Job Description

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, is the nation’s primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. This position is part of the Economic, Sustainability and Market Analysis (ESMA) team within NREL’s BioEnergy Science and Technology Directorate. Primary responsibilities of team members include the development of conceptual process designs, and the economic and sustainability analyses of biomass-based conversion processes.  The ESMA team is seeking a post-graduate intern for a one-year appointment, providing support in these activities.

Job Duties:  Working under the supervision of senior analysts and researchers, the candidate will develop techno-economic analysis (TEA) models for unit operations and use the models to predict the effect of research improvements and scale-up on process performance using Aspen Plus and engineering economic analysis. The focus for technical work here will be process simulation and TEA modeling for biochemical conversion processes, including bioreactor design, scale-up, operations, and downstream recovery/purification for fuels and chemicals production. An additional focus of work will be to gather information and analysis for protein production pathways for food and feed applications, including fermentative and photosynthetic technologies for protein synthesis. This candidate will also develop cost estimates for processes and perform economic analyses under supervision. Analysis results will be documented in technical memos and internal milestone reports, as well as contributions to publications and presentations in peer-reviewed journals and at regional, national, and international scientific meetings and conferences.


Basic Qualifications

Must be enrolled as a full-time student in a Master’s or PhD degree program, or graduated in the past 12 months from an accredited institution. Internship period cannot exceed 12 months past graduation. Minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.

Please Note:
•You will need to upload official or unofficial school transcripts as part of the application process.
•If selected for position, a letter of recommendation will be required as part of the hiring process.


Additional Required Qualifications

  • Knowledge and application of process simulation software, such as Aspen Plus, for developing conceptual process models is required.  Knowledge of Fortran and Excel VBA will be useful for model development.
  • Demonstrated experience in process and design engineering, scale-up, costing, and TEA methodologies, including process considerations for equipment design optimization.
  • Background experience in product separations is a plus.
  • Bachelor’s (minimum) or Master’s (preferred) degree in chemical or bioprocess engineering.


Preferred Qualifications

Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering with extensive experience in a relevant applied R&D. Ability to technically converse with engineers and chemists performing biomass conversion. Proven ability to meet deadlines on schedule and within budget. Demonstrated knowledge of software such as AspenPlus, SimaPro and programming skills in languages such as Fortran and VBA will be preferred.