Reporting to the Smart Energy Application Manager the Research Engineer is responsible for contributing to research projects related to smart energy applications for residential, industrial and public customers (energy efficiency, customers services, hydrogen solutions, smart city, mobility). The Research Engineer will work with EDF Energy, EDF Group, UK academia and research councils to develop and deliver research projects relating to the development of local energy applications in building, mobility, industrial and public sectors. The researcher will develop and deliver projects related to energy applications and to local energy systems. The researcher will contribute to these projects by undertaking data analysis, system modelling and design, project management and economic analysis. Excellent communication skills are vital as the Research Engineer will be expected to communicate complex topics to audiences from a variety of backgrounds and seniority as well securing project funding from internal and external sources. Some international travel will be required.
EDF Energy R&D UK Centre was established in March 2012 to; support EDF Energy in its business and commercial activities, contribute to international low carbon energy development (e.g. nuclear and renewables), allow EDF Group to benefit from the innovative and progressive technical communities and commercial environment in the UK and establish EDF Energy as the leader in the revival of skills and competences for energy research in the UK.
As one of seven EDF R&D International Centres the R&D UK Centre is an integral part of the EDF Group R&D network and is responsible for leading research and development activities in the UK, enabling EDF Energy to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead. As of today, our 60-strong fully international team (plus 20 PhD researchers) is engaged in projects of various sizes in support of EDF, and external clients, and works across all energy aspects including NucleContextual informationar, Offshore Wind, Energy Storage, Smart Grids, Smart Cities, Energy Efficiency, Smart Meters, Electric Vehicles and Digital Innovation. The energy challenge is global and as a result the R&D UK Centre is leading on a number of international programmes, sharing knowledge and expertise across the EDF R&D international network and wider affiliates. In the UK the R&D UK Centre has successful partnerships with five leading UK universities enabling the R&D UK Centre to benefit from wider scientific research and world class resources.
The R&D Smart Customers department consists of four teams (Global Energy Systems; Local Energy Systems; People, Processes & Buildings and Data Acquisition) and is tasked with conducting and leading research and development in to; the generation, transmission, distribution and use of energy; the opportunities and challenges arising from the electrification of heat and transport and the deployment of energy storage; the emergence of new players (suppliers, customers, investors) in to the energy landscape and the associated innovative business models this could facilitate; energy efficiency and process optimisation; the emergence of big data, the internet or things and how this will shape the way residential and business customers engage with energy; to the development of low cost, non-invasive metering systems allowing for a greater understanding of energy generation, flows and usage. The results of this work informs future corporate and commercial strategies, products and services for EDF Energy and Group, challenges current company policies and ways of working and seeks to influence UK and European energy policies and standards. Due to the nature of the work team members are expected to think out of the box and to challenge the current ways of working. Being inquisitive and able to innovate are core skills demonstrated by all team members which creates a vibrant and progressive working environment.
Team members spend a part of their time attached to the relevant function in the Business Unit to build a close working relationship and to maintain a culture of collaboration. Team members work very closely with colleagues in EDF Group R&D to leverage on their knowledge and develop synergies. They also work very closely with external partners on externally funded projects and contribute to the scientific excellence and reputation of the UK Centre by collaborating and interacting with academia and the UK energy R&D community.
Nature and Scope
Framework & Boundaries
The Research Engineer (Smart Energy Applications) reports to the Smart Energy Application Manager who provides the Research Engineer with strategic direction and annual objectives. The Research Engineer works collaboratively with other colleagues from Smart Energy Application team and the wider R&D UK Centre in the development and delivery of research projects for the benefit of EDF Energy, EDF Energy Solutions, UK Energy Sector and EDF Group. The Research Engineer has no full-time direct reports but will be expected to supervise graduates and interns on a daily basis as well as acting as an industrial supervisor for post graduate students studying at UK universities. The Research Engineer is responsible for delivering high quality analysis and projects for internal and external stakeholders based in the UK and abroad and will also ensure coordination with and knowledge transfer from and to EDF Group R&D where there are existing capabilities, skills and activities. An excellent knowledge of the technologies and the key challenges for this sector is essential. Final decision on projects and collaboration topics will be taken by the Head of R&D | Smart Customers.
The nature of the R&D UK Centre and its proximity to the Business Units require flexibility, adaptability and networking capabilities to ensure that the Business Units priorities are fully considered and reflected. Some international travel will be required.
- Contributing to innovative projects in partnership with other organisations across Group and externally (UK academia and public and private sector partners).
- Deliver technical analysis, high quality studies and expert modelling in the fields of:
- Energy demand in various sectors and flexibility
- Electric mobility
- Local energy system development
- Customers energy services
- Energy efficiency
- Develop specifications and implement modelling tools to provide simulations of energy technologies and systems
- Develop and deliver business models and economic analysis of smart energy applications
- Contribute to integrated projects for urban and energy planning
- Contribute to systemic projects implying the various stakeholders of the energy system (Grid operators, local project developers, local authorities, consumers, suppliers).
- Responsible for sourcing data and information for the use in research projects, undertaking technical and commercial modelling of energy applications utilising state of the art modelling techniques and writing high quality technical papers with the ability to communicate complex topics to audiences from various backgrounds.
- Successfully apply/ bid for financial support for research projects from both internal and external sources (e.g. Innovate UK, Horizon 2020)
- Monitor technical, commercial and operational innovation in the energy industry and other industries. Investigate and evaluate innovations in order to inform future research projects and develop and manage relationships with potential partners and suppliers
- Develop and manage relationships with senior stakeholders and technical colleagues from across group, UK academia and the energy industry in order to collaborate on projects, transfer knowledge and communicate the results and progress of agreed projects and deliverables.
- Provide regular progress reports, technical papers and briefing updates to senior management on market and technical developments and innovations (horizon scanning)
- No P&L responsibility however the jobholder will be required to cost and financially monitor projects
- Job holder will be expected to gain research funding through successful proposal submissions and tenders
- Job holder will be expected to successfully manage projects and deliver against define success criteria
- Innovative and lateral thinker able to problem solve and conduct novel research
Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications, Experience
- Expert knowledge of energy technologies and systems (distribution and supply of electricity for residential and non-residential sectors)
- Experience in modelling and coding (python)
- Experience of data gathering and analysis
- Experience of business development and/or successful sourcing of research funding
- Experience in business model and technical product development
- Experience in developing academic collaboration and/or partnership with other industrial stakeholders
- Excellent organisational, communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to lead a project team
- Ability to influence key stakeholders and senior management
- Negotiation skills
- Interest and attitude in strategic thinking
- Experience in line management
- Experience of gaining public sector funding
- Experience e.g. generation/storage/grid technologies operations
Qualifications & Experience
- Master degree in an engineering or scientific discipline
- Experience of working in relevant R&D or commercial environment
- Excellent knowledge of the UK energy systems
- PhD and/or Chartered Engineer/Scientist
- Professional membership