Senior Nonproliferation Data Scientist

Date: Mar 25, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12745 


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.


The Nonproliferation Engineering Science and Technologies Section within the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division seeks applications for a Senior R&D Staff Member to be a key member of the Data Science and Engineering for Nonproliferation research group. Our group leverages a wide range of fields that include expertise in data science, statistics, nuclear engineering, and scientific computing to deliver high impact nonproliferation research, release relevant open source software, contribute to the broader community through professional organizations, and support sponsor committees and working groups. Our section sits within the National Security Sciences Directorate (NSSD) at ORNL. NSSD 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.



The Senior Nonproliferation Data Scientist will provide Research and Development (R&D) guidance and experience 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 Nonproliferation Data Scientist works within a group of peers with the primary goal of pursuing global scientific leadership in their field, nurtures ORNL’s culture among group members, and continues to build and scale up individual excellence and impact in R&D. The Senior Nonproliferation Data Scientist reports to and works closely with the R&D Group Leader to implement the group’s scientific vision; helps develop group members to enable their career advancement; establishes capabilities that enable programs to excel at the forefront of science and technology; manages a team of 5-7 data analysts to provide regular data analysis reports; performs R&D to advance the field of knowledge and/or technology in one’s respective specialty; sets, implements, and models standards for performance of work consistent with Environment, 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.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Manage a team of 5-7 data analysts to provide regular, periodic reports on the performance of fielded radiation detectors.
  • Serve as the point of contact between federal managers and the analysts to resolve questions, promote the benefits of data analysis, and improve the quality of reports.
  • Assist in the development of automated algorithms to detect and predict conditions in the data streams.
  • In coordination with other Functional Area Managers, develop annual budgets each fiscal year based on anticipated activities.
  • Improve the quality of data generated by the program and ensure that a data management plan is in place that is consistent with laboratory and sponsor requirements.
  • 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.
  • Assist in program development activities through sponsor engagements, preparation of proposals and white papers, participation in workshops, as well as other program development activities.
  • Develop and implement plans to exploit new opportunities and/or expand existing efforts.
  • Exercise scientific integrity 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.
  • Advance the reputation of the group and standing of the group through establishing collaborations, professional society leadership and involvement, and organization of technical events.
  • Performance of work activities in nuclear and/or radiological facilities/environments.
  • Ability to engage in domestic and international travel as required.


All team members deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in engineering, physics, computer science, or related field and 6 years’ relevant experience. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.
  • Experience writing winning proposals to government agencies.
  • Experience leading and contributing data science and/or other R&D projects.
  • Experience presenting scientific results to sponsors and technical communities, as well as at professional society conferences and workshops.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, the ability to work independently, outstanding written and oral communication skills, and good organizational skills.
  • Extensive knowledge of practices and technologies associated with gamma spectroscopy, neutron detection, and/or signal analysis.
  • Experience in the fields of nuclear nonproliferation, counterproliferation, or intelligence as it pertains to nuclear fuel cycle.
  • Demonstrated experience in Python, MATLAB, R, or similar.
  • Experience working for or collaborating with DOE National Laboratories (or similar R&D organizations).


Special Requirements:

Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


Q clearance: 

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.


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.Other benefits include the following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.

If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email: or call 1.866.963.9545.







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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville