Group Leader: Human Dynamics – ORNL

Company Name: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Company Website:
Title: Group Leader: Human Dynamics
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Description: The function of this position is to provide technical and programmatic leadership for the Human Dynamics (HD) Group in the National Security Emerging Technologies (NSET) Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The HD Group advances research and development to understand, anticipate, characterize, measure, and map global human population distribution and dynamics, as well as associated infrastructure assets. The HD Group initiates and engages in cross-cutting multidisciplinary investigations that rely on innovative approaches to capture and curate spatiotemporal and sociocultural elements of human activities on earth. This work supports the US Federal Government and mission partners, regional and local government agencies, humanitarian organizations, and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Responsibilities: The successful candidate will provide strategic vision and leadership in the execution of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) research programs and act to advance the science mission of the NSET Division and ORNL. The Group Leader will provide technical contributions and leadership to support DOE and National Security Science Programs and represent the capabilities of ORNL to a diverse set of partners including government decision-makers, industry executives, academic leaders, and DOE and other agency sponsors. The Group Leader should be able to balance personal research and project management, administrative functions, business development, and mentoring and career development activities for group staff members. A key function is to establish and conduct research within the field of population science as it pertains to current national security, health, transportation, environment, and other research areas, with emphasis on interdisciplinary collaborations. The Group Leader will engage in research, development, and refinement of algorithms regarding population estimation, sociocultural characterization of human activities, big data exploitation and fusion, and demographic modeling to solve problems in domains such as human health and security, emergency preparedness and response, mobility, and environmental impacts.

The HD Group Leader will be responsible for the successful research, development, and deployment of human dynamics models and data. They will also provide coordination, communication, and expertise to develop program plans, research plans, technology roadmaps, and responses to funding opportunities. Publications and presentation of research in professional journals and presented to the scientific community are expected. Enthusiasm for coordinating and guiding a diverse group of scientists and developers working on projects across multiple focus areas including population modeling, transportation routing, land use/land cover assessments, and data and algorithm development is necessary. The HD Group has a longstanding history of conceiving, developing, and delivering population, land use, and critical infrastructure datasets to support the missions of the US Federal Government, for use by the academic research community, and through technology transfer to the commercial sector. The successful candidate therefore must be an evangelist for these ongoing efforts.

The successful candidate will be responsible for evaluating individual and team performance metrics. Mentoring of staff, student research associates, and interns to promote professional development is expected. Further, candidates should have an interest in mentoring functional managers and program managers to maintain a strong research portfolio. The Group Leader will engage resources within ORNL, the wider national laboratory system, industry, and academia, in pursuit of efficient resources, new recruitment opportunities, and new partnerships that advance national security science. Frequent interaction with sponsors and willingness to travel is an expected part of the work. Strong interpersonal skills and working effectively as a group member are essential.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • PhD in Geography, Demography, Geospatial Sciences, Urban Science, or related area and 5+ years of experience.
  • Significant R&D experience within the national security space.
  • Significant experience organizing and leading interdisciplinary teams with a population science R&D mission.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and experience in one or more fields of population modeling, spatial demography, transportation systems modeling, critical infrastructure analysis, spatiotemporal analytics, GIScience, complex systems, geostatistics, spatial statistics, geocomputation, and data fusion.
  • Significant experience in developing and deploying capabilities, data, tools, and data models to end users.
  • Excellent communication (spoken and written), strategic planning, organization, and decision-making skills.
  • Demonstrated record of scholarship including publications.

Desired Majors: Geography

Salary & Benefits: UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options. Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, coffee stands, and fitness facilities.
Addition Information: This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a clearance from the Department of Energy, which requires US Citizenship. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse program (WSAP) testing designed position which requires passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program in which employees are subject to being randomly selected for testing. The occupant of this position will also be subject to an ongoing requirement to report to ORNL any drug-related arrest or conviction or receipt of a positive drug test result.

Additional Information: 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.

Application Process: 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.

To apply, go to

Application Deadline: 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.