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Geospatial Data Scientist

Date: Dec 26, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 6887 

Solving Big Problems


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) delivers scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs to solve challenges in energy and national security and provide economic benefit to the nation. Our wide range of partnerships with other U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories and programs, universities, and industry allows us to pair our strengths with others for outstanding contributions to science.


Sharing a Legacy of Impact

ORNL researchers apply unique facilities, sophisticated tools, and signature strengths in neutron science, high-performance computing, advanced materials, biology and environmental science, nuclear science and engineering, isotopes, and national security research to benefit science and society, making it possible for us to:

  • Advance understanding, design, and use of new materials and chemical processes
  • Reveal unmatched insights through computing and data
  • Ensure safe, clean nuclear power and secure nuclear materials
  • Produce rare isotopes for medicine, industry, security, research, and space exploration
  • Increase and exploit understanding of biological and environmental systems, from genes to ecosystems


Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project, ORNL continually and successfully pursues discovery and innovation to make a lasting impact on the world.


National Security Science


ORNL’s National Security Sciences Directorate (NSSD) delivers science and technology leadership in cybersecurity and cyber-physical resiliency, data analytics, geospatial science and technology, nuclear nonproliferation, and high-performance computing for sensitive national security missions. We draw on the Laboratory’s exceptional facilities and work closely with leading researchers in other areas at the lab such as nuclear and chemical sciences and engineering, applied materials, advanced manufacturing, biosecurity, transportation, and computing. Our research teams are passionate about discovery and innovation as we create science-based solutions to complex security threats that put public safety, national defense, energy infrastructure, and the economy at risk.


NSSD’s Geospatial Science and Human Security Division is transforming how we observe, analyze, and visualize landscape and human dynamics around the world. Through the pioneering integration of human dynamics, remote sensing, geoinformatics, and data sciences with autonomous systems and resilient communications, our interdisciplinary research teams provide decision-makers with timely information on critical situations arising from geopolitical instabilities, natural disasters, resource scarcities, and health crises.


ORNL has been a pioneer in the development, implementation, and application of systems, science, and technology for geographic information since 1969—well before the advent of commercial GIS. We are unique in the DOE national laboratory system, as the only research division focused on advancing the theory and applications of geospatial science and technology. Join our rich legacy as we build an exciting future of new geospatial capabilities for critical mission applications in energy, environment, and national security.


Position Overview

The National Security Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge 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. Our research and development focus on cybersecurity and cyber physical resiliency, data analytics, geospatial science and technology, nuclear nonproliferation, and high-performance computing for sensitive national security missions. We also enhance ORNL contributions to national security challenges by working closely with leading researchers at the lab in areas such as nuclear and chemical sciences and engineering, applied materials, advanced manufacturing, biosecurity, transportation, and computing.


The GeoAI group is currently seeking qualified applicants for an exciting new R&D Data Scientist position. As a GeoAI data scientist, you will have the opportunity to develop novel methods for machine learning and advanced analytics applications in large scale space-time analytics and multi-modal data fusion, take advantage of the world’s most robust high-performance computing platforms, and aim for big geospatial science opportunities that support critical national security missions.


The GeoAI group offers a unique opportunity to work with a talented interdisciplinary team of R&D professionals, advancing GeoAI systems for computing on multi-platforms, edge, cloud and high performance computing environments. The GeoAI group is located within the Geographic Data Science Section where a wide range of geospatial research is pursued from new sensor technologies to analytical workflows that collect, integrate, analyze and derive value from spatio-temporal data.


Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work closely with senior R&D professionals, providing impactful machine learning engineering and advanced analytical contributions to the conceptualization and design of new approaches that solve pressing national security challenges.
  • Development of innovative S&T artifacts delivered to sponsors, platform development, technical presentations and technology demonstrations, professional community engagement, inventions/patents/copyrights, etc.
  • Provide coding support to implement new algorithms as proof of concept or prototype to test effectiveness and scalability of the proposed solution.
  • Advance career visibility by contributing to team publications in leading journals, and conferences.
  • Lead by example through exercising scientific integrity in proposing, performing, and communicating research, ensuring all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures.
  • Exemplify a commitment to excellence in research, operations, and community engagement, and work cooperatively to leverage scientific capabilities across ORNL.
  • Advance the reputation of the group members and standing of the group as a whole through establishing collaborations, professional society leadership and involvement, and organization of technical events at major conferences.
  • Work in a highly collaborative environment with data scientists, machine learning scientists, remote sensing scientists, engineers, physicists and geographers to deliver systems from prototyping to production level. .


Basic Requirements:

  • M.S. or higher in applied mathematics, statistics, data science, computer science or equivalent field with 2-3 years of experience.
  • Programming experience in R, Python, C, Java, or similar.
  • For Ph.D. candidates, a proven track record of scholarship (e.g. publications, patents, copyrights, etc.)


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in AI tools such as Tensorflow, Pytorch, etc.
  • Experience with data management in relational databases like PostgreSQL, SQL, knowledge of geospatial extensions to relational databases like PostGIS
  • Experience with algorithm optimization and algorithm benchmarking
  • Working experience with software engineering tools and practices such as git, code reviews, integration testing, etc.
  • Familiarity with United States intelligence community mission space and national security objectives


Special Requirement:

The ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Security Clearance. This position is a Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) testing designated position, which requires passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program in which employees are subject to being randomly selected for testing. The occupant of this position will also be subject to an ongoing requirement to report to ORNL any drug-related arrest or conviction or receipt of a positive drug test result.


Our commitment to diversity:  As we strive to become the world’s premier research institution in the sciences and technologies that underpin critical national security missions, we are committed to creating an inclusive environment that highly values a diverse workforce.  We recognize that a breadth of perspectives, insights, and experiences are necessary to drive the level of innovation and discovery that is mission-critical to national security sciences.  Our commitment extends beyond our workforce to the next generation of researchers with STEM education outreach that seeks to engage a diverse range of students.


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