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26 Jul 2021

Full-Time Research Assistant

Houston Advanced Research Center – Posted by [email protected] Spring, Texas, United States

Houston Advanced Research Center

Job Description

Research Assistant – Clean Energy Policy

Department:                Research Operations

Office/Group:             Energy

Reports to:                  Senior Research Scientist – Clean Energy

General Purpose of Job:

The Research Assistant is responsible for assisting principal investigators with technical duties of research conducted under in support of projects pertaining to clean energy systems and climate risk assessment. Work involves a high degree of expertise, creative insight, and technical skill.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

Major Duties:

  • Providing engineering support for clean energy and energy efficiency activities which would include modeling energy systems (generation, storage, distribution, and consumption) and their integration.
  • Providing outreach, networking and education to increase deployment of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) via HARC’s CHP Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP).
  • Conducting technical and economic feasibility studies for CHP installation in industrial, commercial, and residential facilities.
  • Developing and conducting webinars and presentations to educate end users on CHP, district heating and waste heat recovery.
  • Complete technical tasks for research and consulting projects involving data collection and analysis.
  • Reviews and fact-checks manuscripts; compiles, reads, summarizes, and organizes written materials into bibliographic form; writes reports, summaries, or protocols.
  • Manage, visualize, and analyze large time-series datasets with spatial and statistical analysis software; prepares charts or tables that synthesize the large sets of data into useful succinct representations.
  • Conducting research on areas related to climate adaptation and sustainability; assist in publishing research reports and white papers in these topic areas.
  • Supporting the strategic energy management of HARC’s certified Net Zero Energy headquarters building.

Proposal Development

  • May assist principal investigators in the development of research proposals.

Project Management

  • Assists project teams with the timely completion of project deliverables.

Internal Responsibilities

  • Collaborates with other HARC researchers on multidisciplinary projects.
  • Communicates project findings in oral and written form for HARC outreach products.
  • Initiates and promotes teamwork, shared learning and integrated approaches to sustainability.
  • Uses professional knowledge and skills to contribute to the achievement of HARC’s mission.
  • Participates in HARC internal meetings as assigned; may serve on HARC committees or working groups as assigned.

External Responsibilities

  • Makes contributions to discipline through the creation of peer review publications, technical reports, public outreach documents, web content, and external presentations.
  • Initiates and promotes external collaboration and integrated approaches to sustainability.

Continuing Education

  • Maintains broad knowledge of state-of-the-art principles, theories and practices in discipline.


  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical or electrical engineering, or related discipline.

Desired skills include:

  • Demonstrated skills in Microsoft Excel. General understanding of the design principles of energy systems: generation, storage, distribution, and consumption at the residential, commercial, and industrial levels.
  • EIT certification encourage. Ability to obtain the PE license in the next four years.
  • Proficiency with statistical software, data analysis, and analyzing temporal and spatial trends.
  • Exercises strict confidentiality of all communications, verbal, and written.
  • Capability of performing work with no instructions on routine work, general instructions on new assignments.
  • Background or interest in clean energy and environmental issues.
  • Strong research skills (computer and library).
  • Acute attention to detail.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

Computer Skills:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be computer literate in word processing, spreadsheets, internet and email software as well as project specific software. Energy modeling experience with programming languages is encouraged, MATLAB preferred.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to wet or humid conditions (non-weather); outdoor weather conditions and risk of electrical shock. The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 20 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms.

How to Apply

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Job Categories: Environmental. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 40,000 - 60,000.

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