Research and Development Meteorologist

Date: Nov 19, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9963 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security. The Collection Science and Engineering Group (CSE) of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division (NND) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks applicants for a full-time associate staff scientist position that will focus on the development, testing, and deployment of data analysis methods for a variety of national security, proliferation detection, and nuclear forensics applications.  CSE members combine expertise in multiple aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, collector development and deployment, radiation detection, atmospheric transport and dispersion, applied mathematics, and data analytics to provide the research and development (R&D) and associatedtechnical and operational support that enables a conduct of nuclear nonproliferation missions for numerous US Government agencies. The successful applicant will work with these multidisciplinary teams to identify, develop, and implement solutions for national security challenges. In particular, this position will focus on application of data science and advanced modeling to processes and signals of interest to the nonproliferation community. The NND is a division operating within the National Security Sciences Directorate at ORNL. A key mission of the NND is delivery of R&D needed to improve the protection of nuclear materials and fuel cycle technology and prevent the theft, diversion, and illicit use of those materials or technologies, while at the same time allowing for their peaceful use in the global arena. The division is responsible for a range of expertise, facilities, and equipment and applies these combined assets to address R&D and operational challenges related to nonproliferation, safeguards, treaty verification, counterproliferation, and global nuclear security. The division activities also play a vital role in implementation of national policy issues that strive to ensure global nuclear security.


The mission of the Collection Science and Engineering Group is to apply scientific and engineering principles to conceptualize, design, fabricate, deploy, and validate advanced collection systems.   Collection system development will be coupled with high-confidence planning and operational knowledge to enable effective validation and deployment in real-world scenarios.   The group interfaces and collaborates with facility, process, and research staff across ORNL and with elements of the chemistry and materials science missions within NND and across the broader ORNL and DOE community.  The group will collaborate strongly with analytical expertise and experimental capabilities within ORNL to ensure collection planning and execution to maximize the analytical value of the development.


The individual selected for this position will be responsible for interacting with division staff members inside and outside CSE, working on projects in a team environment. The successful candidate is expected to be able to participate in the development of research proposals, and report results of their work in peer-reviewed journal publications, conference papers and technical reports.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

The responsibilities of this position include conceptualizing and performing research on the variables associated with nuclear fuel-cycle processes; the fate, transport, dispersion, collection, and measurement of such variables; and the analysis of these data to more clearly understand the original processes involved.

Familiarity in the following areas are helpful:

  • Transport and dispersion modeling
  • Fate modeling of materials in the atmosphere
  • applied statistics
  • data analytics
  • in-situ collection of meteorological measurements


The focus of this position will be on modeling and simulation of the fate, transport, and dispersion of applications relevant to nuclear nonproliferation. The successful candidate will be expected to

  • develop, test, and maintain codes for these analyses
  • collect, validate, and verify meteorological and other measurement modalities
  • analyze and interpret data collected at DOE testbed facilities
  • The successful candidate will be expected to engage programmatically and technically across the division, directorate, and laboratory to help sustain and grow ORNL impact on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security missions.
  • The candidate is expected to work well both in a team environment and independently and to fully document work performed in technical reports, papers, and presentations. The candidate will be responsible for contributing to and expanding CSE’s capabilities and scientific impact through proposals and other program development.
  • The researcher will support senior staff in the development and execution of projects that provide valued and timely deliverables supporting the National Security Sciences Directorate (NSSD) and nonproliferation customers
  • The successful candidate will maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of the institution values and ethics, and bide by all environmental, safety, health and quality requirements and implement practices per ORNL’s Standards-based Management System (SBMS).


Basic Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Meteorology, Atmospheric Science, or related field
  • Experience with or willingness to learn the use and development of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model
  • Experience with or willingness to learn the HYbrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Transport (HYSPLIT) or the Hazard Prediction and Assessment Capability (HPAC) and Second-order Closure Integrated PUFF (SCIPUFF) models
  • Experience in multivariate statistics and data analytics with an emphasis on multimodal data
  • Uncertainty quantification
  • Command of underlying physical processes, data generation mechanisms, and limitations of standard, existing data analysis methods
  • General approaches to solving the inverse problems, e.g., parameter estimation, optimization, and applied statistics
  • Experience in advanced multivariate techniques
  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills, a willingness to apply those skills to a variety of problems, and the ability to determine and understand the broader context of his or her research.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Proficiency in multiple modern coding languages is preferred; experience using Python, R, and/or OriginLab is highly desirable
  • Excellent verbal, presentation and writing skills are required to enable effective interaction and communication with technical peers, program managers, and sponsors.
  • Ability to understand and adapt to the unique challenges associated with national security problems
  • 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


Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

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Special Requirements

 Q clearance with SCI: This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain an Secret Compartmented Information (SCI) 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.  In addition, due the SCI, you may be also be subject to random polygraph testing.  


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.

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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.

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