Postdoctoral Research Associate in Data Science for Advanced Manufacturing

Date: Jul 7, 2024

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12691 


The Manufacturing Systems Analytics (MSA) group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) conducts applied machine learning and decision science research and development for energy applications, with a focus on advanced manufacturing technologies. The MSA group consists of staff members with backgrounds in electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, and optical engineering, and frequently collaborates with partners in industry, academia, and other government organizations. To support ORNL strategic R&D activities at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF -, we are accepting applications for multiple Postdoctoral Research Associate positions. The selected candidates will conduct their research in the broad field of data science to develop new data driven methodologies to assess and to improve the quality of components fabricated using Additive Manufacturing and Carbon Fiber Manufacturing processes.



You will be working at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF - to advance manufacturing technologies and to facilitate and accelerate their deployment to industry.  The MDF is home to a cohort of 3D printing, machining, and hybrid manufacturing systems producing complex components with a wide range of materials and sizes. The systems are instrumented and connected to a digital environment to produce and collect digital twins of components fabricated in the facility. Additionally, information is collected at every step of the manufacturing process to create terabyte-sized, multi-modal, spatiotemporal datasets that capture how each component was manufactured.


In this digital environment, you will use these data to gain a greater understanding of our systems and develop the data analytics algorithms or artificial intelligence techniques to process these data. You will be actively engaged in the research and development of software and hardware techniques to explore three areas of interest: (1) real time quality control of manufacturing processes; (2) understanding correlations between manufacturing intent, machine behavior, and part quality; and (3) optimization of manufacturing processes targeting higher throughput and part quality. You will have access to ample resources to be successful in this position, and therefore you are expected to publish new research in professional journals and to present your results to the scientific community at various conferences. With over 100 systems at the MDF, you will have the possibility to work on very different projects and multiple opportunities to explore multiple facets of data science, and to grow your skillsets and career while having a measurable impact in the success of the MDF.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Development of detection and measurement solutions for manufacturing systems
  • Development of software and algorithms to collect, visualize, and analyze data
  • Development of imaging and sensing systems for data collection
  • Support the implementation of various algorithms for computation at the edge
  • Design experiments for parameter space exploration
  • Publish research in peer reviewed journals and conferences
  • Mentor students
  • Support R&D staff members on their projects
  • General support of research and development needs within the MDF


Basic Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, or closely related field
  • Experience in designing and building algorithms for 2D and 3D image understanding
  • Demonstrated experience conceiving and executing research and development projects
  • Substantial programming skills using modern C/C++ or Python
  • Experience with machine learning and deep learning libraries
  • Experience building AI models in platforms such as TensorFlow, Keras, or PyTorch
  • The ability to work in a very dynamic team environment is required
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory.
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs.


Special Requirements:

Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding.


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You may upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


This is a temporary assignment of 24 months with potential for extension.


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.


Other benefits include the following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.


If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email: or call 1.866.963.9545.




This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville