Job Title: Graduate Research Assistant - Model Integration
PVN ID: RC-2002-003523
Category: Research

Job Description

General Description

Model Integration and Optimization of Food, Energy, Water Nexus Systems Across the Northeastern and Midwestern United States


Graduate student position available


The Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) has an opening for a graduate student to work on an NSF-funded collaborative research project, involving seven research institutes including academia and national laboratories. The goal of this project is to explore contemporary and future challenges to food-energy-water systems (FEWS) of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States, in light of climate change and its extremes. As multiple models should be linked in this project, their harmonization becomes an essential part of the project, especially given the sizable number and range of climate and sectoral scenarios and the large volumes of outputs to be generated.  Alongside with data integration, an optimization scheme should be exercised to maximize positive outcomes, net present value over the planning horizon, while minimizing externalities that could yield improved outcomes across the FEWS domain. The optimization will be formulated as capacity expansion and/or inter-basin resource (water, energy, food) allocation models that seek to maximize net present value over the future planning horizon.


Eligible backgrounds:

Candidates with experience in one or more of the following fields of training are sought:

  • Civil/Environmental Engineering
  • Earth System Science       
  • Energy Systems
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Operational Research


Primary responsibilities:

  • Creating an analysis framework comprising advanced modeling and data integration capable of evaluating the impact of climate trends and extremes on the state and dynamics of natural and engineered infrastructure;
  • Organizing overall data handling and workflows (model execution in space and time, I/O management for forcing data, state variables and diagnostics, final data outputs);
  • Developing optimization algorithms, including electric power production systems and renewable energy;
  • Analyzing capacity expansion for water storage, food or energy production.


Qualifications and skills sought:

  • Understanding data quality, data profiling and extraction, transformation and load (ETL) tools;
  • Prior experience with optimization techniques and algorithms applied to environmental and/or energy systems;
  • Programing experience (MATLAB, Python, R or C++);
  • Good numerical, statistical and uncertainty analysis skills;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrable ability to learn new ideas
  • Presentation skills for internal team meetings and scientific conferences.

Other Duties


Candidate should have completed a bachelor’s degree by the time of appointment in an appropriate field of study, from an accredited institution. Masters and PhD degree candidates are sought.

About the Research Foundation

The Research Foundation of The City University of New York (RFCUNY) was established as a not-for-profit educational corporation chartered by the State of New York in 1963. RFCUNY supports CUNY faculty and staff in identifying and obtaining external support (pre-award) from government and private sponsors and is responsible for the administration of all such funded programs (post-award).

RFCUNY stands between CUNY’s principal investigators (PIs) and the sponsors who support them and strives to fulfill its essential responsibilities to both groups. Working closely with individual PIs and Grants Officers on the campuses, RFCUNY oversees employment, accounting, audit, reporting, purchasing, and special responsibilities that include management of a planned giving program; liaison with governmental agencies and foundations; negotiation of agreements; facility construction and renovation; protection and commercialization of intellectual property; and compliance with applicable standards in research involving human subjects, animal care, environmental and radiological safety, and conflicts of interest.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The Research Foundation of the City University of New York is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Americans with Disabilities Act/E-Verify Employer. It is the policy of the Research Foundation of CUNY to provide equal employment opportunities free of discrimination based on race, color, age, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth, national origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, domestic violence victim status, arrest record, criminal conviction history, or any other protected characteristic under applicable law.

Key Features

Environmental Sciences Initiative
Part Time
Pay Range
Closing Date
Apr 11, 2020 (Or Until Filled)
Bargaining Unit