NREL Post-Doctoral Researcher – Structural and Mechanical Engineer in the Water Power Program in Boulder, Colorado

Posting Title

Post-Doctoral Researcher – Structural and Mechanical Engineer in the Water Power Program



CO - Boulder


Position Type

Postdoc (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week



Job Summary

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado, is the nation’s primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. NREL’s Water Power Program is based within the National Wind Technology Center to enable the advancement of water power technologies in marine and hydrokinetics and hydropower.

This R&D program has an opening for one post-doctoral researcher in Structural and Mechanical Engineering. The post-doctoral researcher will work on the development and application of models primarily for the mechanical analysis and structural analysis of marine and hydrokinetic technologies at system, subsystem and component levels. To a lesser extent the work scope also includes hydropower as well as wider engineering applications.

The engineering tasks ranges from theoretical modelling, numerical implementation, simulation, analysis, evaluation and optimization followed by technology improvement approaches. Modelling approaches range from first principles to high fidelity numerical models. System load characterization include hydrodynamic surface loads, line and point loads.

The post-doctoral researcher will develop new models and augment and apply existing models. Further work scope includes planning, setup, execution, analysis and evaluation of experimental testing and validation.


Required Education, Experience, and Skills

Must be a recent PhD graduate within the last three years.


Preferred Qualifications

The desired candidate will have:

  • A PhD in either structural engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, physics, ocean engineering or equivalent.

  • Knowledge and experience in the application of mechanical and structural principles and modelling approaches.

  • Knowledge of mechanical and structural simulation tools, like dynamic finite element analysis, and the necessary application skill and experience.

  • Experience with related experimental testing and validation ranging from planning through execution to evaluation.

  • Experience in numerical method development and knowledge of programming languages, including MATLAB, Python, C++ and Fortran.

  • Documented writing skills including the development of journal articles, and technical reports with a publication record in peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

  • Excellent writing, interpersonal and communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Graduate level knowledge of ocean engineering, hydrodynamics, and system dynamics.

  • Experience with the hydrodynamics of floating bodies and/or other fluid flow.

  • Experience in modeling and control of offshore renewable energy devices (e.g. offshore wind turbines, tidal turbines, hydropower turbines, or WEC devices).

  • Willingness to learn on the job and work independently with minimal supervision.


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