Product Realization/Systems Engineer (R&D Engineer 2/3)

What You Will Do
This position will be filled at either the R&D Engineer 2 or R&D Engineer 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 W93 System Development and Realization Group (Q-20) is seeking Research and Development Engineers (R&D 2/3) to join one of our production realization teams (PRTs). You will work with various PRT leads and the Primary or Secondary physics team to design, engineer, certify/qualify, and field new and/or reprocessed components for the W93 warhead. The W93 PRTs are comprised of Systems and Product Realization Engineers.

This is an opportunity to be part of the first new weapon system program in over 30 years. Q-20, W93/Mk7 Systems Development and Realization Group, defines, develops, and fields the warhead system for the newest Navy sub-launched ballistic missile weapon program. We support the DoD/Navy SSP and DOE/NNSA customers in defining the mission need and corresponding technical and programmatic requirements. The W93 collaborates closely with Sandia National Laboratories and Lockheed Martin Space design agencies, developing the re-entry system, ensuring safe, secure, & reliable warhead performance and a relevant nuclear deterrent. Q-20 also incorporates the production agency teams (KCNSC, Pantex, SRS, Y-12, LANL, and SNL) tightly into the design, qualification, and realization processes.

The Product Realization / Systems Engineer will play an important role in the realization of various products across the W93 portfolio. As a member of the PRT, the selected candidate(s) will:
  • Work under the guidance of the Production Realization Team lead to design, engineer, certify/qualify, and field various W93 components.
  • Collaborate with the production agencies to develop the processes for development and production of W93 components.
  • Conduct technical research into component development and qualification.
  • Generate technical reports to make and document technical decisions and answer NNSA taskings.
  • Participate in programmatic and technical reviews, which will include briefing of upper lab management and external customers on complex and/or high visibility projects.

Below are specific areas where needs exist. Q-20 intends to hire candidates in many of the following areas:
  • System Design and Integration - Nuclear Explosive Package (NEP) Systems Engineer, which will include the LANL-owned subassemblies comprising the NEP. This position requires significant weapons knowledge and will integrate with the Warhead Subassembly PRT and the Warhead Subassembly System Design and Integration Lead to ensure design and requirement flow to the warhead subsystems.
  • Warhead Subassembly PRT - the WHSA PRT is responsible for the design and product definitions for LANL-owned WR subassemblies; trainer definition and production; integration with Pantex, SNL and LMS; assembly and disassembly process development and qualification; product qualification including the nuclear explosive package and reentry body assembly and first production unit (FPU).
  • Pit Production PRT - the Pit Production PRT is leading the first LANL pit design, production, and certification efforts in over a decade. The PRT is responsible for product definition and design as well as qualification of processes and products. The PRT works closely with the LANL PA, the Savannah River Pit Production Facility (SRPPF), and W93 Primary Physics.
  • Pit Reacceptance PRT - the Pit Reacceptance PRT is responsible for design and product definition and development and qualification of equipment and processes related to the reacceptance of pits, which may include radiography, surface analysis, Laser Gas Sampling, mass properties, or other techniques.
  • Structural Product Realization - several components reside within the structural area, including mounts and mounting methodology definitions, development, and qualification. Integration with other Design Agencies is necessary to maintain system-level stability, rigidity, and mass properties.
  • Surveillance Flight Body Subassembly PRT - the SFBS PRT is responsible for design and product definition and development and qualification of production processes and products related to LANL-owned Surveillance Flight Body Subassemblies and components; design and product definition and development and qualification of processes and products for SFBS instrumentation and data acquisition systems; PX assembly process development and qualification and any product qualification for lo-fi and hi-fi systems; coordination of JTA activities with SNL and/or the System-level JTA PRT.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:
R&D Engineer 2 ($101,700-$168,200):
Engineering Knowledge: Demonstrated knowledge of engineering concepts, principles, practices, and procedures, as demonstrated by experience researching, designing, testing, analyzing, verifying, and validating engineering solutions.

Engineering Design: Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in designing, planning, and executing research and development projects. Knowledgeable on reading engineering drawings and specifications.

Communication: Demonstrated ability to clearly communicate technical material verbally and in writing.

Additional Job Requirements for R&D Engineer 3 ($122,300-$206,300):

In addition to the requirements outlined above, qualification at the higher level requires:
  • Thorough knowledge and experience in R&D Engineer 2 requirements.
  • Experience delivering complicated engineering projects that meet requirements.

Leadership: Demonstrated experience leading small teams to complete technical projects.

Education/Experience at lower level: Position requires a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering from an ABET accredited institution and 4 years of related experience; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience directly related to the occupation.

Education/Experience at higher level: Position requires a Master's Degree in Engineering from an ABET accredited institution and 6 years of related 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:
  • Active Q Clearance or equivalent DoD clearance
  • Degree in Mechanical, Nuclear, Materials, or Chemical Engineering from an ABET accredited institution
  • Experience with nuclear weapon design, development, qualification, certification, assembly/production, or surveillance
  • Knowledge of nuclear weapons, NNSA facilities, or DoD customers
  • Knowledgeable of requirement derivation, traceability, and verification
  • Experience with nuclear weapon design, development, qualification, certification, assembly/production, or surveillance (The Weapon Acquisition Lifecycle (Phase 6.X or X process))
  • Knowledge of systems engineering practices and principles
  • Knowledge of program management practices and principles

Work Environment:

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.

Work Schedule: This position will be required to work onsite and will have access to the 5/40 or 9/80 schedules.

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 consideration, please submit a resume AND cover letter addressing the minimum and desired qualifications listed above. Please also include any preference(s) of work scope in your cover letter.
    • Applications without Cover Letter will not be reviewed.
  • Domestic travel will be required.
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 1-505-664-6947 option 2.