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Group Lead, Location Intelligence

Date: Jan 23, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 6878 

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.




We are seeking applicants for the role of Group Lead in our Location Intelligence research and development (R&D) group. Group Leads are both science and people leaders at ORNL. They are responsible for setting a vision and developing a strategy for their research groups, managing and growing researchers and their outputs, and building a diverse and well-rounded team to deliver highly unique capabilities to sponsors.


The Location Intelligence Group is a newly established group within the Human Dynamics Section and Geospatial Science and Human Security Division. The Location Intelligence Group performs ground-breaking research into place-based knowledge extraction and management. Leveraging primarily “non-traditional” geospatial data sources such as volunteered geographic information (VGI), internet of things (IoT) data, telemetered sensor sources, and harmonizing with commercial and open data sources, the Location Intelligence group delivers novel approaches and technologies for describing places, points of interest, and populations, as well as the patterns of interaction among the three.


The Human Dynamics Section develops data, models, and computational approaches utilizing Earth observation, measurement, statistics, and digital traces to provide insights into populations and their settlements, activities, and interactions with the environment, from local to global scales. The Geospatial Science and Human Security Division leads spatiotemporal R&D at ORNL, with teams of experts ranging from GeoAI to Geoinformatics.




Overall responsibility: provide R&D leadership within the Location Intelligence Group, that strategically advances science and technology, builds upon ORNL’s science culture, and enables our aspiration to be the world’s premier R&D institution.


The R&D Group Leader unites a group of peers with the primary goals of pursuing global scientific leadership in their field, developing a strategy to develop world-class capabilities, nurturing ORNL’s culture among group members, and continuing to build individual excellence and impact in R&D. The R&D Group Leader reports to and works closely with the R&D Section Head to implement the group’s scientific vision; develops group members to enable their career advancement; establishes 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.


The Location Intelligence Group resides within the National Security Sciences Directorate, responsible for conducting R&D to confront some of the nation’s most difficult security challenges–from natural disasters to adversarial threats.  Our directorate houses S&T leadership in geospatial science and technology, data analytics, high-performance computing for national security, secure and resilient communications, cybersecurity and cyber-physical resiliency, and nuclear nonproliferation. 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 multi-disciplinary 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.


Major Duties and Responsibilities


  • Initiate, lead, and perform independent and impactful R&D on an ongoing basis as evidenced by innovative S&T delivered to sponsors, successful proposals, S&T presentations, professional community engagement, inventions/patents/copyrights, publications as appropriate, etc.
  • Provide S&T leadership and supervision for Location Intelligence Group staff members.
  • Ensure ORNL scientists and engineers continue to be recognized leaders in their areas of expertise.
  • Implement a cohesive group research strategy to build and grow research projects and expertise, to continually position the group for future success in the field of geospatial science.
  • Set staff performance goals consistent with the group’s strategy and members’ long-term career goals and provide staff feedback on performance.
  • Provide relevant input to assist the R&D Section Head with staff development while providing direct and impactful guidance to staff on regular basis.
  • Assist division leadership to identify and seize opportunities for new research programs and adapt existing research programs to new sponsor needs.
  • Empower and inspire research staff to think big, take appropriate risks in their work, and develop new skills to support continued growth for both the individual and the group.
  • Continually recruit a high-quality and diverse pool of candidates and hire staff members who are committed to world-class R&D and aspire to be the best in their field.
  • Lead by example by exercising scientific integrity in proposing, performing, and communicating research.
  • Lead by example to ensure 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 through establishing collaborations, professional society leadership and involvement, and organization of technical events.


Required Qualifications


  • Ph.D. with a minimum of 6 years relevant experience, a M.S. with a minimum of 12 years experience, or a B.S. with 15 years of experience and a focus on geospatial science, computer science, electrical engineering, or a related discipline.
  • A proven track record of scholarship (e.g., publications, patents, copyrights, etc.).
  • At least 5 years of experience leading systems engineering and geographically diverse spatiotemporal analysis projects.
  • Experience addressing qualitative and quantitative geospatial research problems through scalable, data-driven, and novel methodologies.
  • Experience leading diverse teams of researchers to achieve a common goal.


Preferred Qualifications


  • Experience developing and maintaining scalable hybrid (cloud and on-prem) computing environments to support the full data lifecycle.
  • Experience designing, developing and leveraging APIs and service-oriented architectures, including OGC and other geospatial web services.
  • Familiarity and comfort with both SQL, NOSQL, and graph databases.
  • Familiarity and comfort with one or more programming languages, such as Python, C++, R, Scala, or Java.
  • Ability to implement machine learning architectures to solve a diversity of research problems, to include algorithm selection, implementation, training data generation, and refinement.
  • Direct experience with software development best practices including, but not limited to: Agile development; version control using Git or similar system; and project management via systems like Jira, Asana, etc.
  • Familiarity with Federal agency funded research programs and experience identifying, developing, establishing, and growing funded research projects/programs.
  • Experience working for or collaborating with DOE National Laboratories, academic institutions, other research organizations, and the private sector.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a demonstrated leadership ability and a strong commitment to a teaming environment. 
  • Strong written and oral communication skills. 



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