Los Alamos National Laboratory R&D Engineer 3/4 in Los Alamos, New Mexico

What You Will Do

The Detonator Science and Technology Group (Q-6) is the design authority for primary detonators on current Los Alamos nuclear weapon stockpile systems. Q-6 provides engineering and design support to the production plants during production of War Reserve detonators, and assesses and reports on surveillance data for each stockpile detonator. The group performs R&D; on new initiation systems for future replacement stockpile system, including enhanced surety detonators. The group also 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.

This position will be filled at either the R&D; Engineer 3 or R&D; Engineer 4 level, depending on the skills of the selected candidate. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if the candidate is hired at the higher level.

R&D; Engineer 3 ($96,600 - $161,300) The successful candidate will be required to:

The successful candidate will become a member of the Q-6 and assigned to one of six teams. This may be followed by a rotation to better familiarize themselves with group activities, or direct assignment to a team including leadership of a project.

The six teams include: 1) Stockpile Systems and Surveillance

2) Detonation Science

3) Timing Firing and Firesets

4) Life Extension Programs

5) War Reserve Testing

6) Local Testing and Advanced Characterization

The successful candidate will team with other Q-6 engineers/scientists in such areas as:

  • Detonator design

  • Performance studies and modeling

  • Detonator testing

  • Implementation of new diagnostics

  • Design and qualification of firesets

The successful candidate will work with other organizations to ensure programs are supported and deliverables are met. Strong documentation (writing) skills and ability to present technical information to a wide audience through formal and informal technical interactions are crucial in this role. The successful candidate will work daily in a classified setting, and must demonstrate a strong commitment towards security. Domestic/Foreign travel is periodically required based on programmatic needs. The successful candidate will be self-motivated, with good communication, documentation, and teaming skills.

R&D; Engineer 4 ($116,900 - $197,000) In addition to the duties outlined above, the R&D; Engineer 4 will be required to:

The successful candidate will become a member of the Q-6 and assigned to one of six teams. Once established, this will progress to leadership of a team, development and leadership of an existing project, and/or program development.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

  • Demonstrated successful experience working in an integrated team environment.

  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks in an environment of shifting priorities.

  • Demonstrated expertise in mechanical design, electrical design, product engineering, and/or process engineering (5+ years work experience).

  • Demonstrated experience of successful execution of complex tests and experiments including publishing reports.

  • Strong presentation skills and experience interacting with all levels of personnel and customers.

  • A documented history of technical contributions to one or more of the following fields:

  • Detonator design and fabrication, performance and diagnostics

  • Fireset design and fabrication

  • Shock physics and initiation

  • Energetic materials, production, performance, and safety

  • Material science

  • Micro and Nano engineering

  • Miniaturization and microelectronics

  • Mechanical/Electrical design and manufacturing

  • Controls and instrumentation, design, programming, troubleshooting

  • Knowledge of LabVIEW and National Instrument hardware

  • Understanding of signal processing techniques of dynamic systems

Additional Job Requirements for R&D; Engineer 4:In addition to the Job Requirements outlined above, qualification at the R&D; Engineer 4 level requires:

  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate and lead a team of engineers and support staff.

  • Demonstrated ability to lead an extensive and diverse set of activities across multiple scientific and engineering disciplines as well as the ability to collaborate or integrate within and across program lines to accomplish goals.

  • Record of successful program development.

  • Leader in one or more of the R&D; 3 technical contributions.

Desired Skills:

  • Ability to read and interpret electrical mechanical engineering design drawings, including GD&T;, and effectively apply fundamental problem analysis skills.

  • Understanding and/or experience with quality requirements including NNSA Product Realization Process, Engineering Authorization System, and configuration control.

  • Knowledge/experience of software quality assurance and source code configuration management practices.

  • Knowledge/experience of statistical analysis techniques.

  • Knowledge and experience relative to uncertainty and/or risk analysis.

  • Knowledge of nuclear weapons concepts and the U.S. stockpile or other weapon designs.

  • Knowledge of the NNSA Enterprise design laboratory and plant interactions and operations.

  • In-depth knowledge of arming, fuzing, and firing systems.

  • Hydrodynamic modeling experience.

  • Magneto-hydrodynamic experience.

  • Demonstrated leadership experience in addressing issues related to national security.

  • An advanced degree or Ph.D. is preferred:

  • Electrical Engineering

  • Mechanical Engineering

  • Physics

  • Chemistry / Chemical Engineering

  • Material Science

  • Demonstrated experience in secure work environment or working with sensitive or classified information.

  • Active Q clearance, or ability to obtain.

Education:A minimum of a BS in engineering from an Accreditation Board or Engineering and Technology (ABET) college or university program is required; advanced degree in engineering is strongly preferred.

Notes to Applicants:For full consideration, applicants must submit a comprehensive cover letter that addresses the key requirements of the position.

Work Environment:Office and laboratory settings, including some outdoor activities. Domestic, and occasionally foreign travel, will be required.

Additional Details:

Clearance: Q (Position will be cleared to this level). Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements* for access to classified matter.

*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.

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.

Regular Position:Term status Laboratory employees applying for regular-status positions are converted to regular status.

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

The Weapon Stockpile Modernization Division (Q) provides the system engineering, program management, component technology development and system and sub-system testing necessary to field the modernizations authorized to extend the life of the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s assets in the active United States nuclear stockpile. Currently, these modernizations are directed at the B61 and the W88. This role demands expertise in design, engineering, fabrication and testing of multiple components using state-of-the-art computational simulation tools and engineering test facilities. The Division works in close liaison with the several production facilities across the nuclear security complex, as well as with the customers in the US Navy and Air Force. The Division is also tasked with broadly anticipating the scope of possible future modernizations and with enabling the various technology advances that they might require.

Location: Los Alamos, NM, US

Contact Name: Robbins, David Lee

Organization Name: Q-6/Detonation Science & Technology

Email: robbins@lanl.gov

Job Title: R&D; Engineer 3/4

Appointment Type: Regular

Req ID: IRC66359