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Postdoctoral Scholar in Industrial Process Decarbonization Modeling and Analysis - 2035 Initiative, Institute for Energy Efficiency

Position overview

Position title: Postdoctoral Scholar
Salary range: The posted UC system-wide salary scales set the minimum pay based on prior months of postdoc service (both domestic and international) before the start of appointment. See Table 23 for experience level minimums. A reasonable estimated full-time rate for this position at 100% time is $64,480-$80,000. Salaries that are higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated experience level minimum are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: July 15, 2024 or later
Position duration: Two years, with potential for extension based on performance, length of research project, and availability of funding.

Application Window

Open date: May 31, 2024

Most recent review date: Friday, Jun 14, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Tuesday, Dec 31, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

Through the UCSB Institute for Energy Efficiency, the 2035 Initiative is seeking a postdoctoral scholar with a primary focus on process systems energy, emissions, and technology analysis for industrial decarbonization. The 2035 Initiative is a collaboration between environmental policy, industrial sustainability analysis, and politics research labs at the University of California Santa Barbara. The Initiative uses cutting-edge empirical research, data science, policy development, and media engagement to support transformational policy change in the United States and across the planet.

The position will support development of process energy, emissions, and economic models, datasets, and scenarios for different U.S. manufacturing subsectors, including petrochemicals, food and beverage, pulp and paper, cement, and other energy-intensive industries. These analyses will also include modeling of process electrification and renewable energy integration pathways for specific industrial locations in the United States, with the goal of developing scenarios and roadmaps for near-term decarbonization strategies and policies. The position will also support the generation and online dissemination of novel datasets, modeling code, and maps that can be used by researchers and policymakers to assess different decarbonization options.

Qualified applicants must have experience in mass and energy balance modeling of manufacturing process systems, process economic assessment, and systems optimization methods. Ideally, qualified applicants will also have experience with and/or strong interest in techno-economic assessment (TEA), macro-energy systems modeling (e.g., integrated assessment modeling or energy systems modeling), and working with energy and emissions statistics.

The postdoctoral scholar will be supervised by Professor Eric Masanet. This position will be recruited through the Institute for Energy Efficiency at UCSB.

The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and service as appropriate to the position.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Ph.D. in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, energy systems engineering, or a related engineering or natural sciences field (or equivalent international degree), OR be enrolled in a relevant PhD program at the time of application.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

Ph.D. in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, energy systems engineering, or a related engineering or natural sciences field (or equivalent international degree) by start date of appointment.

Preferred qualifications
  • Strong expertise and experience with developing mass and energy balance models of industrial process systems, ideally for the chemicals, food and beverage, pulp and paper, metals, and/or cement industries
  • Strong expertise and experience with conducting process systems economic analysis and/or techno-economic analysis (TEA)
  • Familiarity and experience with major U.S. sources of statistics on manufacturing energy use, emissions, and economic characteristics, for example the U.S. Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey, U.S. EPA FLIGHT, U.S. EPA National Emissions Monitoring System, U.S. production and trade statistics, and County Business Patterns
  • Experience with process simulation software packages, particularly ASPEN Plus, as well as GIS and basic data visualization software
  • Experience conducting uncertainty and sensitivity analyses using process systems models via statistical plug-in packages or via coding
  • Strong experience in model programming, e.g., via Python or R
  • Experience working with APIs for online data acquisition and maintenance
  • Familiarity with life-cycle assessment (LCA) datasets, fuel-cycle environmental datasets, and U.S. spatial datasets of environmental and social justice indicators
  • Proven record of independently leading research projects, publishing journal articles and presenting at conferences.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research - Statement of Research, Interests, and Goals

  • Publication - One first-author publication that is most indicative of the candidate's research design and implementation, data and results interpretation, and scientific communication skills on an topic relevant to the position duties.

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Applicants should summarize their past or potential contributions to diversity (

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)

Only the finalists’ references will be contacted. The committee may select 2-3 finalists after the interviews if there is no clear top candidate. In that case, the committee may contact the references of all remaining finalists before making their final selection.

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About UC Santa Barbara

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the University of California’s Affirmative Action Policy please visit: For the University of California’s Anti-Discrimination Policy, please visit:

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs, as may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Santa Barbara, CA