Senior Machine Learning Scientist - Cyber Identity and Biometrics

Date: Jun 2, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10304 


The Cyber Identity and Biometrics (CIB) group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) conducts research, development, and deployment of human and group recognition technologies to address national security and other worldwide challenges. The senior research staff position affords the unique opportunity to work with a group of talented R&D professionals and establish ORNL as a premier R&D organization by enabling true impact on critical national security missions through a teams-based approach and commitment to excellence. Our core research capabilities are biometrics, computer vision, machine learning, data analytics, computational imaging, image reconstruction, signal and image processing, and electronics. In general, CIB’s activities involve first-class interdisciplinary research with other research groups at ORNL, collaborations with private industry and academic partners across the nation, and mission-specific support for our national security research sponsors. CIB thrives in a culture of respect, diversity, curiosity, and discovery.


Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • As a full-time Senior Research Staff, you will provide research and development leadership to the group that strategically advances science and technology consistent with ORNL’s aspiration to be the world’s premier R&D institution and ORNL’s science culture.
  • The Senior Staff bring together a group of peers with the primary goals of pursuing global scientific leadership in their field, developing a strategy to develop a world class capability, nurturing ORNL’s culture among group members, and continuing to build and scale up individual excellence and impact in R&D.
  • This position reports to laboratory leadership to implement the scientific vision; establishes capabilities that enable programs to excel at the forefront of science and technology; performs R&D to advance the field of knowledge and/or technology in one’s respective specialty; sets, implements, and models standards for the performance of work consistent with Environmental, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality (ESH&Q) requirements and business rules; and ensures a diverse and inclusive work environment where every employee feels safe, heard, and appreciated - a workplace that sets an example for the broader community.


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 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.  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 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.


Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Initiate, lead, and perform independent and impactful R&D on an ongoing basis as evidenced by, for example, innovative S&T delivered to sponsors, successful proposals, S&T presentations, professional community engagement, inventions/patents/copyrights, publications as appropriate, etc.
  • Serve as a subject matter expert contributing to a wide variety of programs supporting DOE and national security needs.
  • Lead program development activities through sponsor engagements, preparation of proposals and white papers, participation in workshops, as well as other program development activities. Develop new research ideas supporting national security programs.
  • Develop a vision and implement a cohesive research strategy to ensure the success of new and ongoing research projects to position the group for future success.
  • Lead by example by exercising scientific integrity and ethical AI principles in proposing, performing, and communicating research. Ensure all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures.
  • Exemplify a commitment to excellence in research, operations, and community engagement, and work cooperatively to leverage scientific capabilities across ORNL.
  • Development and implementation of algorithms and systems for improving recognition of individuals for a variety of biometrics signatures under various operational and environmental conditions.
  • Lead in the invention or improvement of cutting-edge algorithms for object tracking, image segmentation, image and signal enhancement, and classification and regression data-learned models.
  • Help the group envision, design, develop, test, and deploy recognition tools and prototypes.
  • The position requires development of innovative solutions for general identity and biometrics challenges, frequent and consistent review of related literature, and collaboration with other team members for the development of technical demonstrations, proposals, oral presentations, and publications.
  • Advance the reputation of the group and standing of the group as a whole through establishing collaborations, professional society leadership and involvement, and organization of technical events.
  • This position requires a passion for mission-focused National Security challenges.


 Required Qualifications:

  • PhD with 8 years of experience or a Master's degree with 12 years of experience in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mathematics, or a related field.
  • Proven R&D experience in computer vision, supervised, unsupervised machine learning/Artificial Intelligence (ML/AI), and image and signal processing.
  • Demonstrated ability to write winning proposals to government agencies in the area of national security.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully lead national security projects as principal investigator.
  • Demonstrated ability to make significant technical contributions to projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to present scientific results to sponsors and technical communities, as well as professional society conferences and workshops.
  • Hands-on skills and experience developing impactful ML/AI software for heterogeneous, multi-modal data sets.
  • Excellent communication skills for conveying technical material to both scientists and non-scientists in both written and oral presentations.
  • Self-disciplined work ethic and eagerness to tackle challenging research problems.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a demonstrated leadership ability and a strong commitment to a team environment.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated track record in national and/or international engagements that seek to sustain and strengthen the cyber physical systems security community.
  • Experience with commercial and open-source biometrics recognition software and data sets.  Familiarity with common machine learning and computer vision software libraries such as PyTorch, Tensorflow, OpenCV, scikit-learn, and other similar tools.
  • Demonstrated experience with Identity-related research and technologies, such as Identity intelligence, human recognition, and human subject research.
  • Experience working for or collaborating with DOE National Laboratories (or similar R&D organizations).
  • Familiarity with federal funding procedures, regulations, policies and practices.


Special Requirement:

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

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