Postdoctoral Research Associate - Extreme Scale HPC Communication Optimization

Date: Mar 24, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11778 


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 Extreme Scale HPC Communication Optimization. The candidate will be able to make research contributions in areas of communication optimization in anisotropic and hierarchical networks. The candidate will also contribute to the creation of high-performance network digital twins. 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 and 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:

  • Analyzing communication hierarchy both intra and internode and developing frameworks of optimizing communication performance for extreme scale applications on machines such as the Frontier supercomputer.
  • Developing digital twins of high-performance supercomputing fabrics using parallel discrete event simulation techniques in conjunction with telemetry from the actual machines to improve models of operation.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Collaborate with internal and external researchers on a wide variety of high-performance networking research and projects.
  • Analyze and identify performance bottlenecks of communication on large-scale HPC systems
  • Integrate and deploy research and algorithms in communication optimization for applications
  • Architect, deploy and performance tune large-scale high-performance networks
  • Collaborate in authoring peer reviewed papers, technical papers, reports.
  • Seek membership 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 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:

  • The ability to work independently and develop and deploy methods at scale
  • Experience in high-performance computing and software development
  • Experience using software simulation tools of system elements
  • The ability to communicate effectively in both verbal and written forms
  • Flexibility in R&D assignments
  • Ability to collaborate with scientists, engineers, and sponsors
  • Interest in mentoring students
  • 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.

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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