Idealized Climate, Economic and/or Energy System Modeling

Stanford, California (US)
TBD Competitive
February 05 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Do you like using simple models and have interest in helping to facilitate a transition to a near-zero emission energy system?

We are developing a group of collaborating researchers who seek to explore key factors that could help facilitate a transition to a near-zero emission energy system. As the Carnegie Energy Innovation project (, we engage in a diverse collection of postdoc-led projects. Because these positions are philanthropically funded, without specific deliverables, postdocs are free to work on a broad range of topics. Our work typically falls into four related areas:

  1. Schematic energy-system modeling
  2. Schematic economic modeling
  3. Geophysical modeling
  4. Energy and climate-related analysis

Examples of current projects include:

(1) A schematic energy system modeling effort aimed at understanding the range of potentially feasible near-zero emission energy systems, what would have to become true to make feasible different system architectures, and the value of technical innovation.

(2) A schematic economic modeling effort aimed at understanding the role of efficiency improvements in affecting carbon dioxide emissions and economic growth.

(3) A geophysical modeling effort aimed at understanding efficacy and possible unintended consequences of regional-scale wind farms.

(4) An analysis of factors that would affect the potential climate benefit of possible technological innovations.

We are also in the process of organizing an international meeting on balancing climate and development objectives in the poorest countries of the world.

This position will involve working with Ken Caldeira at the Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Global Ecology on the Stanford University campus. Caldeira has a physical science background, but we are collaborating closely with (and hiring!) people who have deeper experience in energy system and/or economic modeling.

Successful candidates will play a major role in planning and executing these investigations and communicating the results through peer-reviewed publications and direct engagement with public and private technology investment and policy decision makers. The initial term will be for one year with the potential for renewal up to a maximum of four years.

Candidates with a PhD in science, engineering or economics, or comparable experience in quantitative analysis, are particularly encouraged to apply. Achievement in the area of scientific publication, or comparable evidence of being able to complete high quality work in a timely manner, is a primary filter determining which applications receive greater consideration. Domain-relevant experience with climate, energy and/or economic modeling is not a pre-requisite for these positions, but a demonstrated interest in one or more of these topic areas, a predilection towards simple modeling approaches, and demonstrated ability to excel in an academic environment are pre-requisites.

We will likely hire four or five people under this job description in this calendar year. We are nearly perpetually able to hire because we are under-hired relative to our funding. We would rather wait for the right person than hire the wrong person.

Positions are available now; start date is flexible. Carnegie Institution post-docs have access to most Stanford facilities. Compensation for this position includes a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits.

Informal inquiries about these positions can be made by emailing Ken Caldeira at

The Carnegie Institution for Science is an equal-opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, sex, age, physical condition, or country of national origin.