PNT Research Engineer

Date: Feb 12, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12497 


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.

We are seeking a PNT Research Engineer who will support positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) research projects at ORNL. This position resides in the Geomatics Group in the Geographic Data Science Section, Geospatial Science and Human Security Division, National Security Sciences Directorate, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


As part of our team, you will support and lead research tasks related to improving the resilience of national PNT solutions. Our sponsors, the Federal government, leverage GPS and GNSS for a variety of use cases, from wide-area synchronization of devices on the grid to navigation of autonomous systems. This role supports a range of projects performing GPS/GNSS data processing, collection and analysis of clock data, developing novel approaches to signal processing and anomaly detection, development and evaluation of PNT precision metrics, alterative PNT solution engineering, and more. This role will also support ORNL’s Center for Alternative Synchronization and Timing (CAST), which is a DOE Office of Electricity program to test and evaluate novel alternative timing architectures and synchronization solutions for power sector applications. CAST has a timing lab with multiple atomic clocks, a testbed that extend across a number of ORNL and off-site infrastructures, and a persistent connection with NIST-Boulder’s authoritative US civilian UTC time service.


The Geomatics group at ORNL performs photogrammetry, geodesy, PNT, and 3D computer vision research initiatives, with emphasis on satellite geopositioning and terrain extraction. Under the guidance of senior research staff, selected candidates will take roles on multidisciplinary teams supporting ground-breaking research and engineering with large-scale distributed geospatial and PNT workflows, leveraging GPU-based high-performance computing (HPC) across multiple network domains.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Develop and implement test plans to assess PNT system performance.
  • Collect, process, and analyze time-series and location-based data from GPS, distributed clocks, and sensors to characterize performance, accuracy, precision, robustness, and resilience.
  • Support the design and implementation of alternative PNT systems and solutions.
  • Visualize and communicate analysis results via web-based dashboards, reports, and peer-reviewed publications.
  • Collaborate with other research and technical professionals on system design, configuration, and maintenance to support project objectives.
  • Deliver strong science and engineering artifacts demonstrating research innovation for our sponsors.

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:

  • An MS degree in electrical engineering, physics, geophysics, geomatics, geoinformation science, or a related field. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.
  • A minimum of 1 year of applied experience (professional or academic lab setting).
  • Experience using Python or other programming languages to develop and automate time-series data analytics.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of PNT fundamental principles.
  • Familiarity with GPS/GNSS signal processing.
  • Familiarity with time-series data analysis principles
  • Experience conducting applied research, with demonstrated examples of research outputs and artifacts.
  • Knowledge of the research lifecycle, and experience running a research project from start to finish.
  • Knowledge and experience with power grid applications for timing and synchronization.
  • Experience working with atomic clocks, precision time protocol (PTP), and time distribution.
  • Experience working with GPS/GNSS signals for timing, precise positioning, and error/uncertainty assessments.
  • Experience with frequency, phase, and error measurements in signals and/or timing data.
  • Advanced knowledge of large-scale time-series databases, and using Python or other programming languages to automate analytics on these data.
  • 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.


Special Requirements:


Visa Sponsorship:

Visa sponsorship is available for this position.


HSPD-12 PIV badge: This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain an HSPD-12 PIV badge.


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented 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.


For Hybrid eligible positions:

In addition, we offer a flexible work environment that supports both the organization and the employee. A hybrid/onsite working arrangement may be available with this position.






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