Alternative Energy Lead Researcher - Alternative Energy Lab

  • Red Deer College
  • Red Deer College, College Boulevard, Red Deer, AB, Canada
  • Jul 27, 2020
Full time   Engineering & Applied Sciences Sciences and Technology: other Grants, Sponsored Programs, Research

Job Description

Red Deer College is hiring for Alternative Energy Lead Researcher to support us in our transition to Red Deer University.  While we recognize that we are in unprecedented circumstances as the world navigates through this pandemic, we are balancing our responsibility in pandemic planning as well as institutional continuity for the long term. To that end, we look forward to having you on our team.   

Red Deer College (RDC) established the Alternative Energy Lab (AEL) as a hub for alternative energy system research and data, exemplifying the use and integration of new energy technologies and applications. In addition to providing learning opportunities for RDC’s learners, work associated with the AEL is intended to encourage adoption and advancement of innovative energy systems among Alberta’s businesses and residents while also furthering a novel applied research direction for the College and the region.

The Alternative Energy (AE) Lead Researcher has overall accountability to manage and lead alternative energy initiatives at RDC and is responsible for managing projects associated with the AEL and working with community partners in advancing collective understanding of alternative energy systems.

The AE Lead Researcher will also be responsible for championing strategic planning and direction for the college’s energy innovation research. The AE Lead Researcher will lead in planning, creating, developing, and managing research projects associated with the AEL and energy innovation initiatives with external partners. This includes managing key confidential decisions and data associated with research projects. In leading the research projects, the AE Lead Researcher is responsible for the associated budget, business development, and stakeholder engagement. The AE Lead Researcher will initiate studies and data collection with and from industry, act as the principal information and technical resource, and be RDC’s primary content expert for curriculum development and alternative energy technologies.

This position represents Red Deer College to external clients and research partners as the face of the Alternative Energy Lab and the college’s energy innovation research initiatives. As the lead member of the Alternative Energy Lab team, the AE Lead Researcher manages the AEL team and works with members of the College’s Center for Innovation in Manufacturing (CIM) and participates in RDC’s Research Common. The AE Lead Researcher also works with other colleagues to establish and implement the Lab’s strategic objectives, generating research and business activity, and achieving financial goals for cost recovery.

The AE Lead Researcher will manage a diverse team within the Alternative Energy Lab department. This position will function as a member of the School of Trades and Technologies management team and will focus on both immediate and long-term planning that is intuitive, progressive and innovative while respectively contributing to the achievement of RDC’s strategic plan.

Reporting to the Dean, School of Trades and Technologies, the AE Lead Researcher is responsible for creating and/or growing new business from clients and with other research partners. This position is responsible for proactively creating demand for the AEL’s technical solutions. This position will lead a fluid Alternative Energy team of employees and contractors while representing Red Deer College’s alternative energy initiatives on a provincial, national, and global stage.

This position is funded predominantly through an NSERC Innovation Enhancement Build grant and focused on projects which support innovation and integration of alternative energy systems. The research is expected to pass peer review and be immediately applicable to industry and community members.

Initial alternative energy research focal areas will be integration of off-grid and grid-tied solar PV and combined heat-and-power (CHP) energy producing systems. Secondary applied research interests will be geothermal, energy storage, and energy from waste. This work is designed to provide a service to our region and beyond, filling the industry gap in research and development, while also using learnings from comparative testing and data gathering which invites new interest in alternative energy among businesses and our communities.
These primary areas of research will be explored through initial initiatives in the areas of:

  • The creation of an Alternative Energy Lab Data Sharing Alliance
  • Testing & Prototyping
  • Building-Integrated Photovoltaics
  • Agricultural integration of solar voltaic
  • Conversion of Organic Waste to Energy
  • Battery Storage

Key skills required are networking, presentations, project management, research design, data analytics, programming, and a deep understanding of integrated alternative energy production and storage systems as suited to regional demand. Activities which draw on these skills will include direct contact with key industry players, participation in industry exhibits and events, membership in energy associations, and forming relationships with public sector energy research groups and private sector organizations in the energy sectors.

