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Research Technician II- Wet Chemistry (Synthesis, Polymers, and Materials)

National Renewable Energy Lab Golden, CO
  • Posted: December 26, 2019
  • Full-Time

Posting Title

Research Technician II- Wet Chemistry (Synthesis, Polymers, and Materials)



CO - Golden


Position Type



Hours Per Week



Job Description

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, is the nation's primary laboratory for research, development and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The Bioenergy Science and Technology (BEST) directorate within NREL performs a full range of research from exploring biomass at the molecular level through biorefinery process optimization to bring biofuels and bio-products to market. The directorate's research encompasses multiple areas including analysis & characterization, biochemical processes, bioenergetics, and thermochemical processes.

The BEST directorate is seeking a full-time Wet Chemistry (Synthesis, Polymers, and Materials) Technician to support research ranging from catalytic lignin valorization to novel bioderived polymer synthesis. The duties will focus on a wide variety of benchtop wet chemistry techniques and standard analytical equipment. Adaptability and an aptitude for learning are critical in this role.

Our research group is focused on developing biological and chemical catalysts for cost-effective production of fuels and chemicals from terrestrial biomass. Our team brings together a wide range of technical expertise and global experience unified by a passionate drive to increase the technoeconomic feasibility of global adoption of biorefineries. Interdisciplinary collaboration and a relentless pursuit of advancing understanding at the intersection of fundamental science and industrial application is paramount to every member of our team. The primary goal of this position is to provide researchers within our group the support necessary to safely achieve their cutting-edge research.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Have extensive general chemistry knowledge and demonstrated wet chemistry experience
  • Have demonstrated experience taking detailed lab notes, collecting accurate data and analyzing results
  • Work well with a variety of personality types
  • Have strong multi-tasking and time management skills
  • Bring a new perspective based on diverse work experience
  • Be self-motivated
  • Embody a strong safety culture
  • Have excellent troubleshooting and problem-solving skills
  • Be willing to step outside the boundaries of a job title to promote continued success within the group
  • Demonstrate creative thinking and open mindedness
  • Bring a highly methodical approach to attack a broad range of unique problems
  • Be adaptable and demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning

The Wet Chemistry (Synthesis, Polymers, and Materials) Technician will support research through a variety of activities including:

  • Synthetic organic chemistry for the preparation of analytical standards and model compounds
  • A broad range of benchtop wet chemistry techniques
  • NMR, DSC, and TGA analysis predominantly focused on synthetic purity
  • GPC analysis of polymer formulations
  • Literature research to support the ongoing development of synthetic procedures
  • Preventative maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of equipment central to this research
  • GC/FID and GC/MS analysis of samples and standards
  • Development of rigorous reproducible procedures for new synthetic techniques
  • Advancing safe laboratory practices through daily research activities
  • Substantial acquaintance with and understanding of general aspects of the job with a broad understanding of the detailed aspects of the job. Intermediate to advanced skills in research techniques and practices. Good written, verbal, team, interpersonal and communication skills.


Basic QualificationsHigh School Diploma or equivalent and 4 or more years of experience or equivalent related education/experience. Or, related Associate's Degree or certification program of comparable scope and 2 or more years of experience or equivalent related education/experience.


Additional Required Qualifications

Ability to:

  • follow the direction of senior staff in performing detailed chemical procedures
  • keep accurate and detailed laboratory records
  • maintain and operate analytical instruments
  • prepare samples using bench chemistry and instrumentation associated with drying, heating, mixing, weighing, washing, and separations,
  • use/learn to use Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)

Preferred Qualifications

  • A Bachelor's degree in Chemistry or closely related field with hands on laboratory experience
  • Broad knowledge and wide-ranging application of related practices, techniques, and standards
  • Ability to thrive in a dynamic role with greatly varying daily expectations
  • Proven ability to learn new skills in parallel with continually supporting ongoing work.


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 dedicated to the principles of equal employment opportunity. NREL promotes a work environment that does not discriminate against workers or job applicants and prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, marital status, ancestry, actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status, including special disabled veterans.

NREL validates right to work using E-Verify. NREL will provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with information from each new employee's Form I-9 to confirm work authorization. For additional information, click here.

National Renewable Energy Lab

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