Physics-informed Machine Learning Scientist for Autonomous Self-driving Laboratories - R&D Staff

Date: Feb 7, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12475 



As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science 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 Machine Learning Scientist who will focus on research and development of new physics-informed machine learning algorithms, as well as writing and developing research proposals, and working with staff, visiting scientists, and facility users.  This position resides in the Data NanoAnalytics (DNA) group in the Theory and Computation section, Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS), Physical Sciences Directorate, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


As part of our team, you will be responsible for the development and implementation of physics-informed machine learning algorithms, primarily for deployment in service of self-driving laboratories, involving simulations, synthesis, and/or characterization.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Lead the development of physics-informed machine learning algorithms for self-driving laboratories.

  • Support integration efforts at the CNMS enabling autonomous experimental workflows.

  • Develop and apply data analysis and machine learning workflows for CNMS users.

  • Lead proposals related to machine learning for scientific applications at the CNMS.

  • Help deliver on 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:

  • A PhD degree in Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, or a related discipline

  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in machine learning algorithm development in physical sciences (such as physics, chemistry, materials science, biology, etc)

  • Experience with Python programming


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A record of Python programming contributions verifiable on an online code repository

  • Three years of experience with machine learning

  • 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


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: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Pet 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.


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