Alternative Energy Research

  • Provides leadership in planning, creating, developing, and managing research projects associated with the AEL and energy innovation initiatives with external partners
  • Initiates studies and data collection with and from industry, acts as the principal information and technical resource, and be RDC’s primary content expert for curriculum development and alternative energy technologies
  • Establishes research methodology for multiple projects
  • Designs and implements appropriate scientific methodologies to collect, analyze, and interpret data, and provide reports with recommendations
  • Responsible for the completion of industry standard comprehensive research reports and presentations
  • Facilitates the communication of research results to appropriate parties
  • Acts as RDC’s liaison in knowledge mobilization into industry while representing RDC’s AE initiatives and interests to external parties
  • Leads research proposals to increase funding to the AEL
  • Manages research projects’ key confidentiality requirements, decisions, and participants’ data

Alternative Energy Leadership

  • Leads a range of alternative energy initiatives at RDC
  • Acts as the Alternative Energy expert, representing AE interests both internally and externally
  • Provides direction, advice, and recommendations to the college’s leaders regarding RDC Alternative Energy initiatives
  • Responsible for championing strategic planning and direction for the college’s energy innovation research
  • Provides direction and assigns resources for AE public relations and communications regarding projects
  • Responsible for the development and maintenance of policies around Alternative Energy initiatives
  • Responsible for determining growth, building capacity for business, and providing direction, in consultation with the Dean, School of Trades and Technologies
  • Collaborates with internal and external researchers to develop policies and procedures around research and alternative energy
  • Identifies and provides direction for faculty, staff, and contractors on specific Alternative Energy projects
  • Builds, develops, and strategizes the business growth of the College’s Applied Research Alternative Energy Initiatives
  • Works collaboratively with internal and external teams to promote and represent Applied Research within the region as well as on a provincial, national, and global scale
  • Accountable for the development and generation of new revenue opportunities to support sustainable business growth

Financial and Risk Management

  • Accountable for budget planning, allocation, expectations, and oversight related to Alternative Energy grants and prospective funding
  • Responsible for allocating financial resources to meet grant and RDC strategic objectives
  • Completes and authorizes NSERC reporting requirements
  • Responsible for deliverables as outlined in the NSERC agreement
  • Identifies and mitigates risks associated with corporate technical service contracts

Personnel Management

  • Leads and manages the Alternative Energy Lab team
  • Provides leadership by disseminating information, providing feedback, advising, and coaching for all staff under direct supervision and other staff working within AE, as applicable
  • Directs the day-to-day operations of direct reports and AE contractors
  • Represents assigned work area as first level grievance reviewer and attempts resolution in consultation with HR representatives for direct reports
  • Develops and reviews the fluid support structure and processes to ensure the effective and efficient distribution and delegation of work
  • Facilitates effective recruitment, retention, performance management, and where necessary, supervision in compliance with Human Resources policies and procedures, FOIPP, and collective agreements
  • Ensures that all regulations of Occupational Health and Safety are adhered to in order to provide a safe work environment and follows up on reports generated by HR to ensure compliance with OH&S and WHMIS training
  • Maintains confidentiality of personal information in accordance with College policy, procedures, and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Preferred and Required Qualifications


  • Master’s degree in a field related to alternative energy systems
  • Other combinations of education and experience in energy systems may be considered


  • A minimum of 8 years of experience in managing research projects/programs
  • A minimum of 8 years demonstrated experience in conducting research
  • A minimum of 5 years of supervisory and leadership experience

Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated experience in commercialization of new products and technology
  • Demonstrated ability in research design, data analytics, programming
  • Demonstrated experience in recruitment, retention, performance management, and discipline and discharge where necessary
  • Excellent leadership skills and ability to build capacity in teams
  • Proven ability to lead and manage research projects in the alternative energy sector
  • Excellent administrative, planning, and organizational skills
  • Ability to build business relationships based in trust and respect
  • Proven ability to plan strategically, initiate action, and achieve desired outcomes
  • Excellent oral, written, and presentation skills

Preferred Qualification:

  • Ph.D. preferred in a field related to alternative energy systems

Application Details

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