Accelerator Physicist (Scientist 2/3)

What You Will Do
This position will be filled at either the Scientist 2 or 3 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.
The Integrated Weapons Experiments (J) Division, Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) Engineering, Operations, and Physics (J-6) Group is looking for a Scientist 2 or 3, Accelerator Physicist. This position is fulltime, located at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and requires on site work activities.

Do you enjoy a multi-disciplinary research and operations environment? J-6 operates, maintains, and enhances the DARHT accelerators which provide a critical resource to LANL's hydrodynamic test mission. J-6 encompasses accelerator physics, pulse-power systems, and radiographic physics capabilities, the sum of which span a wide range of physical disciplines, technologies, and organizations. Core responsibilities of the group include: (1) designing, modeling, and verifying beam physics in both accelerators, (2) advancing the science and technology of beam-target interactions, (3) designing and fielding systems related to accelerator operation and physics studies, and (4) developing and demonstrating new capabilities and uses for DARHT linear induction accelerators. We are specifically seeking qualified individuals with a background in experimental studies relevant to any of the following areas: (a) high-Z materials interrogation techniques relevant to microstructural and morphological evolution, (b) electron beam-plasma instability onset, saturation, and transition to non-linear regimes, or (c) surface science characterization and manipulation of ad/absorbed constituents. As a member of the DARHT Physics Team in J-6, the Scientist 2 or 3 will support DARHT beam operations and conduct independent research and development for current and future facility improvements via theoretical, modelling, and experimental techniques.

Scientist 2 ($101,700 - $168,200)

Support DARHT beam operations and conduct independent research and development via analytical, experimental, and model-based methods.
  • Propose, conduct, analyze, and disseminate original research on the DARHT accelerators, experimental platforms, and supporting facilities in an individual capacity and within broader group efforts.
  • Develop subject-matter expertise of DARHT accelerators, experimental platforms, analysis and operations codes, and support systems.
  • Serve as reviewer for proposals for research on the DARHT accelerators, experimental platforms, and supporting facilities.
  • Participate in the diagnosis of failures or malfunctions that occur in the DARHT facility and assist system designers and engineers in developing solutions.
  • Adhere to the principles of Formality of Operations including Conduct of Operations, Conduct of Maintenance, Conduct of Engineering, and Conduct of Training.

Scientist 3 ($122,300 - $206,300)

In addition to what was outlined at the lower level, the selected candidate will also;
  • Interact with groups within J Division and the broader Laboratory to find solutions to DARHT-relevant challenges.
  • Participate in the development of system requirements for existing and future accelerator systems, experimental platforms, and support facilities.
  • Provide input and subject-matter expertise for the conduct of experiments and operations at DARHT.
  • Lead research, design, testing, and analysis of new accelerator systems, experimental platforms, and technology solutions for DARHT accelerators.
  • Propose, conduct, analyze, and disseminate new facility capabilities or models of operation to improve efficiency of the DARHT radiographic facility and DARHT Complex.
  • Lead and coordinate research on DARHT-relevant topics within the Laboratory.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:
Publication History
Demonstrated proficiency and expertise in the form of peer-reviewed publications of one or more of the following topical areas: accelerator physics, accelerator technologies, plasma physics, charged particle physics, accelerator or plasma diagnostic systems, x-ray sources and source characterization, quantitative data analysis, materials characterization, materials modeling, and similar applicable subject areas. Adherence to and advocacy for principles of scientific integrity.

Technical Research

Knowledge and experience developing and implementing technical research, including the formulating and testing hypotheses, investigating alternative solutions, and recommending solutions to technical problems.

Safety Knowledge

Significant knowledge and experience of appropriate safe practices for technical work.

Presentation Skills

Significant knowledge and experience in formulating and presenting results to technical audiences and readerships.

Communication Skills

Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills, and demonstrated ability to interact with all levels of personnel and customers including other team members. Experience with collaboration across organizational boundaries and the ability to manage these relationships in a positive manner.

Additional Job Requirements for Scientist 3


Contributes to large-scale technical projects to solve laboratory-wide challenges. Sets individual and/or team direction and goals for solving problems and meeting client needs. Determines and pursues courses of action necessary to obtain desired results.

Scientific Acumen

Develops innovative advanced concepts, theories, methods, techniques, and approaches to address specialized problems. Identifies, promotes, and develops new technical capabilities within Laboratory. May influence division strategies and directions.

Technical Innovator

Leads technical decision-making for tasks within a project. Makes decisions and/or recommendations that influence the achievement of key programmatic objectives.

Project Management

Develops and implements project management plans, including scope, schedule, and budget, for small to moderate and/or major project tasks. Defines deliverables at project or major task level.

Development Capability

Uses project assignments to further organizational goals. May acquire internal/external funding for self and optimally others through leading development of small to moderate proposals. Fosters a mutually respectful and inclusive work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment.

Education/Experience at Scientist 2 level:

Position requires a Bachelor's degree in a STEM field from an accredited college or university and 4 years of relevant experience, typically with post-doctoral research experience at a university or national lab or equivalent experience directly related to the occupation.

