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Senior R&D Staff, Mobility and Energy Transitions Analysis

Date: Mar 13, 2023

Location: Knoxville, TN, US, 37932

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9579 



We are seeking a senior researcher for the Mobility and Energy Transitions Analysis Group (META). The META team does research on how new technologies related to transportation affect the broader social, economic, infrastructure, and technological systems.  A theme that sets this group apart from others is an attention to the question, “How do we get there from here?”  where there and here can include changes in transportation systems and related energy systems.  This concept is best captured in the word TRANSITIONS emphasizing long term (multi-decade) changes and a wide look at the systems involved and the people making choices.  The group addresses questions such as:

  • How will electric vehicles be introduced in passenger and heavy-duty operations over time under different scenarios?
  • How does alternative fuel adoption affect the infrastructure and demand on the grid?
  • How do social and urban factors affect the adoption of autonomy and connectivity?  
  • How do adoption rates affect energy, congestion, and mobility for different populations?


Group members have backgrounds in economics, consumer choice, integrated assessment, transportation systems engineering, machine learning, computer science, simulation, and optimization.  The META group collaborates with multi-disciplinary scientists across ORNL and other research institutions.  


This position is within the Buildings and Transportation Science Division (BTSD), which houses National Transportation Research Center and Building Technology Research and Integration Center.



The Senior R&D Staff brings together a group of peers with the primary goal of pursuing global scientific leadership in their field, nurtures ORNL’s culture among group members, and continues to build and scale up individual excellence and impact in R&D. The Senior R&D Staff reports to and works closely with the Group Leader to contribute to group’s scientific vision; mentors group members to enable their career advancement; establishes new capabilities that enable programs to excel at the forefront of science and technology; performs R&D to advance the field of knowledge and/or technology in one’s respective specialty; sets, implements, and models standards for performance of work consistent with Environment, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality (ESH&Q) requirements and business rules; and ensures a diverse and inclusive work environment where every employee feels safe, heard, and appreciated—a workplace that sets an example for the broader community.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:


  • Scientists/engineers/analysts are recognized leaders in their area of technical expertise. 
  • Initiate, lead and perform independent and impactful R&D on an ongoing basis as evidenced by, for example, innovative S&T delivered to sponsors, successful proposals, S&T presentations, professional community engagement, inventions/patents/copyrights, publications as appropriate, etc.



  • Develop and implement plans to exploit new opportunities and/or expand existing efforts.
  • Work with the Group Leader and the Section Head to attract a quality, diverse pool of top candidates who are committed to world-class R&D and aspire to be the best in their field.
  • Lead by example by exercising the principles in ORNL’s “Research Code of Conduct” as a guide for proposing, performing, and communicating research.
  • Coach and mentor staff regarding Battelle’s “Safe Conduct of Research” principles
  • Lead ESH&Q by example and ensure all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures.
  • Exemplify a commitment to “One ORNL” by modeling lab expectations for excellence in research, operations, and community engagement, and by working cooperatively to leverage capabilities across the lab.



  • Encourage staff to “think and dream big,” take appropriate risks in their work, and develop skills that will enable them to pursue new ideas, scientific passions, and research programs.
  • Advance the reputation of the group members through establishing collaborations, Professional Society leadership and involvement, and organization of technical events.
  • Ensure ORNL Scientists/engineers continue to be recognized leaders in their area of technical expertise. 
  • Connect other staff to your scientific network and professional societies.
  • Assume front-line responsibility for safety in the group’s laboratory.
  • Effectively communicate the importance of protecting proprietary or sensitive information and complying with ORNL cybersecurity policies and guidelines.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Requires a Ph.D. with a minimum of 6 years relevant experience, a M.S. with a minimum of 12 years relevant experience or a B.S. with 15 years relevant experience.  The highest degree should be in an engineering, scientific or related technical discipline.


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.


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