The Renewable Energy Systems Group in the ORNL Environmental Sciences Division is an interdisciplinary team of engineers and natural scientists who develop strategies to deliver agricultural and forest resources to produce fuels, power/heat, or bioproducts. This work is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office and the Center for Bioenergy Innovation. Our goal is to conduct research and analysis that enables development of technologies to transform biomass resources of the U.S. into cost-competitive, high-performance biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. Designing innovative biomass supply chains to achieve cost, quantity, and quality targets is an important research focus of the BRES team. A position is available for a staff researcher to conduct analyses of biomass supply chains for quantifying impacts of system design and operation on feedstock cost, quality, and risk.
•Lead and conduct research projects related to modeling variability in biomass composition and predicting changes in quality that can occur during harvest, storage, and preprocessing. This work involves collaboration with multidisciplinary scientists and engineers at ORNL and other national laboratories to understand the impact of plant structure and composition on bioenergy and bioderived material conversion technologies and how these change from the time of harvest to use. •Explore research into the alternative uses of biomass, including high-value bio-derived products, fuels or chemicals. Connect biomass quality attributes to polymer science and related material properties •Leverage ORNL’s staff and capabilities in high-performance computing, biological sciences, neutron sciences, and advanced imaging to advance the development of technologies and systems for delivering high-quality biomass feedstocks for fuels, power, and products. •Develop internal and external collaborations and attract external funding to sustain a robust research program in biomass engineering.
•Ph.D. degree in agricultural engineering, biological engineering, or chemical engineering
•At least 5 years of R&D experience in the field of biomass engineering and logistics including development of improved harvest, storage, or preprocessing operations and supply chain modeling or technoeconomic analyses
•Experience with ExtendSim or another discrete event modeling tool is desired •Experience and success in writing proposals to multiple federal agencies for materials research
•Willingness to participate creatively in a variety of collaborative, dynamic team environments
•Ability to both lead teams and to also support the leadership of other staff in some teaming arrangements and provide thought leadership to team and others
•Motivated and safety conscious
•Ability to set priorities, multi-task and adapt to ever changing needs
•An excellent record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals or by reports and patents from industrially-focused research
•Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience