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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Power Systems Engineer - Distributed Systems in Topeka, Kansas


The Electricity Infrastructure and Buildings Division is one of PNNL's most innovative teams. We are talented, award-winning administrators, specialists, technicians, managers, scientists and engineers, and we're working at the forefront of some of America's toughest energy challenges. Our mission is to provide multi-disciplinary solutions to energy challenges that have impacts on a national-scale. We employ a systems perspective that addresses technological, economic, regulatory, and market barriers to improve the nation's energy systems from generation to end-use. We provide transparent, reproducible, and unbiased results to guide policy and technological innovation.

The Distributed Systems Group is focused on designing, testing, and applying edge solutions to enhance the resiliency and efficiency of our Nation's infrastructure and of distributed sites that rely on that infrastructure, while paving the way for integrating large numbers of devices into a holistic energy system. The group's capabilities include: renewables/technology integration; distribution system modeling and planning; grid architecture and system engineering; asset & portfolio valuation; and power electronics.

This position focuses on leading and developing new distributed systems research that explores small electric power systems (i.e., microgrids) and components in order to inform scaled planning, operations, economics, resilience, and optimization of system performance. The ideal candidate will have field experience with power generation (microgrids, energy storage, engines/turbines, renewables, etc.), distribution systems, and operational experience with electric utilities.


  • Researches, analyzes, develops, and designs electrical/electronic systems, components, equipment, and networks as well as their control and optimization.

  • Evaluates electrical designs (including utility interconnection and microgrid design) and system integration plans.

  • Analyzes systems and equipment to establish operating data and evaluates performance.

  • Selects components and equipment based on analysis of specifications and reliability.

  • Performs modeling and simulation of small electric power systems (i.e., microgrids) and components in order to inform scaled planning, operations, economics, resilience, and optimization of system performance.

  • Designs and develops new techniques and methodologies for control and integration of diverse energy resources and points of consumption.

  • Uses risk-analysis techniques to evaluate the likelihood and consequence of power system disruptions and risk mitigation measures associated with power system failure modes.

  • Develops and applies system architectures, models, and technologies for secure and reliable electric power systems and related technologies such as communications systems and grid cyber security.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • BS/BA with 5 years of experience

  • MS/MA with 3 years of experience

  • PhD with 1 year of experience

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Field experience with transmission and/or distribution systems

  • Experience with power generation (microgrids, energy storage, engines/turbines, renewables, etc.)

  • Operational experience with electric utilities

  • Experience conducting power systems analysis using modeling and simulation software programs to evaluate real-world system characteristics such as load and power flows, transient stability, reliability, short circuit analysis, and other operational characteristics

  • Experience with DOD; clearance is beneficial

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Not Applicable

Additional Information

Due to business needs and client space, US Citizenship is required:

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is subject to the Department of Energy Unclassified Foreign Visits & Assignment Program site, information, technologies, and equipment access requirements.

Testing Designated Position

Not Applicable

About PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to the values of Integrity, Creativity, Collaboration, Impact, and Courage. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven people come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors; here is your chance to be one of them!

At PNNL, you will find an exciting research environment and excellent benefits including health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State—the dry side of Washington known for its stellar outdoor recreation and affordable cost of living. The Lab’s campus is only a 45-minute flight (or 3 hour drive) from Seattle or Portland, and is serviced by the convenient PSC airport, connected to 8 major hubs.

Commitment to Excellence, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Equal Employment Opportunity

Our laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment dedicated to solving critical challenges in fundamental sciences, national security, and energy resiliency. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. In support of this commitment, we encourage people of all racial/ethnic identities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, genetic information (including family medical history), protected veteran status, and any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state, and/or local laws.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures and in employment. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, contact us at careers@pnnl.gov.

Drug Free Workplace

PNNL is committed to a drug-free workplace supported by Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs.

Mandatory Requirements

Battelle requires employees to have a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, subject to accommodation. Applicants are required to disclose their vaccination status following a conditional offer of employment and must attest to being fully vaccinated with a Center for Disease Control (CDC)-approved COVID-19 vaccination, or provide documentation of need for medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.