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Research Project Description

Post Graduate Researcher - Geological and Environmental Sciences
U.S. Department of Energy
National Energy Technology Laboratory
Pittsburgh, PA, Morgantown, WV, or Albany, OR


Project Description:

Through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) this posting seeks motivated, post-graduates (MS and PhD) interested in working as part of geologic and environmental sciences focus area research team at NETL. NETL is a multi-disciplinary, scientific and technical-oriented national laboratory. NETL’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) conducts research to evaluate environmental impacts and risk assessments associated with domestic energy resource development.

The area of research for which post-graduate support is being solicited relates to evaluating the air quality impact from unconventional natural gas development.  Some specific research topics for which we are seeking support include but are not limited to:

  1. Developing methods to assess fugitive methane emissions from shale gas production and transport;
  2. Characterizing the impact that shale gas extraction activities have on local ambient air quality using field data and atmospheric modeling techniques, including conducting operation and maintenance of ambient air quality monitoring instruments;
  3. Source sampling of air emissions from natural gas extraction operations such as surface impoundments of produced waters, compressor stations, pipelines, and condensate tanks;
  4. Using ambient measurements of methane concentration in atmospheric chemistry and transport and/or plume dispersion models to quantify source emission rate; and
  5. Developing an inventory of operations at a shale gas extraction site for application in life cycle analysis.

Position requirements:

  • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or approved Foreign Nationals
  • Suitable for this position, as determined by background investigation.
  • Must hold a masters and/or PhD degree from an accredited institution in a field appropriate for the applicant’s area of expertise.

Additional Information:

As an ORISE post-graduate researcher with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, you are expected to be an active member of a research team. Duties include formulating specific research plans, supporting and performing laboratory experiments and/or numerical simulations, data analysis and interpretation, presenting results to both internal and external audiences, preparing manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

How to Apply:

Applicants should apply through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) program. The ORISE Program provides opportunities for undergraduate students, recent graduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty researchers. NETL utilizes the ORISE program to support research and work within NETL’s Office of Research & Development.

  • Interested applicants should complete the online application at
  • In the online application indicate your preferred NETL location and list Natalie Pekney as your requested mentor. This will associate your application with this job posting.
  • If you have additional questions please contact Nancy Andres, Nancy.Andres@NETL.DOE.GOV, the NETL ORISE program contact.