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R&D Scientist

Date: Sep 21, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 7624 


The Geospatial Science and Human Security Division (GSHSD) is seeking an R&D Scientist within the Location Intelligence group. This position is within the Division’s Human Dynamics section and part of the National Security Science Directorate. The Location Intelligence Group performs ground-breaking research into place-based knowledge extraction, narrative analysis, and geosocial data discovery. Leveraging primarily “non-traditional” geospatial data sources such as volunteered geographic information (VGI), internet of things (IoT) data, and telemetered sensor sources, and harmonizing with commercial and open data sources, the Location Intelligence group delivers novel approaches and technologies for describing places, points of interest, events, activities, land use, populations, as well as the patterns of interaction among the three. The group’s dynamic content portfolio addresses the timely need to broaden research in network spatialization, narrative analysis, transformation, human mobility modeling, semantic web ontology, temporal dynamics to describe the landscape and patterns of activity within it, using novel and non-traditional data theoretical techniques.


With the evolution of multi-modal location data sources that capture the snapshot of our planet round the clock - there has been an unprecedented demand for the design and development of research methodologies and scientific capabilities that will explore-exploit such data sources towards developing next-generation location intelligence-driven geospatial applications and platforms.  ORNL is seeking early career researchers to drive the innovation and transformative impact in the science of location intelligence. The R&D work will address mapping and geospatial data to achieve new solutions related to national security, natural and human-made disaster, critical infrastructure, routing, material logistics, energy, and network optimization. The researchers are expected to innovate and invent new scientific methodologies for location intelligence in these areas and beyond through research in spatial knowledge graphs, multi-scale land-use modeling, temporal dynamics of places, spatial ontology networks, spatially explicit and geography-cognizant artificial intelligence, routing, conflating social-physical spaces, geographic information retrieval, semantic web, among others.


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 highly values a diverse workforce.  We recognize that breadth of perspectives, insights, and experiences is necessary to drive innovation and discovery 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.


Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop novel capabilities and competencies in location intelligence research and development.
  • Develop approaches to design and scale spatial knowledge graphs, networks, representation learning, spatial ontologies.
  • Develop and prototype location intelligence platforms for accelerated assessment and situational awareness
  • Develop research methodologies in point-of-interest data, temporal dynamics of places, and ground-level photos and imagery.
  • Develop novel methods for data conflation, dynamic change detection, automatic attribution, artificial intelligence-driven location research, and development.  
  • Detection and analysis of fake geospatial data and anomaly detection.
  • Develop location-aware application and knowledge of various location encoding/decoding methods, dynamic geo-gridding, and temporal networks.
  • Support development of platforms for spatialization, visualization, and analysis using location information
  • Lead and support publications of scientific artifacts (publications, patents, invention disclosure, software tools, and packages) to share innovative research with the community.
  • Regularly organize and attend conferences, participate in panels, broaden industry and academic engagements.
  • Development of approaches pertinent to geosocial sensing and urban dynamics application.


Basic Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in computer science, engineering, GIScience, geography, social sciences, linguistics, or related fields.
  • Experience performing research in relevant fields such as network science, spatial data mining, geosocial analytics, spatial knowledge graphs, computational social science, geography, or related fields.
  • Proficiency in national language processing, text processing, machine learning, data visualization, and data analysis, including working with open-source or commercial geospatial tools such as ArcGIS, QGIS, and PostGIS.
  • Experience with Python, R, and other similar languages for data manipulation, exploration, graph analysis, and statistical analysis.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and demonstrated ability to work in interdisciplinary teams.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience developing and delivering end-to-end ML/NLP/DL solutions that provide value to the sponsored R&D.
  • Experience developing computational and machine learning methods to exploit large unstructured and structured open-source datasets.
  • Experience with digital trace data in exploring and developing intent-driven machine learning models based on online-social communication.
  • Experience working with version control systems such as Git.
  • Experience with database technologies such as MySQL and ElasticSearch to store, analyze, and manipulate data.
  • Experience in statistics, socioeconomics, computational social sciences, activity and event data, and working with social media data.


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