Los Alamos National Laboratory Experimental Low-Temperature Detector Engineer (R&D Engineer 2) in Los Alamos, New Mexico

What You Will Do_

We are seeking highly motivated and technically excellent engineers to join Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL’s) Low-Temperature Detector (LTD) Research and Development (R&D;) team. Our focus is on the development of new sensors, systems, and analytical instruments for ultra-high precision x-ray and gamma-ray spectroscopy of radioactive and nuclear materials. The Low-Temperature Detector (LTD) Research and Development (R&D;) Team works on LTD-based systems for basic research, international nuclear safeguards, and national security. We are developing x-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers based on large arrays of transition-edge sensors (TESs) using microwave SQUID multiplexing readout and cryostat systems operated below 0.1 K.

Major goals include development and theory-validation of x-ray chemical analysis techniques and significantly increasing the technology readiness level of microcalorimeter-based measurement systems. This includes progressing from the current stage of development, physics experiments and engineering demonstrations, to the next level: complete analytical instruments that deliver calibrated spectra and spectral images to users. This is a very exciting time for the development and application of microcalorimeter-based technology, with major initiatives in gamma-ray spectroscopy, x-ray emission spectroscopy, and hyperspectral x-ray imaging (integration of large TES arrays with scanning electron microscopes).

Successful candidates will participate in one or more of the following areas:

  • Design, build, test and use innovative low-temperature-detector-based systems for ultra-high-resolution x-ray or gamma-ray spectroscopy.

  • Develop prototype analytical instruments based on TES microcalorimeter arrays with 100-1000 pixels, microwave SQUID multiplexing, software-defined-radio readout, and low-latency data pipelines.

  • Develop or modify cryogenic systems optimized for low-temperature detectors.

  • Develop complete analytical instruments based on the integration of LTD arrays, microwave SQUID multiplexing, and scanning electron microscopes.

  • Conduct spectroscopy campaigns using LTD-based systems as part of theory-validation of x-ray or gamma-ray spectroscopy techniques.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

  • Demonstrated experience conducting engineering for experimental research and development.

  • Demonstrated experience developing, testing and using complex measurement systems or scientific instruments for physical science or engineering. This experience can be anywhere in the range from invention to prototyping to deployment.

  • Demonstrated experience with and understanding of (a) ionizing radiation detection and measurement, (b) hardware systems for operation at low temperature

  • Demonstrated experience documenting and reporting on technical work, for example through written plans, proposals, reports, papers, articles, or theses.

  • Demonstrated experience showing excellent communication skills, written and oral, formal and informal.

  • Demonstrated experience working both independently and as part of team.

  • Demonstrated experience showing initiative and follow-through in technical areas of responsibility.

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q clearance (generally requires U.S. citizenship).

Desired Skills:

  • Demonstrated experience and in-depth understanding of instrumentation for x-ray spectroscopy.

  • Demonstrated experience and in-depth understanding of instrumentation for gamma-ray spectroscopy.

  • Demonstrated experience and in-depth understanding of high-precision quantitative measurements and uncertainty analysis for physical science, analytical chemistry, engineering, or nuclear safeguards.

  • Demonstrated experience in design of low-temperature cryostat systems.

  • Demonstrated experience with the design, development, or troubleshooting of analog electrical systems that require low noise, interference, cross-talk, and minimized spurious behaviors.

  • Demonstrated experience and in-depth understanding of engineering for low-temperature experimental systems.

  • Demonstrated experience and in-depth understanding of instrumentation for electron microscopy or electron-probe microanalysis (EPMA).

  • Demonstrated experience and in-depth understanding of mechanical design, fabrication, assembly, and integration of low-temperature systems (e.g. cryostats) with analytical instrumentation (e.g. SEMs or beamlines).

  • Demonstrated experience and in-depth understanding of physical-science or engineering measurement systems with thousands of channels, pixels, or sensors.

Education: Bachelors, masters or doctorate degree from an ABET accredited engineering college or university program. Advanced degree preferred.

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.

Internal Applicants:Please refer to Laboratory policy P701 for applicant eligibility.

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 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.

NEN-1 works to safeguard nuclear materials by developing techniques and systems for nondestructive assay of nuclear and hazardous material. Applications include nuclear materials control and accountability for domestic DOE nuclear facilities, nuclear waste disposal, material stabilization efforts, and international nonproliferation efforts. NEN-1 instrumentation and analysis technology measures nuclear materials by detecting and analyzing the neutrons, gamma rays, or heat given off by nuclear material. NEN-1 instrument development begins with conceptual research and physics and proceeds through engineering to an industrial-quality, finished instrument.

Maximum Salary: 144800

Minimum Salary: 87800

Location: Los Alamos, NM, US

Contact Name: Ditsworth, Samantha Aileen

Organization Name: NEN-1/Safeguards Science & Techno

Email: samanthad@lanl.gov

Job Title: Experimental Low-Temperature Detector Engineer (R&D; Engineer 2)

Appointment Type: Regular

Req ID: IRC69056