Detonation Physics Research Technologist

What You Will Do

This position will be filled at either the Research Technologist 2/3 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 Detonation Physics team in the Shock and Detonation Physics Group (M-9) delivers precision data on the detonation performance of a range of high explosive (HE) materials through the use of advanced diagnostics. Much of this work involves precision assemblies for state-of-the-art examination of flows in extreme conditions. Diagnostics include time of arrival data, high-speed framing cameras, detonation front shape imaging, and Photon Doppler Velocimetry. Additionally, the team develops and deploys advanced sensors for HE behavior. The Group is seeking a Research Technologist 2/3 in support of these specific activities.

Research Technologist 2 ($92,300 - $151,000)

The successful candidate will:
  • Contribute to the development of specifications for project implementation and verify that the end product meets expectations and requirements.
  • Work through consultation and agreement with others and may involve formal review by a senior member of the team.
  • Work under collaborative direction and guidance toward team goals and objectives.
  • Contribute to production-centric research and development activities in a main research area.
  • Be able to resolve problems of moderately complex scope requiring review of a variety of factors.
  • Handle energetic materials.
  • Communicate results through written procedures, internal reports, or progress reports to sponsors or team.
  • Protect and maintain sensitive or classified information.
  • Assist in capability development and implementation of ideas with minimal supervision.
  • As a subject matter expert, assist with development and maintenance of authorizing documents to perform work safely and compliantly in M-9.
  • Develop new techniques, principles, and concepts, and complete work in innovative and effective ways.
  • Mentor technicians, technologists, and junior staff on experiment design and diagnostics.
Research Technologist 3 ($101,700-$168,200)

In addition to the duties above, the Research Technologist 3 will:
  • Independently design and field experiments and analyze data for specific shot series.
  • Contribute as lead author to technical reports and peer reviewed journal papers.
  • Demonstrated expert knowledge and refined skills in area of technical specialty, experience in specialized experimental processes, mathematical formulas as appropriate, computations, data reduction methods ,and data gathering methods. Demonstrates breadth in related subject areas.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

Primary/Minimum Requirements for this position include but are not limited to:

Research Technologist 2 position:
  • Ability to contribute to shot design including the use of CAD software.
  • Ability to assist with preparation of explosive assemblies including precision assembly and alignment of various shot and diagnostic stands.
  • Demonstrated ability to install, troubleshoot, and field state-of-the-art test diagnostics including PDV, high-speed cameras, and electrical circuits.
  • Capability to assist with maintaining TA40 shot assembly areas and our indoor experimental high explosive testing facility.
  • Demonstrated experience working to a set of defined requirements and regulations (e.g., Document control and security requirements).
  • Demonstrated positive work attitude and the ability to take on new tasks in a self-guided manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to assume responsibility and work independently with a high degree of accuracy.
  • A willingness to learn and practice the safe handling of explosive materials in a rigorous safety environment, along with the ability to manage complex and co-located hazards.
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team and make suggestions to continuously improve ongoing projects.
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to keep track of projects with detailed documentation from start to finish.
  • Experience with planning projects, including ordering parts and materials.
  • Experience with leadership in subsections of a project to meet complex deliverables and deadlines.

Additional Job Requirements for Research Technologist 3:
  • Extensive experience with the design, assembly, and fielding of high-fidelity explosives experiments.
  • Strong technical writing skills with record of journal or technical report authorship.
Education and Experience for the Research Technologist 2: Position requires a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited institution and 5 years related experience; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience directly related to the occupation.

Education and Experience for the Research Technologist 3: Position requires a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited institution and 8 years related experience; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience directly related to the occupation. At this level, post graduate course work may be desirable.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Experience in handling energetic materials with LANL High Explosive qualification (Handler, Assembly/Disassembly operator).
  • Experience with LANL procurement and ordering.
  • Familiarity with common laboratory instruments such as oscilloscopes, digitizers, pressure sensors, or high-speed imaging equipment.
  • Extensive experience with laser-based optical techniques, such as PDV (Photonic Doppler Velocimetry), for diagnosing fast phenomena.
Essential Job Functions (can perform with or without reasonable accommodation): Lifting 30+ pounds, standing, walking, Domestic/Foreign Travel

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

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)

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 1-505-665-4444 option 1.