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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory PhD Intern - Power Systems Modeling in Boston, Massachusetts


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory works to improve the security, stability, and resiliency of our nation’s energy infrastructure; increase transparency and flexibility; reduce inefficiencies; and improve the nation’s general quality of life. The Distributed Systems Group (DSG) at PNNL analyzes, models, and develops integrated systems to monitor, diagnose, and understand the operating state of the most complex engineered processes in the world. These processes range from electrical power generation to transmission and distribution, and to the end use consumption of energy in industrial and residential facilities with particular emphasis on integration of distributed energy resources and flexible loads in electric power distribution systems.

The Electricity Infrastructure and Buildings Division is one of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's most innovative teams. We are talented, award-winning administrators, specialists, technicians, managers, scientists and engineers, and we're working at the forefront of some of America's toughest energy challenges. Our mission is to provide multi-disciplinary solutions to energy challenges that have impacts on a national-scale. We employ a systems perspective that addresses technological, economic, regulatory, and market barriers to improve the nation's energy systems from generation to end-use. We provide transparent, reproducible, and unbiased results to guide policy and technological innovation.


This intern will support long-term power system planning studies using optimization software. Key thrusts of this work will include but are not limited to:

  • Conducting and supporting long‑term electric power system modeling for a decarbonized future considering generation and transmission resource buildout, electrification, flexible loads and other electric system trends

  • Supporting the evaluation and development of detailed and tractable energy storage system models

  • Valuation of energy storage systems in long term planning models in terms of cost, resilience and equity

  • Policies affecting decarbonization, cost, resilience, equity and energy storage investment

  • Market design in a decarbonized future, considering zero marginal cost resources


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Candidates must be currently enrolled/matriculated in a PhD program at an accredited college.

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Excellent writing and communication skills

  • Knowledge and experience with linear programs and optimization

  • Programming experience with Python

  • Interest in energy planning, policy design, electricity markets and economics

  • Degree in electrical engineering, power systems engineering or related field and experience with:

  • Experience/knowledge of long-term generation and/or transmission capacity expansion planning

  • Experience/knowledge of production costing

  • Experience/knowledge of short and long duration storage models

  • Experience/knowledge of electricity market design

  • Experience with optimization modelling software and solvers such as GAMS, Cplex, and Gurobi

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.

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

Regular Hourly:

Employees are offered an employee assistance program and business travel insurance. Employees are eligible for the company funded pension plan and 401k savings plan, once eligibility requirements are met.

Temporary Hourly:

Employees are offered an employee assistance program and business travel insurance.

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