What We Do:

At the SEI AI Division, we conduct research in applied artificial intelligence and the engineering questions related to the practical design and implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies and systems. We currently lead a community-wide movement to mature the discipline of AI Engineering for Defense and National Security.

As our government customers adopt AI technologies to provide leap-ahead mission capabilities, we :
  • build real-world, mission-scale AI capabilities through solving practical engineering problems

  • discover and define the processes, practices, and tools to support operationalizing AI for robust, secure, scalable, and human-centered mission capabilities

  • prepare our customers to be ready for the unique challenges of adopting, deploying, using, and maintaining AI capabilities

  • identify and investigate emerging AI and AI-adjacent technologies that are rapidly transforming the technology landscape

Are you creative, curious, energetic, collaborative, technology-focused, and hard-working?

Are you interested in making a difference by bringing innovation to government organizations and beyond?

Apply to join our team.

Position Summary:

As an AI Autonomy Engineer you will identify, shape, apply, conduct, and lead engineering research that matches critical U.S. government needs.

  • BS in Computer Science or related discipline with eight (8) years of experience; OR MS in the same fields with five (5) years of experience; OR PhD with three (3) years of experience.

  • Flexible to travel to other SEI offices in Pittsburgh and Washington, DC, sponsor sites, conferences, and offsite meetings on occasion. Moderate (25%) travel outside of your home location.

  • You will be subject to a background investigation and must be eligible to obtain and maintain a Department of Defense security clearance.

  • Applicants for this position must be currently legally authorized to work for CMU in the United States. CMU will not sponsor or take over sponsorship of an employment visa for this opportunity.

  • Solution D evelopment: You’ll work with and lead interdisciplinary teams to turn research results into prototype operational capabilities for government customers and stakeholders.

  • Hands-on P rototyping:  You’ll conduct and lead novel prototyping in applied artificial intelligence with a focus on a utonomy and u ncrewed systems (multi-domain)

  • Strategy : You’ll work with AI Division leaders and colleagues to plan, develop, and carry out an overall research strategy, and to influence the national research agenda regarding future technology.

  • Collaboration : You'll actively participate on teams of AI/ML engineers, researchers, designers, and technical leads. You'll build relationships and collaborate with external thought leaders, government customers, and other stakeholders to understand challenges, needs, possible solutions, and research and engineering directions.

  • Mentoring: You'll contribute to improving the overall technical capabilities of the team by mentoring and teaching others, participating in technical design and planning sessions, and sharing insights and wisdom across the SEI AI Division.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • Deep T echnical K nowledge:  You have performed extensive research or engineering activities in applied AI/ML . You have demonstrated applying system s engineering principles and collaborated across multi- disciplinary project teams. You have supported multiple phases of the engineering lifecycle and understand the r equirements for successful deployment and operation of complex systems.

  • Robotics & Autonomy: You have a strong understanding of robotics principles and design techniques for air, sea, or land - based vehicles. You have experien ce applying A I technology within th ese domain s and understand the related implications and challenges. Your experience includes areas such as sensor fusion, navigation, collision avoidance, object search/tracking, multi-agent collaboration, and human-machine teaming .

  • Reinforcement Learning : You have p rofound understanding of re inforcement l earning principles and have a s trong grasp of multi-agent reinforcement learning techniques, including decentralized and centralized training approaches . You have experience in applying reinforcement learning techniques to real-world problems, showcasing a track record of successful implementations. You have design ed and implement ed complex reinforcement learning reward functions and architectures tailored to specific autonomous systems. You are familiar with simulation environments and their role in training and testing reinforcement learning models .

  • Test & Evaluation: You have designed and conducted test and evaluation activities for AI/ML components to assess operational fit and readiness. You have experience working with model experimentation software, such as MLFlow or Weights & Biases for rigorous model development and selection.

  • Applied Full-Stack Implementation : You have strong development experience and can design and implement software and systems resources for packaging and managing requirements for AI/ML prototypes. You frequently use tools like Docker to manage software resources and pipeline orchestration. You may have experience building applications in c loud platforms (Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform) .

  • Communication and Collaboration:  You have strong written and verbal communication skills and can interact collaboratively and diplomatically with customers and colleagues. You grasp the big picture, direction, and goals of an effort while focusing great attention to detail. You can present complex ideas to diverse audiences, from subject matter experts to high-level strategic decision makers .

  • Creativity and Innovation:  You are creative and curious, and you are inspired by the prospect of collaborating with premier members of the technical staff and other visionaries at Carnegie Mellon and other universities and organizations. You quickly learn new procedures, techniques, and approaches. You are forward-looking and can connect research and engineering with practical, mission applications .

  • Knowledge and Learning:  You possess broad technical interests along with a deep knowledge of a particular field such as autonomy and adaptive systems, electronic warfare, predictive maintenance, or natural language generation .

Other Requirements :
  • Thought Leadership and P ublications : You have a track record of synthesizing lessons learned from research or engineering activities for publication . You have a reputation for the highest level of research and engineering integrity. You have demonstrated contributions and have published research, code (e.g., models, data, software applications), or technical (thought leadership) perspectives.

  • Familiarity with E merging T rends and O pportunities : You are familiar with technical challenges and emerging trends in computing and information science, and you are aware of opportunities in industry and government.

  • Technical L eadership : You have led technical projects and have experience collaborating across teams and mentoring other researchers or engineers .

  • Proposals : You have formulated and delivered successful research proposals to funding agencies and led the resulting projects.

  • Government projects : You have worked or are familiar with Navy, Marines, Air Force, Army, Space Force, DARPA, IARPA, Service Labs, or other government research sponsors


Arlington, VA, Pittsburgh, PA

Job Function

Software/Applications Development/Engineering

Position Type

Staff – Regular

Full time/Part time

Full time

Pay Basis

Salary More Information:
  • Please visit Why Carnegie Mellon to learn more about becoming part of an institution inspiring innovations that change the world.

  • Click here to view a listing of employee benefits

  • Carnegie Mellon University is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran .

  • Statement of Assurance

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