Accelerator Physicist (Scientist 3/4) | Los Alamos, NM | Los Alamos National Laboratory

Accelerator Physicist (Scientist 3/4)

What You Will Do

This position will be filled at either the Scientist 3 or 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.

The Integrated Weapons Experiments (J) Division, Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) Engineering, Operations, and Physics (J-6) Group is looking for a Scientist 3 or 4, 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, modeling, and verifying relativistic electron diodes, (4) designing and fielding diagnostics including: pulsed power and non-invasive beam and plasma diagnostics, (5) system engineering support for the controls, mechanical, and pulsed power and diagnostic systems for both accelerators, (6) operating, maintaining, and upgrading both accelerators, and (7) Research and Development necessary for optimization and upgrades of the accelerators. As a member of the DARHT Physics Team in J-6, the Scientist 3 or 4 will support DARHT beam operations and conduct independent research and development for current and future facility improvements via theoretical, modelling, and experimental techniques.

This position will be filled as a Scientist 3 or 4, depending on the skills and experience of the selected candidate.

Scientist 3 ($115,500-$194,900)

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 and supporting facilities.
  • Develop subject-matter expertise of DARHT accelerators, analysis and operations codes, and support systems.
  • Serve as reviewer for proposals for research on the DARHT accelerators 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.
  • Participate in the development of system requirements for existing and future accelerator systems and support facilities.
  • Provide input and subject-matter expertise for the conduct of experiments and operations at DARHT.
  • Interact with groups within J Division and the broader Laboratory to find solutions to DARHT-relevant challenges.
  • Adhere to the principles of Formality of Operations including Conduct of Operations, Conduct of Maintenance, Conduct of Engineering, and Conduct of Training.

Scientist 4 ($138,700-$240,500)

In addition to what was outlined at the lower level, the candidate will:
  • Lead research, design, testing, and analysis of new accelerator systems 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 and with external partners.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

Primary/Minimum Requirements for the Scientist 3 position include but are not limited to:

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, and similar applicable subject areas. Adherence to and advocacy for principles of scientific integrity.

Technical Research

Thorough knowledge and experience developing and implementing technical research and development projects, including the formulating and testing hypotheses, investigating alternative solutions, and recommending solutions to technical problems.

Safety Knowledge

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

Presentation Skills

Thorough 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.

In addition to the R&D Engineer 3 job requirements, the R&D Engineer 4 must have the following:


Contributes to large-scale technical projects to solve national/international technology grand challenges. Sets or approves technical approach 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. Influences industry standards and procedures and guides their application to projects and programs. Identifies, promotes, and develops new technical capabilities within Laboratory. Influences division and/or directorate strategies and directions.

Technical Innovator

Leads technical decision-making at major project level. Makes decisions and/or recommendations that guide the successful completion of major programs. Is an innovative contributor to building excellence in the scientific community, including (but not limited to) mentoring, peer review, meeting organization, personal and team scientific goals and pursuing career enhancement opportunities.

Project Management

Develops and implements project management plans for moderate to large high-risk projects. Leads the development of scope, schedule, and budget and defines deliverables at project or program level. Manages moderate to large, complex and/or high-risk projects, involving multiple tasks, capabilities, and organizations.

Development Capability

Develops and implements plans for new and significant project development opportunities. Leads development of technical section of large, complex proposals. Acquires internal/external funding for self and others.

Fosters a mutually respectful and inclusive work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment.

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. At this level a Ph.D. may be preferred.

Education/Experience at Scientist 4 level:

Position requires a master's degree in a STEM field from an accredited college or university and 12 years of relevant experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience directly related to the occupation. At this level a Ph.D. may be preferred.

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.
  • Familiarity with advanced data analysis techniques with an emphasis on uncertainty quantification.
  • 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.

Location: This position will be located in Los Alamos, NM.

COVID Vaccine:

The COVID vaccine is mandatory for all Laboratory employees, on-site contractors, and on-site subcontractors unless granted an accommodation under applicable state or federal law. This requirement will apply to those working on-site, those teleworking, and all new hires.

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 a 2 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 maternity and parental leave
  • Award-winning 401(k) (6% matching plus 3.5% annually)
  • Learning opportunities and tuition assistance
  • Flexible schedules and time off (paid sick, vacation, and holidays)
  • Onsite gyms and wellness programs
  • Extensive relocation packages (outside a 50 mile radius)
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 L or Q or Q/SCI(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. This position requires a Q clearance which requires US Citizenship except in extremely rare circumstances. Dependent upon position, additional authorization to access nuclear weapons information may be required that may or may not be available to dual citizens depending upon the circumstances.

*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: 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 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 or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.
Employment StatusFull Time