Postdoctoral Appointee – Bioenergy Researcher, Life Cycle Assessment

Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne, IL

Job posting number: #7116510 (Ref:414465)

Posted: November 21, 2022

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Argonne National Laboratory is seeking dynamic and technically strong Postdoctoral Researchers in life cycle assessment (LCA). The position is in the Systems Assessment Center’s Fuels and Chemicals Group in the Energy Systems and Infrastructure Analysis Division (ESIA). Postdoctoral Researchers work with other team members to analyze fuel and product systems, develop new models and datasets, and to provide rigorous and objective results. We are currently seeking applicants with experience in one or more of the following areas: transportation energy systems, biomass feedstock production and logistics, conversion processes for production of fuels and products from biomass and waste feedstocks (e.g., plastics, manure, or CO2), emerging biofuel production pathways including sustainable aviation fuel and marine fuel, petroleum refining and coprocessing biobased feedstocks, bioplastics production and recycling technologies.

This position involves close collaboration with other national laboratory partners and communication with industrial partners. Ideal candidates have technical experience in LCA, systems analysis, and/or techno-economic analysis of energy systems. Knowledge of low-carbon biomass feedstock (e.g., sustainable farming, soil carbon) for bioenergy production is a plus. Prior professional experience with analysis of relevant technologies is preferred.

Postdoctoral Researchers collect and synthesize information to conduct LCA studies in the Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Technologies (GREET) modeling platform, manipulate large datasets to extract meaningful results, communicate results through well-designed presentations, publish journal articles and reports, and present results at conferences, workshops, and project meetings. The Fuels and Chemicals Group supports DOE and other sponsors to assess the energy and environmental outcomes associated with fuels, products and integrated systems in order to guide R&D efforts, identify improvement opportunities, and to create new approaches for LCA/sustainability analysis to address emerging issues.

The Systems Assessment Center continues a 30-year history of leadership in the field of life cycle analysis. Postdoctoral Researchers will join project teams including experts in a variety of topics relevant to their work and will regularly collaborate with experts from Argonne as well as with industry and at other national laboratories. The Systems Assessment Center develops and maintains the GREET model which is widely used by government, industry, and academic stakeholders to provide objective and rigorous results (see greet.es.anl.gov). Results from the Postdoctoral Researchers’ work may be incorporated in the annual GREET updates.

Position Requirements

  • Ph.D. degree in engineering (mechanical, chemical, civil), environmental science, or other related field with coursework and/or research experience in life cycle analysis and technoeconomic analysis.

  • Expertise in topics related to sustainable transportation fuels including aviation and marine fuels, conversion of biomass or waste feedstocks to chemicals, and/or plastics.

  • Demonstrated ability to perform life cycle assessment and technoeconomic analysis and to write related scientific reports.

  • Written and oral communication skills.

  • A successful candidate must have the ability to model Argonne’s Core Values: Impact, Safety, Respect, Integrity, and Teamwork.

Preferred qualifications include:

  • Passion for and experience in data-driven sustainability analysis.

  • Well-developed problem-solving, systems thinking, quantitative, and critical thinking skills; intellectual curiosity. Able to structure and formulate solutions to complex problems.

  • Highly motivated and detail oriented with the ability to work independently and in close collaboration with team members. Energized by working as part of a high functioning team and demonstrates a professional attitude.

  • Skilled written and verbal communicator, including the ability to present complex information so that it is understandable to a broad audience.

  • Record of peer-reviewed publications addressing the energy and emissions impacts of biomass or waste feedstock conversion technologies.

  • Experience using process modeling tools such as Aspen Plus, CHEMCAD, and/or SuperPro to perform technoeconomic analysis.

  • Experience using software for life cycle assessment such as GREET, openLCA, SimaPro, or GaBi.

  • Strong computer skills relevant for data manipulation and analysis including experience with creating and using complex models in Excel. Experience with Excel VBA scripting, Python, R, and/or Matlab preferred.

  • Expertise relevant for analysis of one or more of the following: the transportation sector, biomass conversion or other chemical processes, agricultural or forestry systems, sustainable aviation fuels, alternative fuels for marine applications, and biopower.

Job Family

Postdoctoral Family

Job Profile

Postdoctoral Appointee

Worker Type

Long-Term (Fixed Term)

Time Type

Full time

As an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer, and in accordance with our core values of impact, safety, respect, integrity and teamwork, Argonne National Laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that fosters collaborative scientific discovery and innovation. In support of this commitment, Argonne encourages minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment. Argonne considers all qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Argonne employees, and certain guest researchers and contractors, are subject to particular restrictions related to participation in Foreign Government Sponsored or Affiliated Activities, as defined and detailed in United States Department of Energy Order 486.1A. You will be asked to disclose any such participation in the application phase for review by Argonne's Legal Department.  

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Please note that all Argonne employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. All successful applicants will be required to provide their COVID-19 vaccination verification as a condition of employment, subject to limited legally recognized exemptions to COVID-19 vaccination.



Argonne is an equal opportunity employer, and we value diversity in our workforce. As an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer, Argonne National Laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that fosters collaborative scientific discovery and innovation. In support of this commitment, Argonne prohibits discrimination or harassment based on an individual's age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, gender, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.


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