Work in Iowa Energy Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Power Engineer - Production Cost Modeling in Des Moines, Iowa


For more than 50 years, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has advanced the frontiers of science and engineering in the service of our nation and the world in the areas of energy, the environment, and national security.

The Electricity Infrastructure and Buildings Division (EIBD) is one of PNNL’s most innovative teams, working at the forefront of some of America’s toughest energy challenges, employing multi-disciplinary teams to solve national-scale problems. Within EIBD, the Electricity Security Group (ESG) is internationally recognized for innovative and impactful research focusing on creating a secure, reliable, resilient, efficient, and flexible modernized power system. As part of the ESG team, you can help drive the future of our national energy system.

So, if you are looking to have impact in the power and energy sector, with a focus on state-of-the-art research and development, join our team!


PNNL seeks a creative and inter-disciplinary power system engineer to contribute to model enhancements of conventional power system models (primarily production cost models and expansion planning models) to represent changing environmental constraints and dependencies imposed by climate change. The selected candidate is expected to participate in the development of open-source power system models that integrate with software in hydrology and other earth system models, as well as contribute to validation and analysis studies. The successful candidate will use integrated, multi-scale models to explore and quantify the benefits of novel management strategies that coordinate electric power dispatch with water resource management and new load paradigms (such as transportation electrification). The candidate will use these tools to investigate how climate change will impact our Nation’s electrical infrastructure and recommend strategies to mitigate future challenges.


The successful candidate would be expected to be a contributor to projects within their field of specialization. The candidate will work as a technical contributor under the guidance of senior scientists and engineers and will be responsible for performing technical tasks with the level of quality, timeliness, and cost, to meet required project and client expectations.

The desired engineer will:

  • Effectively team with interdisciplinary staff to share resources and optimize research at the group and division level. Mentoring junior staff and students.

  • Demonstrate technical knowledge with a focus on power system dispatch and capacity expansion.

  • Assist the development of new business by contributing to proposals and development of technical strategies.

  • Work with colleagues and external collaborators to develop innovative solutions to emerging challenges facing the power industry.

  • Effectively communicate with senior engineers to ensure high-quality delivery of research projects on budget and on time.

  • Publish research outcomes in peer-reviewed journals, conferences, etc.

  • Present and promote PNNL research agenda and products in professional communities, e.g., IEEE, CIGRE, industry workshops, etc.

  • Lead model enhancements activities and participate in discussion of design of modeling experiments, design evaluations, or development of scientific and engineered solutions to assess or solve a variety of technical problems.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • BS/BA with 2 years of experience

  • MS/MA with 0-2 years of experience

  • PhD with 0 years of experience

Preferred Qualifications:

  • PhD in technically relevant discipline (e.g., Electrical Engineering or related) with at least 2 years of experience in power system modeling.

  • Experience in using and contributing to the development of large-scale power system models, such as GridView, PROMOD, or Plexos.

  • Experience in stochastic optimization and dynamic programming. Fluency in one or more programming and scripting languages (e.g., GAMS, bash, perl, Python, FORTRAN, C).

  • Experience working in an inter-disciplinary team and/or with water or power agencies.

  • Interest in learning environmental research and specifically river routing and river operations management. Ideally experience using or developing water resources management models (e.g, RiverWare,


  • Experience working with the power, software, and/or telecommunication industry.

  • Demonstrated success of articulating research through publications, particularly in top-tier journals.

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Not Applicable

Additional Information

Not Applicable

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.