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R&D Software Engineer

Date: Jul 29, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 7849 

Position Overview:


We are currently seeking world-class research and development professionals for the National Security Sciences Directorate within Oak Ridge National Lab.  The software engineer will develop the next-generation technologies that will support and deploy operational situational awareness products for sponsors such as DOD and DOE. We're looking for staff who bring fresh ideas from areas including information retrieval, distributed computing, large-scale system design, networking and data storage, artificial intelligence and UI design.  We need our staff to be flexible and be enthusiastic to take on new problems across the full-stack as we continue to solve complex national scale security problems in the areas of spatial computing.



The R&D geospatial software engineer will focus on the implementation of geospatial systems and data solutions for high-volume and high-velocity data applications. The proposed solutions will include high performance computing that can be applicable for a number of geospatially focused research and development projects in the domains of energy, transportation, and other cross-disciplinary human dynamics applications. The R&D geospatial software engineer works with research scientists across the lab with the primary goal of researching and developing cutting edge software solutions to complex problems posed by sponsors including DoD and DOE leveraging lab’s world class resources.


The Geospatial Science and Human Security Division (GSHSD) is seeking an R&D software engineer within the Geoinformatics group. This position is within the Division’s Human Dynamics section and a part of the National Security Science Directorate. The Human Dynamics section develops data, models, and computational approaches that utilize observation and measurement digital traces to provide insights into human activities and interactions with the environment from local to planetary scales. The Geoinformatics Engineering Group, within the Human Dynamics Section of the  Geospatial Science and Human Security Division (GSHSD) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), specializes in research and development of science and technology to address challenges with large-scale distributed geospatial information, including its collection and storage, real-time and high-performance processing, visualization, dissemination, and the infrastructure necessary for optimal use across multiple network domains. We leverage a lot of state of the art technologies such as open-source big data frameworks (Spark, Hadoop, Scala etc.), relational databases and ETL techniques,  Java, and Airflow applicable in the areas of IoT, GIS and Healthcare.


The National Security Sciences Directorate 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.


Major Duties and Responsibilities:

The right person for this challenge will have previous experience in design, development, and management of spatial data platforms, programming scalable services, and front and back end development and integration, and similar areas. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Conducting development to support project-specific applications of spatial computing, real-time data platforms, and machine intelligence systems.  
  • Application and Data Development working with researchers to develop geospatial software and digital map layers as services. 
  • Requirements Decomposition: working with researchers and project sponsors to capture, understand, integrate, and implement project requirements in developed services and software.  
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration: collaborating with a highly diverse and multidisciplinary team – from photogrammetrists, geographers, mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists, and engineers – in research, development, integration, testing, and deployment.  
  • Publication and Sharing: Support R&D staff in disseminating results in peer reviewed journals, technical reports, relevant conferences, and open-source software project repos.  


Required Qualifications:

  • A MS in engineering, computer science, physics, mathematics, natural sciences or related discipline with 2 - 5 years of experience beyond graduate work.  
  • Comfortable working as part of a team. 
  • At least 2 years of experience developing software related to a field involving geospatial computing, big data architectures.  
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to a scientific audience.  
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative and frequently interacting teams of researchers. 
  • Experience with software development best practices including, but not limited to: Agile development; version control using Git/GitFflow or similar system; and project management via systems like JIRA, Asana, etc.  
  • Experience with Geospatial Data Software (ex. ArcGIS, QGIS, GDAL) 
  • Experience with the one of the following languages: Python, Java, SQL.  
  • Experience with spatial enabled database (Postgresql with PostGIS) and executing spatial data queries. 
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Security Clearance. This position is a Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) testing designated position, which requires passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program in which employees are subject to being randomly selected for testing. The occupant of this position will also be subject to an ongoing requirement to report to ORNL any drug-related arrest or conviction or receipt of a positive drug test result. 


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to changing needs.  
  • Past hands-on involvement in software systems, data systems, analytics, computer driven distributed data processing, geomatics, image analysis, remote sensing, or geospatial research projects.  
  • Exposure to No SQL Database such as MongoDB or ElasticSearch 
  • Experience with real-time architectures and other map services software libraries. 
  • Exposure to microservices concepts and understanding of container environments including Docker, Docker-Compose, and Kubernetes. 
  • Experience with Linux and Windows operating systems is preferred, experience with OS X is desired. The ability to work from the command line is preferred.  
  • Experience with JavaScript/TypeScript (ex. Angular/ReactJS, Leaflet, OpenLayers), open-source tools and system, OGC web services, and web development frameworks. 


Our Commitment to Diversity:

As we strive to become the world’s premier research institution in the sciences and technologies that underpin critical national security missions, we are committed to creating an inclusive environment that values a diverse workforce. We recognize that a breadth of perspectives, insights, and experiences are necessary to drive the level of innovation and discovery that is mission critical to national security sciences. Our commitment extends beyond our workforce to the next generation of researchers with STEM education outreach that seeks to engage a diverse range of students.




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