Los Alamos National Laboratory High Explosives Computational Scientist 4 (Scientist 4) in Los Alamos, New Mexico

What You Will Do_

The Methods and Algorithms Group (XCP-4) of the Computational Physics Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory is seeking outstanding candidates for positions at the Scientist 4 level in the area of continuum solid mechanics modeling. The successful candidates are expected to provide direction and vision, lead in a team environment, look for new opportunities to expand this research area in the group, implement, test and verify their models and algorithms in large production software and publish their research in leading scientific journals.

XCP-4 is a group of about 20 scientists with various technical backgrounds doing cutting edge research in advanced computational methods and algorithms for multi-physics applications in support of national and global security. Specifically, we develop state-of-the art numerical methods for shock hydrodynamics and multiphase flow in both Eulerian and Lagrangian frameworks, as well as advanced physics-based computational models in a variety of areas, including high explosives, turbulent reactive flow, and continuum solid mechanics. Our staff provide expertise in these areas through multidisciplinary interactions on teams seeking to provide solutions for large multi-physics codes. Our work supports a variety of Laboratory missions, including stockpile stewardship, nonproliferation, threat reduction, and energy and environmental sciences.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

  • Expertise in hydrodynamics and high speed, compressible flow

  • Expertise in numerical methods for single- or multi-physics applications, especially with respect to Lagrangian and/or Eulerian frameworks

  • Understanding of statistical micro-/meso-scale modeling of solid state chemical reactions and/or material failure (especially with respect to high explosives) with link/integration to continuum/macroscale models

  • Extensive experience in detonator modeling with reactive burn models

  • Extensive experience with detonation wave propagation in solid elasto-plastic porous media

  • Understanding of hot spot ignition dynamics and deflagration to detonation transition

  • Experience with high explosive performance under various conditions, especially high temperature behavior and/or multiphase reactive flow

  • Experience in developing accurate and robust numerical methods for multiphysics simulation software at the continuum scale in a programming language such as Fortran, C/C++, and/or Python

  • Experience with theoretical model development

  • Experience in Verification and Validation techniques

  • Proven leadership experience (such as principal investigator) in the broad area of modeling and simulation

  • Demonstrated experience developing innovative scientific solutions by integrating technical knowledge across disciplines and/or people for complex multi-physics problems

  • Sustained scientific accomplishments and national recognition as demonstrated through awards and publication record in the field of theoretical and computational physics for shock detonation, reactive flow and/or high explosives.

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively both written and orally, interpersonal and to large audiences

  • 10+ years of relevant R&D; experience

  • Ability to obtain a Q Clearance, which usually requires US Citizenship

Desired Skills:

  • Experience with LANL X-Division Codes

  • Experience with large-scale projects to solve national technology challenges

  • Familiarity with the NNSA National Laboratories’ mission and research environment, in particular LANL ASC and global security programs

  • Knowledge of nuclear weapon physics

  • Experience in developing and running large, parallel codes in a high- performance, Unix computing environment for many-core architectures

  • Active DOE Q Clearance

Education: Master's degree in Physics, Materials Science, Engineering, Applied Mathematics, or related field; PhD in Physics, Materials Science, Engineering, Applied Mathematics, or related field preferred. Postdoctoral research experience is preferred.

Notes to Applicants:Applicants should submit a CV/resume and a cover letter that summarizes their qualifications for the required and desired skills listed above. For questions contact: XCP-4 Group Leader, Karlene Maskaly at karlene@lanl.gov.

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.

Our diverse workforce enjoys a collegial work environment focused on creative problem solving, where everyone’s opinions and ideas are considered. We are committed to work-life balance and personal/professional growth. Our creative and dedicated computational professionals are our greatest asset and we take pride in cultivating their talents, supporting their efforts, and enabling their success. Together we are advancing our national security mission.

_Compensation and Benefits


  • Competitive salaries

  • Flexible work schedules

  • Exercise facility free for staff use

  • Choice of comprehensive medical plans

  • Paid maternity leave, sick time

  • 401k match (100% up to 6% + kicker)

  • Fully vested in 401k day one

  • Disability insurance_

Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, NM enjoys excellent weather, clean air and outstanding public schools. This is a safe, low-crime, family-oriented community with frequent concerts and events as well as quick travel to many top ski resorts, scenic hiking trails, and mountain climbing. The short drive to work includes stunning views of the Valles Caldera as well as the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Many employees also live in the nearby state capital, Santa Fe, which is known for world-class restaurants, art galleries, and opera.

Maximum Salary: 197000

Minimum Salary: 116900

Location: Los Alamos, NM, US

Contact Name: Johnson, Dana Elizabeth

Organization Name: XCP-4/Methods & Algorithms

Email: danaj@lanl.gov

Job Title: High Explosives Computational Scientist 4 (Scientist 4)

Appointment Type: Regular

Req ID: IRC69891