Group Leader: Geographic Data Science – ORNL

Company Name: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Company Website:
Title: Group Leader: Geographic Data Science
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Description: The function of this position is to provide technical and programmatic leadership for the Geographic Data Science group (GDS) of the National Security Emerging Technologies (NSET) Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The GDS group advances the development and application of algorithms, models, workflows, and analytics that extract knowledge and insight from a diversity of spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal data. This group pursues research and development in applications that include population distribution and dynamics, energy, transportation, critical infrastructure, emergency response, land-use analysis, analysis of global sociocultural, political, and economic patterns as well as many others activities applicable to the national security domain. These activities support the advancement of national security science and improve the nation’s readiness across several sectors including defense, homeland security, emergency response, environment, energy, and infrastructure

Responsibilities: The successful candidate will provide the vision and leadership of an interdisciplinary team of researchers, will define and align its activities with the division’s science agenda, and will intellectually engage in technical challenges encountered in developing new solutions in the national security space. A key function is to establish and conduct research within the field of geographic data science including the development and application of new and existing methods, models, tools, and workflows that consolidate, analyze, and derive insights from a wide range of structured and unstructured data. These data are spatial, temporal, or spatio-temporal in nature, disparate in structure and origin, and range in diversity from social media to remote sensing. They are often “big data” sets that require special strategies in compute and optimization. The group responds by developing and applying capabilities that draw from a wide range of interdisciplinary domains including but not limited to machine learning, uncertainty quantification, data mining, data fusion, data modeling, spatio-temporal analytics, spatial statistics, geostatistics, geocomputation, text analytics, data fusion, ontology, and visualization. Special emphasis is placed on advancing capabilities in global population distribution and dynamics modeling, urban dynamics, transportation, and global trends in energy, education, health, violence, and economics. In most cases, the group designs and develops tools that deploy these capabilities directly to the customer. This requires experience in software architecture, development, and distribution.

The successful candidate will demonstrate strong leadership, understanding, and passion for the challenges and opportunities across and within these lanes. They will coordinate and lead an interdisciplinary team of data scientists working on multiple projects. At the same time, they will substantially contribute to technical solutions in one or more lanes, maintaining a strong science identity of their own. The successful candidate will be responsible for evaluating individual and team performance metrics. Mentoring of staff, interns, and students to promote professional development is expected. They will engage resources within ORNL, the wider national laboratory system, industry, and academia, in pursuit of efficient resources, new recruits, and new partnerships that advance national security science. Frequent interaction with sponsors and willingness to travel is an expected part of the work. They will engage in peer-reviewed publications in professional journals and conferences. Strong interpersonal skills and working effectively as a group member are essential.”

Mimimum Qualifications:

  • PhD in Geography, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, or similar fields with 5+ years of experience.
  • Significant R&D experience within the national security space
  • Significant experience in organizing and leading interdisciplinary teams with a data science R&D mission
  • Comprehensive understanding of the role geographic data science plays in the national security mission.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and experience in one or more fields of machine learning, spatio-temporal analytics, uncertainty quantification, probability modeling, geostatistics, spatial statistics, Bayesian statistics, data mining, geocomputation, text analytics, data fusion, modeling, ontology, GIScience, and visualization.
  • Significant experience in developing and deploying capabilities, 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.

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.

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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.

Application Process: 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.