Software Defined Radio Engineer II

Date: Jun 8, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 13041 


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 Geospatial Science and Human Security Division (GSHSD) is looking for new team members to be a part of our challenging and exciting projects in the area of secure/robust communications research.


One focus of our team is developing solutions that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize communications in complex RF environments in near real time. Our projects involve developing unique protocols, advancing embedded systems technology, software-defined radios, and RF over fiber providing a wide range of research opportunities and reaching a broad array of sponsors.  The Resilient Communications group at ORNL has also recently installed a ground station for space to ground communication development providing an avenue for new and exciting opportunities involving satellite communications.  ORNL is the home to the fastest exascale supercomputer in the world, which allows our group the opportunity to create complex simulations, such as of 5G RF environments, on HPC supercomputers giving us an edge over many other research institutions.


ORNL’s Resilient Communications group is seeking candidates who would like to participate in the wide array of RF projects and opportunities available at the lab. While experience in many of the Preferred Qualifications listed below is ideal, anyone with the drive to be a part of the projects listed above and has some experience in the responsibilities listed below are encouraged to apply. Beyond the technologies our group works on, the lab is full of subject matter experts who are constantly involved in unique and complex problems that we help solve through hardware and software solutions.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Develop PHY layer solutions using ML and AI.
  • Perform modulation/demodulation of RF signals using various antenna and modulations schemes (FSK, PSK, QAM, etc.).
  • Develop and analyze new and existing wireless communication protocols.
  • Provide specific input on software and hardware components of system design, including hardware/software trade-offs, software reuse, use of Commercial Off-the-shelf (COTS) in place of new development, and requirements analysis and synthesis from system level to individual software components.
  • Support real-world test operations and develop bench test procedures
  • Attend and present design reviews in both classified and unclassified settings and on a wide variety of applied areas.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to ethical and professional values and compliance with environmental, safety, health, and quality standards. 
  • 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:

  • MS in computer science or related field and two (2) years of relevant experience. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.
  • Experience with embedded Linux and Python.
  • Git experience, or equivalent source code management.
  • Experience with open-source GNU Radio software and Software Defined Radio systems.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • NVIDIA software experience.
  • Experience with RF scanner/receivers, spectrum analyzers, or network analyzers.
  • Experience with communication protocol development, signal analysis, and machine learning.
  • Digital signal processing.
  • Linux kernel and driver development experience.
  • RF communications systems engineering and/or integration.
  • RF antenna design, analog and digital signal conversion, and Satellite Communications.
  • Experience with waveforms, waveform design, and characteristics.
  • Small satellite systems with an emphasis on downlink communications.
  • Experience with writing proposals and developing technical work plans.
  • Excellent communications skills for visualization and presentation of methodology, results, and demonstrations.
  • Ability to work as part of a team.
  • Some domestic travel may be required.


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.

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