Autonomous Systems Embedded Engineer

Date: May 14, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8663 


The National Security Sciences Directorate (NSSD) at Oakridge National Laboratory leads scientific and technological breakthroughs to confront some of the nation’s most difficult security challenges. We develop interdisciplinary applications needed for the security of our nation today and target our vision on how these challenges may manifest themselves in a decade or more. The Autonomous Systems Group, within NSSD, specializes in exploiting the proliferation of low-cost, but very capable, technologies stemming from the growing unmanned systems market. The group performs research and development towards new sensor and communication technologies, edge-computing, including advanced autonomous behaviors and machine perception. The aggregation of ORNL’s expertise in a wide variety of scientific fields, and our close relationships with partners in the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, make the group a unique stakeholder in the unmanned systems mission space. This multi-disciplinary team brings experts in their respective fields together to deploy systems in austere environments to enable world-class scientific experimentation and enhanced national security. The Geospatial Science and Human Security Division (GSHSD) is seeking a qualified applicant for an Autonomous Systems Software Engineer to lead UI/UX designs related to unmanned systems and remote sensing applications.


Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Partnering with subject matter experts to solve complex problems through hardware and software solutions.
  • Work on a variety of engineering assignments, collaborating with scientists and engineers, and will be expected to produce reliable software and contribute to publications and funding proposals as needed.  
  • Programming, testing, documenting, and managing data on new and existing software projects. 
  • Translating and interpreting user requirements into functional software using standardized coding techniques.
  • Engineering design and implementation of software sub-systems and functionality in autopilots for autonomous systems.
  • Creation of new functionality including new flight modes of operation, mode transitions, feedback loops, communication interfaces, protocols and messaging, failsafes, actuator control and optimization in autonomous systems.
  • Attend and present design reviews.
  • Document designs with comments, reports, descriptions, issue tracking and resolution.
  • Develop reusable software and system components and integrate these into existing and new designs.
  • Support real-world test operations and develop bench and other test procedures.
  • Work in both classified and unclassified settings and on a wide variety of applied areas.
  • Write and participate in research proposals to major funding agencies.
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific findings in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Some travel may be required.


Basic Requirements:

  • B.S. or equivalent in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, or closely related discipline with 7 years of experience.
  • Practical experience writing embedded software for an autopilot or similar robotics application.
  • Competent in Python, and C#/C/C++.
  • Practical experience with embedded Linux.
  • Comfortable working as part of a team.
  • Must possess a strong commitment to ethical and professional values as well as maintain a compliance with environmental, safety, health, and quality standards. 


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of object-oriented programming, writing well-formed code following industry standards and the ability to adapt to other diverse code style as needed. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to work effectively, both independently and as a member of an agile development team is expected. 
  • Masters or equivalent in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, or closely related discipline.
  • Strong Linux admin experience.
  • Programming skills in C#, C, C++, and Python.
  • Experience with open-source autopilot hardware and software. Experience modifying open-source autopilot software
  • Experience writing proposals and developing technical work plans
  • Git experience, or equivalent source code management
  • Linux kernel and driver development experience
  • NVIDIA platform experience
  • Wireless data transmission experience
  • Qt development experience, or equivalent
  • Windows, Linux, and mobile OS familiarity
  • Controls theory and application
  • Familiarity with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and robotics
  • Experience with autonomous drones and robots as well as remote-controlled aircraft and ground vehicles.
  • Excellent communications skills for visualization and presentation of methodology, results, and demonstrations.
  • Excellent teamworking ability and the ability to independently identify and solve challenging technical problems.


This position will remain open for a minimum of 30 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.


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