnergyPlus is highly desirable; other modeling software experience may be considered (e.g. OpenStudio, eQuest).

  • Graduate degree in Architectural Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Building Sciences, or related fields

  • Solid background knowledge in building physics and building energy systems

  • Strong programming skills in Python, Ruby, C++, R, or Perl

  • Independent design or research experience in one or more building energy systems (e.g. building envelope, HVAC, lighting, controls, and service hot water).

  • Experience in working with Git repository

  • Development and implementation of containerized workflow for institutional high-performance computing or cloud computing. Experience in conducting field or laboratory measurements of building energy systems and indoor environment parameters preferred

  • Experience in leading the publications of technical reports and research papers

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

  • Strong research and writing skills to develop research ideas and support documentation of research deliverables

  • A collaborative approach to problem-solving in areas that do not have clear or established solutions or outcomes and the ability to work well with inter-disciplinary and geographically distributed teams.

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.

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Engineering/Engineering Techs

Group: Buildings & Connected Systems

Opening Date: 2021-03-08

Closing Date: 2021-06-11