Los Alamos National Laboratory Energetic-Material Initiation Mechanisms Postdoc in Los Alamos, New Mexico

What You Will Do

Come join the best and brightest minds in the world at one of the most innovative and creative multidisciplinary research institutions engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. The work we do at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) matters to our country and the world.

As a member of the Q-6 Detonator Technology group, you will be performing basic research aimed at developing a physics-based understanding of energetic-material initiation mechanisms.

To include one, or a combination, of the following:

  • Study porous bed compaction processes utilizing exploding bridgewires (EBWs) and exploding foil initiators (EFIs) to expand the foundational underpinnings of deflagration-to-detonation and shock-to-detonation transitions (DDT/SDT)

  • Expand existing and develop novel optical-based diagnostics to acquire multidimensional measurements of material Hugoniot properties

  • Research and lay the groundwork for understanding chip slapper flyer formation and its flight dynamics at speeds exceeding Mach 11

  • Conduct advanced initiation experiments at synchrotron light sources utilizing phase contrast imaging

  • Design and execute high-profile experiments to guide hydrocode model development and its verification and validation

  • Prepare presentations and report results/findings to peers/management that influence high-impact solutions to existing group challenges

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements(skills necessary to do the job)


  • Ability to perform multidisciplinary independent research to advance the present-state understanding of energetic material initiation mechanisms

  • Demonstrated ability to publish in peer-reviewed journals and record of presenting at nationally recognized conferences

Desired Skills:

  • Knowledge/background in either shock/detonation physics, energetic materials, and/or optics

  • Experience in ultra-high-speed data collection and/or laser/optics-based diagnostics

  • Proficient in performing data reduction routines and applying statistical analyses to results

  • Ability to obtain a Q clearance; *Eligibility requirements: To obtain a clearance, an individual must be at least 18 years of age; U.S. citizenship is required except in very limited circumstances. See DOE Order 472.2 for additional information.

Education: Ph.D. in Engineering, Physics or Chemistry; a PhD in Mechanical, Electrical or Chemical Engineering is strongly preferred. PhD must be completed within the past five years or soon to be completed. PhD must be completed prior to hiring.

Notes to Applicants (If needed): Scientific and technical questions relating to this position can be addressed to Nathaniel Sanchez, nsanchez@lanl.gov or Matthew Biss, mbiss@lanl.gov

Additional Details:

New-Employment Drug Test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a new-employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing.

Candidates may be considered for a Director's Fellowship and outstanding candidates may be considered for the prestigious Marie Curie, Richard P. Feynman, J. Robert Oppenheimer, or Frederick Reines Fellowships.

For general information go to Postdoc Program.

Equal Opportunity:

Los Alamos National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. All employment practices are based on qualification and merit, without regards to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or preference, marital status or spousal affiliation, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, pregnancy, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or citizenship within the limits imposed by federal laws and regulations. The Laboratory is also committed to making our workplace accessible to individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, for individuals to participate in the application and hiring process. To request such an accommodation, please send an email to applyhelp@lanl.gov or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.

Where You Will Work_

Located in the beautiful mountains of northern New Mexico near historic Santa Fe, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. LANL enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

Northern New Mexico has several vibrant communities that many Lab employees call home. From serene mountains and river valleys to active city life, Northern New Mexico communities provide distinctive life style choices and access to it all.

The Q-6 Detonator Technology group performs R&D; on new initiation systems for future replacement stockpile systems including enhanced surety detonators. It operates a detonator test laboratory utilizing high-speed diagnostics and supports other Los Alamos explosive test facilities in designing, deploying, and maintaining timing, firing, and integrated safety systems, as well as providing technical detonator support in fielding and executing integrated weapon experiments.

Location: Los Alamos, NM, US

Organization Name: Q-6/Detonator Technology

Job Title: Energetic-Material Initiation Mechanisms Postdoc

Appointment Type: Postdoc

Req ID: IRC67527