Education/Experience at Scientist 3 level:

Position requires a Master's degree in a STEM field from an accredited college or university and 6 years of relevant experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience directly related to the occupation.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Familiarity and ability to learn scientific analysis tools embodied in common programming languages such as IDL, Python and/or MATLAB.
  • Familiarity with accelerator operations or similar, large-scale scientific facility operations.
  • Demonstrated experience troubleshooting large-scale experimental systems.
  • Sound knowledge of project planning and control methods.
  • Experience working under formal conduct of operations, in a large-scale, complex facility such as a charged-particle accelerator, nuclear reactor, chemical reactor, or actinide operations.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills to include overseeing the design, planning, development, and testing of new experimental systems as well as the ability to contribute to the organizational and team knowledge level by mentoring others.

Essential Job Functions(can perform with or without reasonable accommodation):

Ability to speak, Ability to discriminate speech, Ability to hear in a normal range (500 to 3000 htz), Sitting, Standing, Walking, Typing or keyboarding, lifting 5-10 pounds, Carrying 5-10 pounds.

Work Environment:

Outdoors, In confined space, heights, Underground, Working alone, Working overtime or irregular schedule, Domestic/foreign travel, operation of motor vehicles, Work with weapons or explosives, Work with vibrating equipment/machinery, Work near machinery with moving parts, toxic chemicals, irritant chemicals, dusts or powders, sprays, mists, or vapors, fumes, carcinogens, Hearing protection, Gloves or hand protection, Safety shoes or protective foot-gear, Headgear or head protection, safety glasses or eye protection, face shield or facial protection, Mask or respirator.


Supervision Received:
  • Receives nominal supervision on all except the most complex problems and solutions.

Supervision Exercised:
  • Coordinates and monitors the work of junior staff and peers. Provides technical direction to multiple teams for organizational initiatives.

Work Location: The work location for this position is onsite and located in Los Alamos, NM. All work locations are at the discretion of management.

Position commitment: Regular appointment employees are required to serve a period of continuous service in their current position in order to be eligible to apply for posted jobs throughout the Laboratory. If an employee has not served the time required, they may only apply for Laboratory jobs with the documented approval of their Division Leader. The position commitment for this position is 1 year.

Note to Applicants: Along with your resume, please include a detailed cover letter explaining how you meet each of the minimum requirements and any of the desired qualifications.
Where You Will Work

Located in beautiful northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. Our generous benefits package includes:

§ PPO or High Deductible medical insurance with the same large nationwide network

§ Dental and vision insurance

§ Free basic life and disability insurance

§ Paid childbirth and parental leave

§ Award-winning 401(k) (6% matching plus 3.5% annually)

§ Learning opportunities and tuition assistance

§ Flexible schedules and time off (PTO and holidays)

§ Onsite gyms and wellness programs

§ Extensive relocation packages (outside a 50 mile radius)

J Division addresses national security challenges by executing mission-driven, large-scale, integrated experiments, emphasizing sub-critical experiments, hydrodynamic tests, focused experiments, and tests of engineered systems. The Division develops the workforce, facilities, technologies, and systems necessary to generate, analyze, and disseminate unique, high-quality data with integrity and scientific excellence. J Division uses professional engineering management, and Formality of Operations and Conduct of Engineering processes, to integrate effectively high-fidelity test objects, multiple diagnostic technologies, sophisticated experiment design, and multi-disciplinary teams assembled across organizational boundaries. The Division executes its responsibilities in a sustainable, safe, secure, reliable, and environmentally responsible manner. J Division operates the DARHT facility, and also operates or utilizes other LANL firing sites and facilities. The Division collaborates to execute sub-critical and other integrated experiments at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) and NNSA, DOE, and partner organization facilities as needed.
Additional Details

Directive 206.2 - Employment with Triad requires a favorable decision by NNSA indicating employee is suitable under NNSA Supplemental Directive 206.2. Please note that this requirement applies only to citizens of the United States. Foreign nationals are subject to a similar requirement under DOE Order 142.3A.

Clearance: Q (Position will be cleared to this level). Selected applicants will be subject to a background investigation conducted by or on behalf of the Federal Government, and must meet eligibility requirements* for access to classified matter. This position requires a Q clearance. and obtaining such clearance requires US Citizenship except in extremely rare circumstances. Dependent upon the position, additional authorization to access classified information may be required, which may or may not be available to dual citizens. Receipt of a Q clearance and additional access authorization ultimately is a decision of the Federal Government and not of Triad.

*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. Although New Mexico and other states have legalized the use of marijuana, use and possession of marijuana remain illegal under federal law. A positive drug test for marijuana will result in termination of employment, even if the use was pre-offer.

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

Internal Applicants: Regular appointment employees who have served the required period of continuous service in their current position are eligible to apply for posted jobs throughout the Laboratory. If an employee has not served the required period of continuous service, they may only apply for Laboratory jobs with the documented approval of their Division Leader. Please refer to Policy Policy P701 for applicant eligibility requirements.

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 regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, 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 or call 505-664-6947 option 2.