Los Alamos National Laboratory Detonation Science & Engineering Manager 3 (R&D Manager 3) in Los Alamos, New Mexico

What You Will Do

Partner with the Group Leader to lead the Detonator Design Agency & manage staff and technical activities of the group to meet programmatic deliverables and milestones.

Serve as a contact for staff regarding professional development, facilitation of resources, and managerial guidance. Develop and foster effective teams to manage the group’s capabilities and resources to meet customer goals. Manage human resources related functions including: annual performance appraisals, hiring and conflict resolution.

Collaborate with Weapon Systems program managers and DET Production Agency organizations for integrated program/project efforts. Champion operational excellence in the areas of quality assurance, conduct of operations, high explosives safety, budget and other aspects of integrated work management. Provide engineering oversight of Q-6 programmatic objectives, including detonator design and production process implementation.

Facilitate explosive and firing operations for the group and collaborate with internal and external partners and customers of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

Through day to day operations, recognize and initiate opportunities to advance the Detonation Science & Engineering Group within Q Division and across the Laboratory.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

  • Demonstrated professional-level background and record of technical achievement in an engineering or scientific field (minimum of 5 years).

  • Demonstrated successful leadership skills including:influence and communication skills; strategic thinking and ability to leverage internal and external networks.

  • Demonstrated successful experience in program or project management.

  • Demonstrated experience in working effectively across organizations.

  • Demonstrated successful experience in staff development including mentoring, team building, and problem resolution. Excellent interpersonal skills and relationship building skills, utilized to move the organization forward.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

  • Demonstrated ability to build positive relationships with all levels of personnel and customers.

  • Familiarity in directing the administration of research and development employees including, forecasting staffing requirements, directing assignments, and assuring workforce development.

  • Demonstrated experience in effective decision-making and creative problem solving.

Desired Skills:

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

  • 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

  • Formal training in personnel management/leadership.

  • Project Management Professional certification.

  • Fundamental knowledge of nuclear weapons and the U.S. stockpile.

  • Familiarity with Los Alamos National Laboratory weapons research and programmatic activities.

  • Experience with weapon component design, fabrication and assembly techniques, as well as advanced fabrication processes.

  • Knowledge of detonator test hardware and experimental design methodologies.

  • Applicants must currently hold, or have the ability to obtain a Q clearance, which normally requires U.S. citizenship.


  • Minimum requirement: Bachelor’s degree in engineering or STEM discipline.

  • Advanced degree in engineering or STEM discipline is strongly preferred.

Work Environment: domestic/foreign travel

Notes to Applicants:

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

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

Located in northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is primarily responsible for monitoring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile and conducting research into new defense programs. It is a center for research in a wide range of scientific disciplines, including space exploration, geophysics, renewable energy, supercomputing, medicine, and nanotechnology.

Weapon Stockpile Modernization Division (Q Division) provides systems engineering and program management to develop and field qualified engineering solutions to improve the safety, reliability and security of our Nation's nuclear stockpile throughout the weapon life cycle. Q Division is responsible for leadership of activities in LANL weapons program life extension and alternation projects, as well as in projects to increase technological options for customers’ future stockpile requests or needs.

The Detonator Technology Group (Q-6) is the design authority for detonator designs, high-explosive initiation system research and development, advanced detonator diagnostic development, detonator qualification testing, and associated surety and surveillance activities. Q-6 operates and maintains explosives and electronic test laboratories and focuses on ensuring programmatic and operational excellence throughout the organization.

Maximum Salary: 197000

Minimum Salary: 116900

Location: Los Alamos, NM, US

Work Telephone: 505-665-5993

Contact Name: Vonharders, Jeremy E

Organization Name: Q-6/Weapons Stockpile Modernization-Detonator Technology

Email: jeremyv@lanl.gov

Job Title: Detonation Science & Engineering Manager 3 (R&D; Manager 3)

Appointment Type: Regular

Req ID: IRC63417