Research Scientist

Lacuna Technologies

Palo Alto, CA, US
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Function: Research Sci/Assoc/Mgr
  • Post Date: 01/16/2021
  • Website:
  • Company Address: 380 Portage Avenue, Palo Alto, CA, 94306

About Lacuna Technologies

Lacuna makes open source transportation software adoption easy for cities. Founded in 2018, Lacuna Technologies is a services provider that helps transportation agencies better manage the public right-of-way. We operate open source systems in the service of cities and support transportation and public works agencies around the world in their goals to deliver mobility options that meet the varied needs of your residents while remaining technology neutral and avoiding vendor lock-in. We also support and actively participate in an open source software community focused on enabling modern urban mobility.

Job Description

Our Vision

For over one hundred years, cities have managed their streets with concrete, paint, signage, and signals. The last ten years have seen a dramatic degradation of cities' ability to manage the movement of vehicles in the public realm. The tools currently available to them to fight back are not comprehensive enough, largely proprietary and have done a poor job of solving for the real issues.

Lacuna works with cities and agencies to establish a new, digital environment that will allow them to effectively manage the public right-of-way for the next 100 years. This will result in a digital infrastructure that will fully support 21st century mobility – for everything from scooters to autonomous vehicles to drones and flying taxis. We aspire to be uniquely city and public friendly -- we are building this future on a foundation of open source and open standards, with privacy- and society-first principles from the start.

We are housed at Playground Global, an incubator with fantastic facilities, near the Cal Ave train station in Palo Alto, CA.

We have openings across the country for this position.

How you'll have impact

We are looking for a research scientist with experience in the transportation domain to join our growing research team. You will play a crucial role in helping cities manage the evolution of their transportation systems in a rapidly changing environment. You will work on creating the mathematical models and optimization algorithms underpinning Lacuna’s core services. The set of problems you will tackle is incredibly diverse, and will include offline and online applications such as system-level planning and design of urban and aerial transportation systems, large-scale stochastic optimization for traffic management, and real-time externality pricing. By working in close collaboration with colleagues that can build production-grade software systems implementing your methods and tools, your work will have an almost immediate impact.

What you’ll need

  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, Transportation Engineering, Operations Research, Mathematics, Statistics, or a related technical field (alternatively, M.S. in the above disciplines with 3+ years research experience)
  • Advanced knowledge of optimization and statistical methods, with a focus on transportation applications
  • Knowledge of ML libraries like Tensorflow, PyTorch, and Keras
  • Proven ability to effectively turn research papers into efficient code
  • Proficiency with Python
  • Strong communication and technical writing skills

Gold stars for experience with

  • Transportation simulators (e.g., MATSim, SimMobility, PTV products, etc.)
  • Experience working with geospatial data 
  • Software engineering background

Lacuna is an equal opportunity employer. In building a product to solve real world problems for our cities, we strive to build a company representative of those cities. We encourage diversity in thought, experience, background and perspective. We are committed to creating such an environment for all employees.

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This company does NOT accept candidates from outside recruiting firms. Agency contacts are not welcome.