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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Senior Power Electronics Research Engineer  in Des Moines, Iowa


The Electricity Infrastructure and Buildings Division of PNNL is accelerating the transition to a sustainable, efficient, resilient, and secure energy system through innovation and actionable solutions.  We are a diverse research organization of over 350 experts in electrical, mechanical, and systems engineering, data and computer sciences, cyber security, policy, economics, and related disciplines. Our vision is to transform the way our energy system infrastructure is designed, integrated, and operated – to create environmental security, economic prosperity, and social equity for the Pacific Northwest region, the Nation, and the world. Join our team and make an impact!

The Distributed Systems Group with the Division 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. Our work is paving the way to enable large numbers of devices to be effectively integrated into a holistic energy system. The Group stewards core research capabilities in: renewable technology integration; distribution system modeling and planning; grid architecture and system engineering; asset and portfolio valuation; and power electronics.

The Distributed Systems Group is looking for a Principal Power Electronics Research Engineer to advance high-impact research on the integration and application of power electronics to the US electrical grid. The position will focus on leading new and ongoing research projects to address technical, economic, and policy challenges related to the growth of power electronic devices, at both the bulk transmission and distribution levels.

The successful candidate will:

  • Research, develop, design, and test integrated power electronics technology, including HVDC, bulk and distributed electrical/electronics, telecommunication, software systems, and their operations and control with related optimization techniques.

  • Analyzes equipment to establish operating data, conducts experimental tests, and evaluates results. Oversees all aspects of systems development lifecycle.

  • Identify system requirements and develops system architectures of large distributed systems including mixed ownership components and controls, software and embedded firmware components and their secure management, compute elements spanning cloud to edge, and all associated interfaces.

  • Apply systems thinking and systems engineering approaches to integrate power systems, software systems, distributed and centralized control systems, or other technical domains in system analysis, design, and implementation.


Specific responsibilities of a Senior Research Engineer (level 4) include:

  • Demonstrates technical leadership within PNNL for expertise in control and integration of distributed energy resources and power electronics to the US electrical grid.

  • Serves as a Principal Investigator or co-PI on multiple or significantly complex, and/or high-risk projects or tasks and/or involving multiple tasks, capabilities, and organizations.

  • Develops, and realizes new significant project opportunities, leading the development of technical sections of large proposals. Demonstrates ability to acquire funding for self and task level teams.

  • Takes lead in scope, schedule, and budget for projects or large tasks.

  • Leads teams that identify new research capabilities within the division in the field of power electronics.

  • Recognized by sponsors and collaborators for delivery on important programmatic elements.

  • Lead author or developer of significant technical products, including peer-reviewed journal articles, in the field of power electronics.

  • Engages with and takes on technical leadership roles in professional societies.

  • Speaks at national forums and conferences.

  • Use project network within and outside PNNL to advance project outcomes.

  • Mentors staff and peers across the directorate.

The position will be accountable to the Distributed Systems Group Leader and the Power Electronics Team Leader for general staff performance and development, operational discipline (e.g., maintaining training qualifications, procedural compliance, safe operations), and project execution, and will work with the project management office director or project managers to ensure delivery of project work on time and within budget.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • BS/BA with 7 years of experience

  • MS/MA with 5 years of experience

  • PhD with 3 years of experience

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in electrical engineering, systems engineering or related field.

  • Holds leadership role in professional communities.

  • Technical knowledge of power electronic applications for transmission systems, such as FACTS devices, high-voltage power electronics, and HVDC.

  • Knowledge and experience in power electronic applications for distribution systems and microgrid.

  • Deep technical knowledge of power system simulation, analysis, dynamics or control.

  • Experience modeling power system dynamics in conjunction with power electronics systems, using a combination of: transient dynamics in PSSE, PSLF or PowerWorld (or similar); and transient dynamics in CYMDIST, Synergi, GridLAB-D or OpenDSS (or similar); and/or electromagnetic transients in PSCAD, EMTDC, or ETAP (or similar).

  • Industry experience in electric utility power system and power electronic integration.

  • Laboratory experience with power electronics, e.g., topology or device testing, control system development, control/power hardware in the loop.

  • Significant record of technical products, including publications and presentations, influencing the discipline of power systems engineering and the integration of power electronics.

  • Strong track record of effectively facilitating communication across a multi-disciplinary team, laboratory leadership and external stakeholders.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Not Applicable

Additional Information

"referral Eligible"

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

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.