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Senior R&D Staff for Location Science, Optimization, and Urban Modeling and Simulation

Date: Jan 8, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4721 


Position Overview: 

The Geospatial Science and Human Security Division is seeking a Senior Scientist for Location Science, Optimization, and Urban Modeling and Simulation. The selected candidate will have strong skills in applied research and development with an understanding of the application of those domains to real world problems. The candidate will work with a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from social, environmental, mathematical, and engineering science domains to build and support a research portfolio around describing the built environment. The candidate will explore research into resilient infrastructures, human-environment interactions, urban growth, and network flows to support sponsor needs. The candidate will lead and perform independent and team-based research; contribute to research proposals and projects as a technical expert and task lead; publish in high-quality journals; and present their work to sponsors and stakeholders. The candidate will also mentor junior and early career staff and students. 


This position is within the Division’s Human Dynamics section and Built Environment Characterization group, and part of the National Security Science Directorate. The Human Dynamics section develops data, models, and computational approaches utilizing Earth observation, measurement, statistics, and digital traces to provide insights into human activities and interactions with the environment, from local to global scales. Within the Built Environment Characterization group, you will support research into novel methods for mapping and characterizing critical infrastructure and the physical environment; risk and resilience modeling and analysis; developing approaches for optimization and prediction for mobility, siting, and urban growth; and discovering interactions between natural systems, social systems, and the built environment. 


The National Security Sciences Directorate leads scientific and technological breakthroughs to confront some of the nation’s most difficult security challenges and adversaries. We conduct applied interdisciplinary research to keep our nation at the forefront of science, develop one-of-a-kind applications and datasets needed for the security of our nation today, and innovate on global-scale hard problems to ensure a prosperous and safe tomorrow. Our directorate houses S&T leadership in geospatial science and technology, cybersecurity and cyber-physical resiliency, data analytics, 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. 



Major Duties and Responsibilities: 

Senior Scientists/R&D Staff at ORNL bring together a group of peers with the primary goal of pursuing global scientific leadership in their field and developing strategies to build a world class research capability. These position’s report to a Group Leader and work closely with R&D Section Heads to implement the group’s scientific vision; establish capabilities that enable programs to excel at the forefront of science and technology; perform R&D to advance the field of knowledge and/or technology in one’s respective specialty; develop group members to enable their career advancement; 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. 



This position will specifically will: 

  • Work in a highly collaborative environment with data scientists, machine learning scientists, remote sensing scientists, computer scientists, engineers, physicists, and geographers to deliver tools, methods, and solutions from prototyping to production level. 

  • Establish and grow a research portfolio around modeling and simulation of the built environment. 

  • Initiate, lead, and perform independent and team-based innovative R&D that delivers impactful S&T artifacts for sponsors, including but not limited to proposals, technical presentations and technology demonstrations, and inventions/patents/copyrights, etc. 

  • Advance the reputation of the Group, Section, Division, and Lab through engaging and collaborating in the research community and serving as a leader in your domain as a representative of ORNL. 

  • Publish in top tier conferences and journals. 

  • Identify opportunities to expand existing and grow new research areas with sponsor organizations. 

  • Assist the R&D Group Lead and Section Head with staff development and mentoring, while providing direct and impactful guidance to staff on regular basis. 

  • Lead by example through exercising scientific integrity in proposing, performing, and communicating research. 

  • Lead by example to 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. 



Basic Requirements: 

  • Ph.D. with a minimum of 8 years' relevant experience or M.S. with a minimum of 12 years’ relevant experience. 

  • Degrees in relevant fields, such as operations research, engineering sciences, computer science, or GIScience. 

  • Demonstrated track record of research and science leadership. 

  • Background in building and implementing models and tools that describe and predict interactions in the physical world. 

  • Ability to build modeling and simulation approaches to assess infrastructure and supply chain resilience. 

  • Familiarity with approaches and tools for uncertainty quantification. 

  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a demonstrated leadership ability and a strong commitment to a teaming environment. 

  • Strong written and oral communication skills. 

  • Demonstrated project management experience. 



Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Expertise in writing scientific tools using R, Octave, and MATLAB. 

  • Familiarity with modern software languages like Python and C/C++. 

  • Experience with common approaches to optimization, including linear, non-linear, and stochastic programming. 

  • Experience with complex systems simulation. 

  • Experience in designing and implementing optimization models for discrete and combinatorially complex problems (e.g., routing, facility location, supply chain modeling). 

  • Experience with agent-based and physics-based modeling techniques and software. 

  • Experience working with large-scale static and dynamic network-based datasets. 

  • Familiarity with data science and machine learning techniques. 

  • Experience in collaborating with DOE National Laboratories, academic institutions, other research organizations, and the private sector. 

  • Familiarity with research and development programs and priorities of Federal agencies. 



Commitment to diversity: As a research institution in science 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. 


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