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Senior Researcher -5G Telecommunications (Level III/IV)

Golden, Colorado
Job Type
14 Jul 2022
Posting Title

Senior Researcher -5G Telecommunications (Level III/IV)



CO - Golden


Position Type



Hours Per Week



Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols

Employment at NREL is contingent upon your compliance with all NREL and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) safety protocols and mitigation efforts directed at the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, NREL requires all employees to be immunized against COVID-19. However, employees may seek an exemption from this requirement as an accommodation for religious or medical reasons. Upon hire, new employees must submit a request for accommodation or be prepared to provide proof of vaccination on your first day of employment.

Working at NREL

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado is the nation's primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

From day one at NREL, youll connect with coworkers driven by the same mission to save the planet. By joining an organization that values a supportive, inclusive, and flexible work environment, youll have the opportunity to engage through our eight employee resource groups, numerous employee-driven clubs, and learning and professional development classes.

NREL supports inclusive, diverse, and unbiased hiring practices that promote creativity and innovation. By collaborating with organizations that focus on diverse talent pools, reaching out to underrepresented demographics, and providing an inclusive application and interview process, our Talent Acquisition team aims to hear all voices equally. We strive to attract a highly diverse workforce and create a culture where every employee feels welcomed and respected and they can be their authentic selves.

Job Description

The Cybersecurity Evaluation and Application Group (CEAG), within NRELs Energy and Security Resilience Center, performs research to better understand the threats, detection strategies and mitigation opportunities for renewable energy infrastructure and distributed energy resources. Our efforts include technical assessments of existing technologies and near-term innovations, research into ICS communications technologies, network architectures and protocols, as well as informing the development and application of cybersecurity frameworks and policy. CEAG researchers collaborate with government and industry partners to contribute to a more secure and resilient renewable energy infrastructure with global impact.

Cybersecurity Evaluation and Application Group applied cybersecurity researchers perform hands-on technical research and drive NRELs growing portfolio of work on securing critical infrastructure. Team members work alongside current NREL cybersecurity research staff to utilize the best-in-class Cyber Range to deploy large scale test environments, perform hardware-in-the-loop technology assessments, research ICS threats, detection, and mitigation as it pertains to renewable energy. Research spans ICS and renewable energy technologies and communications mediums and includes collaboration and partnership with utility and cyber security solution providers as well as government stakeholders.

The CEAG group has a need for a senior researcher to lead emerging efforts in 5G telecommunications focused on suitability and security as related to distributed energy systems. The role will help develop a vision and growth strategy for a priority research domain that is rapidly growing. The successful candidate will bring technical expertise in cellular communications network core and radio access technologies. The candidate will collaborate with power systems and cybersecurity researchers to establish a robust testbed for telecommunications and cybersecurity research opportunities. Additionally, the candidate will help to further develop NRELs 5G and beyond research portfolio through proposal writing and partnership development.

  • Lead the growth of 5G+ focused research within the Energy Security and Resilience Center
  • Provide strong technical leadership to existing and future research projects focused on the intersection of 5G+ and distributed energy systems.
  • Support the deployment and operation of a 5G communications testbed and the integration with existing cybersecurity and energy systems research capabilities
  • Collaborate with power systems, resilience and cybersecurity researchers on proposals and joint research projects
  • Collaborate with sponsors, partners, and other national labs
  • Develop new research proposals and programs related to cybersecurity

Basic Qualifications

Researcher IV: Relevant Ph.D. and 4 or more years of experience. Or, a relevant Master's Degree and 7 or more years of experience. Or, a relevant Bachelor's Degree and 9 or more years of experience.

Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of laws, regulations, principles, procedures, and practices related to a specific field. Excellent leadership, communication, problem-solving, and project management skills. Ability to use various computer software programs.

Researcher III: Relevant Ph.D. Or, a relevant Master's Degree and 3 or more years of experience. Or, a relevant Bachelor's Degree and 5 or more years of experience. Demonstrates broad understanding and wide application of engineering technical procedures, principles, theories, and concepts in the field. General knowledge of other related disciplines.

Demonstrates leadership in one or more areas of the team, task or project lead responsibilities. Demonstrated experience in the management of projects. Very good writing, interpersonal and communication skills.


Additional Required Qualifications
  • Deep technical expertise in 5G core and radio access technologies
  • Experience architecting and deploying a 5G network for research
  • Experience with existing opensource technology stacks such as OpenAirInterface and Open5GCore
  • Familiarity with security architectures and considerations for 5G networks as well as network slicing, MORAN and MOCN
  • Familiarity with Open RAN
  • Strong understanding of relevant 3GPP standards
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Excellent leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills
  • Strong writing and public speaking skills demonstrated through proposals, presentations, business development and/or customer engagement
  • Ability to hold and maintain a security clearance
Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience performing cybersecurity research related to 5G technologies
  • Knowledge of network virtualization, containerization, and orchestration technologies
  • Experience deploying 5G network stacks on USRP SDR platforms
  • Experience with 5G deployments in CBRS spectrum
  • Experience with C, Python, Bash or other programming and scripting languages

Annual Salary Range (based on full-time 40 hours per week)

Annual Salary Range: $90,600 - $163,100

NREL takes into consideration a candidates education, training, and experience, as well as the position's work location, expected quality and quantity of work, required travel (if any), external market and internal value, including seniority and merit systems, and internal pay alignment when determining the salary level for potential new employees. In compliance with the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, a potential new employees salary history will not be used in compensation decisions.

Benefits Summary

Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; short- and long-term disability insurance; pension benefits; 403(b) Employee Savings Plan with employer match; life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance; personal time off (PTO) and sick leave; paid holidays; and tuition reimbursement. NREL employees may be eligible for, but are not guaranteed, performance-, merit-, and achievement- based awards that include a monetary component. Some positions may be eligible for relocation expense reimbursement. Limited-term positions are not eligible for long-term disability or tuition reimbursement.

Based on eligibility rules

Submission Guidelines

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.


EEO Policy

NREL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard basis of age (40 and over), color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin/ancestry, race, religion, creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding), sexual orientation, and any other applicable status protected by federal, state, or local laws.

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  • Job Reference: 658155682-2
  • Date Posted: 14 July 2022
  • Recruiter: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Location: Golden, Colorado
  • Salary: On Application
  • Sector: Government & Defence
  • Job Type: Permanent