Autonomous Systems Researcher - Postdoctoral Appointee

Sandia National Laboratories

Albuquerque, NM

ID: 7074678 (Ref.No. 674929)
Posted: February 1, 2021

Job Description

This posting will be open for application submissions for a minimum of seven (7) calendar days, including the ‘posting date’. Sandia reserves the right to extend the posting date at any time. : The rapid growth and proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) technology provides exciting and impactful opportunities for utilizing these tools to solve national security problems. This department is applying AI to several components of the national defense domain for hypersonic and missile defense flight systems. Organization 05449, Autonomy for Hypersonics, is actively seeking an Autonomous Systems Postdoctoral Researcher in conducting cutting edge R&D in artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) technologies for hypersonic and other advanced flight systems. The envisioned work will enable advanced flight systems with outstanding flexibility and responsiveness to dynamic flight conditions, difficult and adversarial operating environments, and evolving mission objects. If you are passionate about developing and leading research projects for a high-impact program, we urge you to apply! In this role, the selected applicant will be leading, as Principal Investigator, projects in the Autonomy for Hypersonics (A4H) Mission Campaign research portfolio. These projects are applying state-of-the-art AI/ML to sensing, mission planning, multi-agent teaming, engagement analysis, and high-level decisioning hypersonic vehicle missions. They will also be working on highly collaborative teams of researchers, engineers and technologists to develop new autonomous flight system technologies and to mature them from concept to simulation to flight. Research and Development for this position will include algorithm development, simulation, laboratory, and field-testing operations. Programmatic responsibilities include proposal writing, business development, technology roadmap maturation, university collaboration, and knowledge dissemination through papers/reports and presentations. The selected candidate will work at Sandia's laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, including a newly constructed indoor Robotarium for prototyping autonomous system hardware, algorithms, and communications. The nearly 4000 sq. feet of high bay space is instrumented with a motion capture system and is co-located with an assembly lab and collaborative office space. Components of your work may be classified and will consequently require a security clearance.

+ A Ph.D. in Computer Science, Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or a related field; conferred within the past five years + Significant coursework and/or experience with modern Artificial Intelligence concepts; examples include, but are not limited to, state-of-the-art neural network architectures, reinforcement learning, deep learning, human-machine teaming, and explainability + Coursework and experience programming in tools/languages such as Python, C/C++, Matlab, CUDA, etc. + Demonstrated skills with the use and application of common computer operating systems + The ability to acquire and maintain a DOE Q security clearance

Ideally, your background would also include one or more of the following: + A demonstrated ability to conduct and lead research and development in a mostly self-directed manner + Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills as well as technical content presentation skills + Willingness to work collaboratively as a member of a multi-disciplinary team in a cooperative and productive fashion + Coursework and/or application experience with:
- Aerospace flight system modeling and simulation
- Statistics and/or data science
- Modern optimization methods/tools
- Autonomous system path planning, localization, guidance, and/or control, especially for flight systems + Experience using modern computational methods and platforms, including high-performance computing clusters, Graphical Processing Units (GPUs), and/or neuromorphic computers + Experience with the use and application of an object-oriented programming principles + Experience with applying real-time software on embedded processors involving aerospace flight vehicle applications + An ability and willingness to travel for business and research purposes

Department Description:

Department 5449, Autonomy for Hypersonics, manages the Autonomy for Hypersonics Mission Campaign (A4H), a $35M/6.5year program responsible for an innovative research portfolio in autonomous systems development and flight demonstrations of technology advancements. The department supports the research and development of software, autonomy algorithms, prototype hardware, target recognition, and navigation/guidance/control. We actively partner with subject matter specialists both at the Labs and throughout the nation to execute high-impact research to meet national defense needs. A4H is pursuing research and development in autonomous systems to enhance the capabilities of the nation’s hypersonic vehicles as well as other high-consequence systems. A4H enables increasingly agile hypersonic weapons that adapt to unexpected scenarios, empowering the U.S. to respond to threats anywhere in the world without putting our warfighters at unnecessary risk. The challenging flight environment and limited available flight data make hypersonics one of the most complex applications for autonomy. Sandia and its partners are developing algorithms, sensors, and compact computing hardware that compress complex data processing and analysis methods into real-time decisioning tools.

About Sandia:

Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs: + Challenging work withamazingimpact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide + Extraordinary co-workers + Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world + Career advancement and enrichment opportunities + Flexible schedules, generous vacations,strongmedical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance* _World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers._ Learn more about Sandia at: *These benefits vary by job classification.

Security Clearance:

Sandia is required by DOE to conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Applicants for employment need to be able to obtain and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance, which requires U.S. citizenship. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted. Applicants offered employment with Sandia are subject to a federal background investigation to meet the requirements for access to classified information or matter if the duties of the position require a DOE security clearance. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause a clearance to be denied or terminated by DOE, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.

EEO Statement:

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law. : This postdoctoral position is a temporary position for up to one year, which may be renewed at Sandia's discretion up to five additional years. The PhD must have been conferred within five years prior to employment. Individuals in postdoctoral positions may bid on regular Sandia positions as internal candidates, and in some cases may be converted to regular career positions during their term if warranted by ongoing operational needs, continuing availability of funds, and satisfactory job performance. : Employees must remain in their current position for one year before applying for a new position, with the exception of student interns. Application of this requirement will not supersede the Laboratories’ collective bargaining agreements. See collective bargaining labor agreements for represented bidder eligibility requirements for represented employees.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status.


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