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R&D Staff Research Scientist in Remote Sensing

Date: Feb 14, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4146 


The Remote Sensing Group in the Geospatial Science and Human Security Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks to hire a research scientist to advance pioneering algorithm research and development.  This scientist will utilize geospatial data as well as data collected by both active and passive sensors on spaceborne, airborne, and terrestrial systems. 


As a part of our team in ORNL’s National Security Sciences Directorate, you will advance your expertise and skills at the largest science and energy lab of the US Department of Energy while collaborating on research and development that supports national security projects.  You will work on challenging, multi-disciplinary projects by engaging in research, development, and refinement of remote sensing algorithms.  Your research will span a wide range of topics regarding large earth observation imagery and video streams, spectral and spatial exploitation, sensor characterization and modeling, together with developing innovative feature extraction and classification approaches of passive and active remote sensing data.   You will employ your skills in real-world, at-scale computing environments to solve problems that involve national security concerns, natural resource utilization, emergency management, and object detection in support of human dynamics.  You will apply your innovative experience toward geospatial applications, contributing to activities that span from research to deployed solutions in an agile processing framework.  Your efforts will provide insight into shaping the direction of our fast-paced, rewarding program.


You will thrive in the research, development, and deployment of imagery solutions, technical leadership for remote sensing supporting various projects, design and integration of complex decision-making architectures involving remotely sensed data, and algorithmic development and implementation.  Publications of research in professional journals and presentations to the scientific community will be one of many tangible results of your innovative research and teamwork.  You will be comfortable working as part of a tightly integrated team in support of multiple projects simultaneously.



 Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Creatively research solutions to remote sensing, image and spectral science, and photogrammetric problems.
  • Participate as a key research scientist in remote sensing, providing comprehensive understanding of remote sensing and algorithms for atmospheric compensation, large spectral content problems, multimodal investigations from visible, short-wave, mid-wave, and thermal regions, and detection and classification of earth observations.
  • Contribute to efforts related to atmospheric science, sensor modeling, data preprocessing, feature extraction, image classification, and other characterization of passive and active remote sensing data via supervised and unsupervised machine learning techniques.
  • Promote your own scientific growth and collaborate with other researchers, resulting in contributions to journals, technical reports, software releases, and conferences.



Basic Requirements:

  • Master’s degree in remote sensing, or in a relevant scientific field such as Geography, Geology, or Physics, together with relevant experience.
  • Four or more years of professional experience remote sensing or in a field relevant to remote sensing.
  • Experience working with remote sensing imagery and geographic metadata.
  • Experience solving remote sensing and GIS problems in languages such as Julia, Python, R, C++, IDL, or MATLAB.
  • Familiarity with geospatial, image processing, and data science software and libraries such as QGIS, GDAL, NumPy/SciPy, and Pandas.
  • Excellent communication skills (spoken and written).



Preferred Qualifications:

  • PhD degree in remote sensing or a related scientific field, or a Master’s degree with a proven publication track record.
  • Familiarity with Linux, git, and GIS databases.
  • Multi-sensor and multimodal data fusion experience including large spectral content imagery.
  • Experience with machine learning and high-performance computing relating to remote sensing research.
  • Experience with both passive and active remote sensing.
  • Experience with implementing HPC workflows for large scale remote sensing applications.
  • Experience in atmospheric science and applications.
  • A strong desire to expand on your existing programming experience, and to scale remote sensing research to very large data sets.



Special Requirement:

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a clearance from the Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.


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