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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Senior Power Systems Engineer - Communications 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, cybersecurity, policy, economics, and related disciplines. Our vision is to transform the way our energy system infrastructure is designed, integrated, and operated in order 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 Electricity Security Group is currently looking for a Power System Research Engineer with a strong background in communication. The position will focus on making technical contributions to new and ongoing research projects by applying knowledge communications for power system operations. Specifically, this will include the use of industry-standard tools such as Energy Management Systems, Network Management Systems, and SCADA technologies, to evaluate operational technology communications systems across several use cases such as operator training, interoperability testing, control prototyping and validation, cybersecurity experimentation, etc.


  • Researches, develops, designs, and tests large, IoT scale, distributed electrical/electronic, telecommunication, software systems, as well as their operations and control with related optimization techniques.

  • Identifies system requirements and develops system architectures of large distributed systems including electric power and telecommunication system components and controls, software and embedded firmware components and there secure management, compute elements spanning cloud to edge, and all associated interfaces.

  • Adapts and applies information theory, communication theory, and control theory to design intelligent energy systems with desired behaviors.

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

  • Researches, develops, and applies platforms, tools, simulations, and models of communication, control systems and their relation to electric power systems and components addressing problems in planning, operations, economics, resilience, and optimization of overall system performance.

  • Designs and develops new techniques and methodologies for control and integration, including telecommunications systems and analytics, of diverse energy resources and points of consumption.

  • Leads the development of new project opportunities with program managers in sponsoring organizations.

  • Applies systems thinking and systems engineering approaches to integrate power systems, software systems, telecommunications systems, or other technical domains in system analysis, design, and implementation.

  • Effectively facilitates communication across a multi-disciplinary team, laboratory leadership and external stakeholders.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • BS/BA and 7+ years of relevant work experience -OR-

  • MS/MA and 5+ years of relevant work experience -OR-

  • PhD with 3+ year of relevant experience

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with design and/or operation of information and communication technology solutions for the electric energy industry across multiple network domains and technologies: core, WAN, FAN, substation and wired, wireless.

  • Knowledge and experience in telecommunications system networks, architecture, operation, electronics, management software, and system modeling and simulation.

  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills displayed in team leadership and external stakeholders.

  • Knowledge and experience in power system operations and management.

  • Experience with telecommunication systems modeling and analysis tools such as NS3, OPNet, CORE, EDX, Planet.

  • Knowledge of power system model and simulation tools.

  • Experience with developing and applying system architectures for complex systems.

  • Experience with software development using Python, C++, Java, MATLAB, etc.

  • Hands-on experience in definition and management of complex software projects including familiarity of s/w design methodology and tools/platforms.

  • Knowledge of telecommunication protocols and standards such as IEEE 802.15.4, 802.11, MPLS, carrier ethernet, SONET, 3gpp.

  • Knowledge of information models and standards utilized in power system industry such as IEC 61970/61968 CIM, MultiSpeak, IEEE 1547, IEC 61850, IEEE 2030.5, IEEE 1815, IEC 60255-118-1.

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Not Applicable.

Additional Information

Not Applicable.

“Referral Eligible”

Testing Designated Position

This is not a Testing Designated Position (TDP).

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.

If you are offered employment at PNNL, you must pass a drug test prior to commencing employment. PNNL complies with federal law regarding illegal drug use. Under federal law, marijuana remains an illegal drug. If you test positive for any illegal controlled substance, including marijuana, your offer of employment will be withdrawn.

Mandatory Requirements

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries, you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Rockstar Rewards

Employees and their families are offered medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, health savings account, flexible spending accounts, basic life insurance, disability insurance, employee assistance program, business travel insurance, tuition assistance, supplemental parental bonding leave, surrogacy and adoption assistance, and fertility support. Employees are automatically enrolled in our company funded pension plan and may enroll in our 401k savings plan. Employees may accrue up to 120 vacation hours per year and may receive ten paid holidays per year.

  • Research Associates excluded.

**Once eligibility requirements are met.

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