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Postdoctoral Scholar for Net-Zero and Affordable Homes

Cyclotron Road

Cyclotron Road

California, USA
Posted on Monday, June 10, 2024

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s (LBNL) Energy Analysis & Environmental Impacts Division has an opening for a Postdoctoral Scholar to join the team.

Housing affordability and supply shortages are among the most significant socio-economic issues in California. Meanwhile, the state has set ambitious policy goals for near-zero carbon residential buildings and requiring single-family and low-rise multi-family buildings to have a PV system and be battery-ready. Rapidly building affordable housing while meeting its ambitious energy and climate goals remains one of the state’s most pressing challenges.

In this exciting role, you will work with an exciting team of researchers, policy makers, community members, manufacturers, and developers to demonstrate an advanced modular home model that are net-zero, resilient, affordable, and scalable in California. Under the supervision of staff at the Building Technology and Urban System Division and Energy Analysis & Environmental Impact Division, you will support the development of a first-of-its kind manufacturing and cost of ownership model that provides insights on the key cost reduction and component integration opportunities in the advanced modular home development and operational processes. Additionally, you will support other project components, including industry survey, community meetings, and coordination with various industry and academic partners.

What You Will Do:

  • With minimum supervision, perform research and analyses in the areas of manufacturing and total cost of ownership modeling, industrialized construction, construction economics, and building-level energy system analysis.
  • Collect cost of materials and production economics data from publications and/or industry survey and expert elicitation.
  • Design databases and engineering-based spreadsheet tools for offsite construction systems, components, materials and costs.
  • Conduct “design for manufacturing and assembly” (DFMA) cost analysis of offsite manufacturing processes and assembly/construction.
  • Develop additional data and scenarios for total cost of ownership modeling.
  • Work closely with LBNL researchers, research partners, and industry partners in developing and modeling offsite construction systems and total cost of home ownership.
  • Prepare Manufacturing/Construction Cost Model Report.
  • Contribute to and or author conference papers, laboratory reports, and refereed journal articles.

Additional Responsibilities as needed:

  • Assist with other project components as needed, including community meetings, survey, stakeholder coordination, and other report writing tasks.
  • Develop and/or assist in developing presentations for conferences, meetings and workshops, and give presentations at conferences, meetings and workshops.

What is Required:

  • Ph.D. in civil, construction, mechanical, industrial engineering or related fields basic knowledge of process costing and life-cycle cost analysis.
  • Knowledge of industrial design and manufacturing processes and cost considerations.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills as demonstrated by technical reports and journal articles.
  • Proven ability to work in innovative R&D projects and ability to work effectively with a multidisciplinary team of scientists and technical support staff.
  • Outstanding attention to detail and demonstrated ability to learn new skills (e.g., DFMA software).
  • Demonstrated experience in a research environment, in development, management and utilization of electric, engineering, environmental, and/or energy system models.
  • Advanced mastery of Excel, proficiency with Word, PowerPoint, and Access.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Knowledge and experience in industry cost-analysis software such as Design-For-Manufacturing software such as Boothroyd Dewhurst DFMA.
  • Experience and knowledge of residential single-family construction industry, building industry, and/or building architecture.
  • Experience in decision making system software such as Analytica.
  • Prior experience with researching, developing, or advanced manufacturing systems such as 3D printing of construction components.

For Consideration, please apply by May 1, 2024 with the following application materials:

  • Cover Letter - Describe your interest in this position and the relevance of your background
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume

Want to learn more about Berkeley Lab's Culture, Benefits and answers to FAQs? Please visit: https://recruiting.lbl.gov/


  • This is a full-time 2 year, postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds and ongoing operational needs. You must have less than 3 years of paid postdoctoral experience. Salary for Postdoctoral positions depends on years of experience post-degree.
  • This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.
  • The monthly salary range for this position is $5,374.00 / mo - $7,316.00 / mo and is expected to start at $6,626.00 / mo or above. Postdoctoral positions are paid on a step schedule per union contract and salaries will be predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates. Each step represents one full year of completed post-Ph.D. postdoctoral and/or related research experience.
  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.
  • Work will be primarily performed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

Berkeley Lab is committed to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) and strives to continue building community with these shared values and commitments. Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We heartily welcome applications from women, minorities, veterans, and all who would contribute to the Lab's mission of leading scientific discovery, inclusion, and professionalism. In support of our diverse global community, all qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status.

Equal Opportunity and IDEA Information Links:

Know your rights, click here for the supplement: Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law and the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision under 41 CFR 60-1.4.