Current Opportunities

ORNL Publications
External Publication
Job Posting Title
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Hydropower / NB50387489
Posted Date
End Posting Date
The Energy-Water Ecosystem Engineering Group within the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National
Laboratory (ORNL) seeks two (2) postdoctoral researchers with expertise in mechanical, civil or electrical engineering to
engage in hydropower technology innovation research aimed at reducing costs and increasing deployment of hydropower
technology in the United States.
Major Duties/Responsibilities
The successful candidates will work collaboratively with senior engineers, economic analysts, hydrologists, and
environmental scientists at ORNL to advance innovative technologies from concept to development to deployment.
Examples of work efforts include hydraulic, mechanical, and economic analyses of existing and proposed hydroelectric
machine components, systems, and hydropower project designs. Candidates should demonstrate research outcomes and
have completed graduate coursework applicable to hydropower technology innovation in areas such as optimal design and
control of mechanical systems, turbomachinery, machine condition monitoring, hydraulic design or fluid mechanics, structural
design, energy systems engineering, engineering economics, and engineered environmental mitigation technologies.
Candidates with work experience in the design, testing, measurements monitoring optimization, commissioning, operations
and maintenance, or performance management of electric power generation assets are especially encouraged to apply.
Qualifications Required
Position requires a Ph.D. in Mechanical, Civil or Electrical Engineering (or other appropriate discipline) with experience in the
development, design and/or operations of hydropower. Applicants cannot have received the most recent degree more than
five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. Due to
critical infrastructure access requirements, candidates must be U.S. citizens. Candidates must also possess excellent
English language oral and written communication abilities, and be able to articulate, document, and evaluate complex value
propositions for funding of applied research and technology demonstrations. The ability to connect with industry
professionals, including energy developers, designers, construction specialists, asset managers, and regulators is essential.
A proven publication record is required.
For more information about the Energy Water Ecosystem Group, please visit:
This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or

To apply, please access:


Water Technical Research Analyst Post-Masters
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, TN

Project Description:
The Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory invites applicants for a post-masters associate position to support research on hydropower technology and markets. The position will be in the Energy-Water Ecosystem Engineering Group of the Environmental Sciences Division. The candidate will participate in a Department of Energy funded research project to study the evolution of the market for hydropower technologies in the United States, and interact with interdisciplinary researchers in hydrology, power systems, generation efficiency, economics, environment, aquatic biology and informatics.

Minimum Qualifications Required:
• Masters in Economics or Public Policy or related disciplines
• Minimum 2 years’ experience working with policy and cost analyses associated with hydropower and/or other energy industries (research experience associated to master’s thesis completion counts towards this minimum)
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office tools
Preferred but not Required:
• Experience with graphic design and/or data visualization using tools other than Microsoft Excel (e.g., Tableau) or with programming languages that can be used for visualization purposes (e.g., R, Python, JavaScript)
• Familiarity with the hydropower licensing process

This position is a temporary, full-time assignment not to exceed 24 months.

To apply, please access:


Post-Master Research Assistant for Hydropower Cost Data Collection and Analysis
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, TN


Project Description:

This position requires a Master’s degree; the successful applicant will work collaboratively with senior engineers, economic analysts, hydrologists, and environmental scientists at ORNL to reduce hydropower cost and advance innovative technologies in the Environmental Sciences Division’s Water Power group. Examples of work efforts include hydraulic, mechanical, and economic analyses of existing and proposed hydroelectric machine components, systems, and hydropower project designs. The current focus is for the Hydropower Cost Modeling Project, and the range of work includes following tasks:

Task 1: Search and collect cost data from public sources, including communication with Public Utility Companies, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff, etc.
Task 2: Fill, review and verify the cost data for data transferred from industry-data providers. Such providers include commercial data gatherers, hydropower developers, consultants, facility owners, equipment suppliers, etc.
Task 3: Categorize the collected cost data, using prepared Excel cost data templates, for different types of projects and different data analysis purposes. The project categories will include non-powered dam, constructed canal/conduit projects, new site development, existing plant upgrades and expansions, redevelopment at aged plant, and pumped-storage hydropower projects.
Task 4: Organize and assemble industry-survey responses from two surveys sent in July-August to collect information on cost reduction potential and hydropower local economic and job impacts.
Task 5: Perform regression analysis using collected data.
Task 6: Write report sections and other publications.


Post-Master with a degree in civil or mechanical engineering.

To apply, please access:


  • ORNL Hydropower Fact Sheet June 2014pdf file
  • ORNL Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Hydropower Reservoirs pdf file
  • ORNL Instream/Environmental Flows Researchpdf file
  • National Hydropower Asset Assessment Program (NHAAP) June 2012pdf file
  • ORNL MHK Acoustic Measurements Oct 2011 pdf file
  • ORNL Environmental Fact Sheet Jan 2011 pdf file
  • ORNL Hydropower Optimization Jan 2011 pdf file
  • Downstream Fish Passage through Hydropower Turbinespdf file
  • The Use of Traits-Based Assessment to Estimate Effects of Hydropower Projects on Fish Populationspdf file