Open position: Chief Scientist in Information Theory

Title: Chief Scientist, Information Theory

Location: Richland, Washington                                              Job ID: 301246

Job Description

Information theory provides a unique framework for representing and analyzing analytic processes and algorithms from a wide range of scientific disciplines.  In particular, the importance of information theoretic approaches has been demonstrated in the development and detection of signatures of phenomena of interest in complex data environments, as well as in the representation and transmission of data in communications and other activities.  Innovations in information theory and closely related technical areas such as statistical pattern recognition, time-series analysis, machine learning, information fusion, uncertainty quantification, knowledge discovery in databases, and model-based validation and verification of signatures in hybrid data environments is critical to a broad range of basic and applied research activities and is directly aligned key activities in building data analytic and signature science capabilities at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

This position entails developing and directing major cross-disciplinary research and development programs in information theory as applied to signature science, to include a combination of signature construction and detection; image, text, and video analysis, development of new imaging algorithms, as well as many other possible research activities.  A successful candidate will be able to interact within an interdisciplinary portfolio of scientific efforts to bring the latest mathematical, computational, and experimental methods in data analysis and integration techniques to bear on a range of analytical problems in hybrid data sets spanning different types and sizes. These R&D programs will support a broad range of PNNL application domains such as homeland security, cyber security, intelligence, energy, environment, and biological sciences.

The Chief Scientist will work with management and senior leaders in generating future research directions and developing strategies for information theory research related to all domains pursued by PNNL. The position is responsible for developing and leading new high impact research to create next generation technologies, and lead the transition of these concepts to be deployed within the national/international community. The incumbent will lead research and generate proposals, develop new technologies and capabilities, author publications and presentations, interact with funding sponsors, and provide mentorship and career growth opportunities for staff.

The incumbent will direct research portfolios that include multiple projects and involve 2-3 dozen staff members across interdisciplinary teams.

Responsibilities and Accountabilities

·            Develop, extend and lead research initiatives to strengthen PNNL's technical capabilities in information theory.

·            Provide leadership to the Laboratory in executing internal investments in signature discovery ( ), along with scientific leadership in the conception and execution of innovative research programs.

·            Lead and support efforts to grow externally funded research programs in information theory. This includes establishing and growing relationships with key sponsors and leading development of research proposals.

·            Build strong multidisciplinary R&D teams able to impact the scientific and technological challenges in this area.

·            Mentor other Laboratory scientists and engineers and attract new talent to PNNL.

·            Contribute to organizational goals, including contributing to PNNL strategic planning and prioritizing research objectives.

·            Raise PNNL's visibility in this area of science and technology.


 ·             A demonstrated track record of generating future research directions, directing innovative research and development, establishing strong relationships with funding sponsors, leading interdisciplinary teams, and attracting R&D funding.

·             A strong orientation toward advancing the state of the science, demonstrated ability to work across domains in achieving scientific advances, and a strong publication record in relevant technical areas.

·             Strong leadership skills to develop vision and strategy, effectively execute program development, and attract, mentor and develop talented staff.

·             Strong oral and written communications are required to convey a vision and strategy to research teams, peers, and others who influence initiative and program decision-making.

Required Technical Expertis

·             Nationally recognized authority with scientific and technical credentials in an area related to information science (as evidenced by workshops, papers, presentations, patents, etc.).

·             A track record of innovation that advances state of the art technologies and concepts.

·             A strong record of presenting key technical results at relevant national and international conferences or working group meetings.

·             Must have demonstrated ability to lead complex and interdisciplinary research projects across multiple organizations with Laboratory-level impact. Ability to fund self, projects, initiatives and other senior staff is required. Evidence of a significant amount of mentoring and career development of others is required.


Minimum Education/Experience Requirement

An advanced degree in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or a technical discipline directly related to the focus of information science is required. A PhD is preferred. Minimum qualifications include:

·             Master’s degree and 15+ years relevant experience, or PhD and 10+ years relevant experience



Clearance Level and/or U.S. Citizenship Required

·             Position requires the ability to obtain a DOE Security Clearance, which generally requires US Citizenship.

About Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a Department of Energy laboratory, reporting to the Office of Science. PNNL advances the fundamental understand­ing of complex chemical, physical and biological systems and provides science-based solutions to some of the nation’s most pressing challenges in national security, energy and the environment. We accomplish this mission through the outstanding research and development activities of our staff, excellence in opera­tions and high-value partnerships.  PNNL has approximately 4,600 researchers and staff located at the main campus in Richland, Wash. Battelle, a global science and technology enterprise headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, manages the laboratory for DOE.


For additional information, please contact:


is required



Jill Schroeder

National Security Directorate

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory


Desk: 509-375-6563 or Cell: 503.888.3021

[email protected]