Postdoctoral Research Associate - Application-driven Composable Distributed Storage

Date: Feb 24, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11779 


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.

The National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking a postdoctoral research associate in the area of Application-driven Composable Distributed Storage.  The candidate will be able to make research contributions in understanding and efficient use of distributed data storage and I/O subsystems for High-Performance Computing (HPC) and scientific edge computing. We are a leader in computational and computer science, with signature strengths in high-performance computing and data analytics with applications in a large variety of science domains. NCCS is home to some of the fastest supercomputers and storage systems in the world. This position is in the Technology Integration group within NCCS.


Specific areas of research interest include:

  • Flexible, composable storage service architectures that expose useful data container abstractions and interfaces for applications to convey their requirements for I/O performance and data atomicity, consistency, durability, and retention
  • Intelligent and automated selection and composition of data and storage service capabilities and interconnection topologies that simplify the use of diverse distributed storage resources through advanced methods for distributed data placement, layout, tiering, and movement


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Collaborate with internal and external researchers on a variety of data and storage related research projects for use cases in HPC, AI, and scientific edge computing
  • I/O and storage performance characterization of HPC and AI applications or libraries on multi-tier HPC storage systems
  • Design and evaluation of approaches for time-sensitive or data-intensive processing of data originating at scientific edge systems using HPC computational and storage systems
  • Design and evaluation of ephemeral, user-configurable, and composable data and storage systems
  • Evaluation of cloud data storage and analysis solutions (e.g., key-value stores, object or document storage, graph analytics systems) deployed on HPC computational and storage systems
  • Co-authorship of peer-reviewed publications, technical reports, and presentations
  • Seek membership and service opportunities in professional, academic, and research organizations
  • 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:

  • A PhD in computer science/engineering with an education and a research track record in HPC research, or a related field completed within the last 5 years


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ability to work independently to design and deploy methods at scale
  • Experience in HPC and associated software development for applications, middleware, and/or system software
  • Flexibility to adapt to diverse R&D projects and tasks
  • Ability to collaborate with scientists, engineers, and sponsors
  • Interest in mentoring student internships
  • 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


Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


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, Life Insurance, Pet Insurance, 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:



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