Nonproliferation Data Scientist

Date: May 24, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12909 


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.


The Nonproliferation Engineering Science and Technologies Section within the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division seeks applications for an R&D Staff Member to be a key member of the Data Science and Engineering for Nonproliferation research group. Our group leverages a wide range of fields that include expertise in data science, statistics, nuclear engineering, and scientific computing to deliver high impact nonproliferation research, release relevant open source software, contribute to the broader community through professional organizations, and support sponsor committees and working groups.


Our section sits within the National Security Sciences Directorate (NSSD) at ORNL. NSSD conducts research and development to confront some of the nation’s most difficult security challenges and adversaries. Our directorate houses S&T 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 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.



The Nonproliferation Data Scientist will work with other staff to deliver  R&D products that strategically advance S&T consistent with ORNL’s aspiration to be the world’s premier R&D institution and ORNL’s science culture. The Nonproliferation Data Scientist works within a group of peers with the primary goal of pursuing global scientific leadership in their field, helps cultivate ORNL’s culture among group members with guidance of the group leader, and continues to build and scale up individual excellence and impact in R&D. This position reports to and works closely with the R&D Group Leader to help grow 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: 

  • Collaborate with project managers, subject matter experts, and other researchers (mentors) to develop and apply new data driven approaches for nuclear material detection, nuclear material characterization, and fuel cycle evaluation.
  • Deliver 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.
  • Assist in program development activities through sponsor engagements, preparation of proposals and white papers, participation in workshops, and others.
  • Exercise scientific integrity in proposing, performing, and communicating research.
  • 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 and standing of the group through professional society leadership and involvement, and organization of technical events.
  • Perform work activities in nuclear and/or radiological facilities/environments.
  • Ability to engage in domestic and international travel as required.


All team members deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • PhD in engineering, physics, computer science, or related field. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.
  • Experience contributing to proposals to government agencies.
  • Experience contributing to data science and/or other R&D projects.
  • Experience presenting scientific results to sponsors and/or technical communities, as well as at professional society conferences and workshops.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, the ability to work independently, outstanding written and oral communication skills, and good organizational skills.
  • Knowledge of practices and technologies associated with one or more nuclear nonproliferation mission areas to include facility monitoring, international safeguards, arms control, or similar.
  • Knowledge of nuclear nonproliferation, counterproliferation, or intelligence as it pertains to nuclear fuel cycle.
  • Demonstrated experience in Python, MATLAB, R, or similar.
  • Demonstrated experience with the latest data-driven approaches to include statistical approaches for scientific data analysis and/or the latest machine learning approaches, including deep learning models.
  • Experience working with DOE National Laboratories (or similar R&D organizations).


Special Requirements:

Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


Q clearance with SCI: 

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a Secret Compartmented Information (SCI) clearance from the Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.  In addition, due the SCI, you may also be subject to random polygraph testing.  


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain dedicated 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