PhD Intern - Hydro-electric Planning Studies

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Richland, WA, USA 🇺🇸

Job Description

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.


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.


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 worldin 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 canhelp 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!

This intern will support hydro-electric coordination planning studies using hydro and electric system modeling tools. Key thrusts of this work will include but are not limited to:

  • Conducting and supporting system design for a hybrid energy storage and hydro-electric system to achieve environmental objectives, considering water flow requirements, reservoir levels, equipment capabilities and system needs
  • Supporting the evaluation and development of tractable hydro-electric hybrid system models for environmental and economic objectives
  • Analysis of environmental objectives and potential outcomes from the modification of hydro-electric system flows
  • Evaluating hydro-electric equipment impacts following operational modifications
  • Valuation of hybrid hydro-electric systems to achieve environmental and other objectives


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:

  • Preferred minimum GPA of 3.25.
  • Candidates for this position should have:
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Experience/knowledge of water system impacts associated with hydro-electric use
  • Programming experience with Matlab or Python
  • Interest in water systems and their interactions with the power system 
  • Degree in hydrology, power systems engineering or related field and experience with:
  • Knowledge and experience with hydroelectric system operations and designs
  • Experience/knowledge of hydroelectric system equipment: turbine and generator dynamics
  • Experience/knowledge of electricity system operations, including generation, transmission and distribution

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Not Applicable.

Additional Information

Not Applicable.

Testing Designated Position

Not Applicable.

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 [email protected].

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.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development