Researcher in Earth Science

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Researcher in Earth Science

Date: May 19, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10593 


The Computational Earth Sciences Group (CESG) within the Computational Sciences and Engineering Division, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking a scientist to develop and apply Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) methods to advance Earth System Predictability. The successful candidate will demonstrate strong expertise and skills in computational sciences, data analytics, high-performance computing (HPC), and Earth sciences. ORNL’s CESG conducts world-class research and development in Earth system modeling, large scale data analytics and ML, and model-data integration at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Leadership Class Computing Facilities (LCFs).


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Work with the AI research team to develop ML and data analytics algorithms, including high-dimensional and multi-scale data analysis, time-series prediction, feature extraction, surrogate modeling, uncertainty quantification (UQ), and physics-informed ML.
  • Develop computational scalability and performance of ML algorithms and large-scale Earth system models, including the scaling of algorithms and simulation models and HPC implementations.
  • Collaborate with a diverse team of Earth system and computational scientists, both within the CESG and across DOE Labs and partner universities, to apply AI/ML algorithms and UQ methods aimed at enhancing predictive understanding of the Earth system.
  • Publish research in peer-reviewed journals and present results at national and international conferences.
  • 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:

  • 2 years of post-Ph.D. experience.
  • Ph.D. in discipline relevant to computational Earth sciences.
  • A strong record of publication in high-quality, peer-reviewed, international journals.


Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience in HPC and parallel scientific computing, particularly as applied to AI/ML algorithm and large-scale models.
  • Ability to develop and apply ML methods for surrogate modeling, feature detection, time-series prediction, UQ, and experimental design.
  • Assurance for AI, including uncertainty quantification and explainability of AI/ML systems.
  • Multiscale numerical simulation and ML-physics hybrid modeling of complex geological and Earth systems. 
  • Experience with the Linux operating system, LaTeX, Git, Python, Fortran, C/C++, OpenMP/MPI, and GIS software.
  • Experience in software development, e.g., compute codes on data analysis and AI/ML algorithms.
  • Computational scalability and performance of AI/ML algorithms, e.g., the scaling of algorithms on the HPC systems such as Summit and Frontier at ORNL.
  • Ability to collaborate with scientists, engineers, and students.
  • Experience in multiple Earth science applications of AI/ML.
  • Experience in proposal writing.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills for working within a highly diverse team, strong oral and written communications skills, good organizational skills, and high personal motivation.


Technical Questions:

Please contact Dan Lu, Forrest Hoffman


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: 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.




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.