Postdoctoral Appointee: Life Cycle Analysis of Energy Technologies

Argonne National Laboratory

Lemont, IL

Job posting number: #7078090 (Ref:410029)

Posted: May 7, 2021

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

The Fuels and Products Group within the Energy Systems Division at Argonne National Laboratory is seeking qualified applicants for a Post-Doctoral Researcher position, conducting life cycle assessment (LCA) of bioenergy and bioproduct systems. Successful applicants will perform LCA to quantify the environmental impacts of novel biofuel and bioproduct systems, develop new models and datasets, and provide scientifically rigorous and objective results. The candidate will support Department of Energy (DOE) funded projects to benchmark next generation bioenergy systems, identify opportunities for improvement, and/or analyze their effects at scale. Current project opportunities include waste-to-energy systems, algal biofuels and CO2 utilization, and plastic upcycling. These projects involve close collaboration with industrial and academic partners, and engagement with multidisciplinary project teams. Ideal candidates have technical experience in life cycle assessment, systems analysis, and/or technoeconomic analysis of energy systems. Prior professional experience analyzing technologies for producing fuels and products from biomass and waste feedstocks is preferred. 

Postdoctoral Researchers collect and synthesize information to conduct LCA studies in the GREET modeling platform, manipulate large datasets to extract meaningful results, communicate results through well-designed presentations, publish journal articles and reports, and present results at conferences, workshops, and project meetings. The Fuels and Products Group supports DOE and other sponsors to assess the energy and environmental outcomes associated with fuels, products and integrated systems in order to guide R&D efforts, identify improvement opportunities, and to create new approaches for LCA/sustainability analysis to address emerging issues.

The Systems Assessment Center continues a 30-year history of leadership in the field of life cycle analysis. Postdoctoral Researchers will join project teams including experts in a variety of topics relevant to their work and will regularly collaborate with experts from Argonne as well as in industry and at other national laboratories. The Systems Assessment Center develops and maintains the Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Technologies (GREET) model which is widely used by government, industry, and academic stakeholders to provide objective and rigorous results (see greet.es.anl.gov). Results from the Postdoctoral Researchers’ work may be incorporated in annual GREET updates.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

  • Qualified individuals should have a Ph.D. degree in engineering, environmental science, or other related field with coursework and/or research experience in life cycle analysis.

  • Strong expertise in topics related to biofuel/bioproducts, biomass and waste feedstock conversion, and sustainable transportation.

  • Demonstrated competence in life cycle assessment or closely-related skills.

  • A successful candidate must have the ability to model Argonne’s Core Values: Impact, Safety, Respect, Integrity, and Teamwork.  

Preferred Qualifications Include:

  • Passion for and experience in data-driven sustainability analysis.

  • Demonstrated ability to perform life cycle and/or technoeconomic analysis and to write related scientific publications.

  • Familiarity with a wide range of data sources relevant for environmental and sustainability analysis, and the ability to identify topics and data sources and engage experts to conduct research. Capable of identifying key features of complex systems/processes.

  • Well-developed problem-solving, systems thinking, quantitative, and critical thinking skills; intellectual curiosity. Able to structure and formulate solutions to complex problems.

  • Highly motivated and detail oriented with the ability to work independently and in close collaboration with team members. Energized by working as part of a high functioning team and demonstrates a professional attitude.

  • Skilled written and verbal communicator, including the ability to present complex information so that it is understandable to a broad audience.

  • Strong computer skills relevant for data manipulation and analysis including experience with creating and using complex models in Excel. Experience with MS Access, Excel VBA scripting, Python, R, AspenPlus, ArcGIS (or related software), Java, and/or Matlab preferred. Experience with GREET.net or other LCA software such as openLCA, SimaPro, or GaBi preferred.

  • Expertise relevant for analysis of one or more of the following: the transportation sector and alternative fuels, biomass conversion or other chemical processes, water-energy system analysis and waste feedstock valorization (e.g., energy or nutrients recovery from wastewater treatment).

  • Experience analyzing large or complex datasets. 

Interested candidates should provide a curriculum vitae, writing sample, names and contact information for three professional references, and college transcripts to the application management system.

As an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer, and in accordance with our core values of impact, safety, respect, integrity and teamwork, Argonne National Laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that fosters collaborative scientific discovery and innovation. In support of this commitment, Argonne encourages minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment. Argonne considers all qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Argonne employees, and certain guest researchers and contractors, are subject to particular restrictions related to participation in Foreign Government Sponsored or Affiliated Activities, as defined and detailed in United States Department of Energy Order 486.1A. You will be asked to disclose any such participation in the application phase for review by Argonne's Legal Department.

All Argonne offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes an assessment of criminal conviction history conducted on an individualized and case-by-case basis. Please be advised that Argonne positions require upon hire (or may require in the future) for the individual be to obtain a government access authorization that involves additional background check requirements. Failure to obtain or maintain such government access authorization could result in the withdrawal of a job offer or future termination of employment.



Argonne is an equal opportunity employer, and we value diversity in our workforce. As an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer, Argonne National Laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that fosters collaborative scientific discovery and innovation. In support of this commitment, Argonne prohibits discrimination or harassment based on an individual's age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, gender, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.


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