Research & Development Mechanical Engineer (R&D Enginer 1/2)

What You Will Do

M-6 is seeking a qualified R&D Mechanical Engineer to join our team. The Explosive Applications and Special Projects (M-6) Group within Dynamic Experiments (M) Division conducts research to study the initiation and performance of high explosives (HE) through mechanical, thermal, and electromagnetic mechanisms. Our areas of expertise include non-shock initiation of HE, HE-driven pulsed-power, special energetic materials, and special security projects in service to the Laboratory and nation and other national security areas. We also develop and perfect the use of state-of-the-art diagnostics tools to collect and analyze data. Such tools include PDV, radiography, high-speed photography, and a variety of precision sensors that measure very short-duration, high-speed changes in temperature, pressure, and position. This complex work requires us to perform a multitude of mechanical design and assembly activities, such as:
  • Taking conceptual designs and requirements for experiments and translating those into fieldable mechanical designs.
  • Identifying appropriate materials, processes and manufacturers to meet project specifications.
  • Performing metrology to ensure the as-fabricated parts meet specifications.
We are looking to hire a skilled and creative mechanical engineer to assist with these design and assembly challenges.

This position will be filled at either the R&D Engineer 1 or 2 level, depending on the skills and experience of the selected candidate. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if the candidate is hired at the higher level.

R&D Engineer 1 ($92,300 - $151,100)

The successful candidate will work with M-6 project leads by providing support for projects that require mechanical design, experimental engineering, and diagnostics. Rapid-prototyping equipment, SolidWorks, and general workshop equipment is available to assist the candidate in their task. The Level 1 position is expected to:
  • Support other staff in the design, engineering, and fielding of mechanical systems for dynamic experiments.
  • Design and fabricate test fixtures for dynamic experiments.
  • Work with local machine shops and vendors to fabricate experimental parts.
  • Support the analysis of data collected from dynamic experiments.

R&D Engineer 2 ($101,700 - $168,200)

In addition to the duties outlined above, a R&D Engineer 2 will be expected to:
  • Participate in collaborations with DOE, DoD, and other federal agencies.
  • Assist in the development of intellectual property and contribute to reports and presentations.
  • Develop and design dynamic tests to accomplish experiments using customer requirements.
  • Develop assembly procedures and lead assembly efforts for large and complex experiments.
  • Define strategic plans with both team members and customers to meet long term needs to maintain and advance experimental programs and capabilities.
  • Mentor students, junior staff, and peers in technical and professional growth.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

The R&D Engineer 1 position requires knowledge of and experience contributing to the following aspects of assigned projects under regular direction and supervision:
  • Engineering: Education and experience in a relevant engineering discipline.
  • Design: Experience contributing to the design, planning, and execution of research and development projects, including test plans. Use of mechanical design and analysis software, preferably SolidWorks.
  • Drafting: Design drafting practices, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, and engineering specifications. Working with machine shops and other fabricators to produce parts from draft specifications.
  • Communication: Strong interpersonal, presentation, and written skills, as demonstrated by relationships built, briefings, and presentations.
  • Delivery: working to a defined scope, schedule, and budget, both independently and as part of a team.

Additional Job Requirements for the R&D Engineer 2:
  • Demonstrated independent contributions that benefit a broad spectrum of projects; including proven approaches, solutions, and leadership in the design, drafting, execution, and communication of a team's engineering deliverables.
  • Demonstrated experience mentoring.
Education/Experience at the lower level: Position requires a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering from an ABET accredited institution and 2 years of related experience; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience directly related to the occupation.

Education/Experience at the higher 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.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Documented record of technical achievement in a relevant engineering discipline.
  • Experience with fabrication processes, part inspections, and metrology.
  • Experience with assembly of complex devices in a team environment.
  • Understanding of dynamic experimental diagnostics, e.g. piezo pins, PDV, high-speed imaging devices, accelerometers, etc.
  • Ability to perform analysis at an appropriate level for tasks ranging from hand calculations through complex data analysis.
  • Experience conducting tests and experiments in laboratories and/or outdoors.
  • Experience working in an environment with hazards such as energized systems, high explosives, radiological materials, pressurized systems, or chemicals.
  • Experience working in a multidisciplinary team.
Essential Job Functions (can perform with or without reasonable accommodation): Color discrimination, peripheral vision, depth perception, binocular vision, reading vision, distance vision; ability to speak, ability to discriminate speech, ability to smell, ability to hear in a normal range (500 to 3000 htz); sitting, standing, walking, climbing stairs, climbing ladders, bending, stooping, crouching, kneeling, twisting the trunk or back, balancing, reaching overhead, reaching horizontally, reaching down; applying torque with hands or arms, gripping with the hand, pressing with hands or arms, pushing with hands or arms, pulling with hands or arms, fine motor control, use of both hands, use of both arms, use of both legs, use of both feet, lifting 20-30 pounds, carrying 20-30 pounds.

Work Environment: Outdoors, exposure to wildlife, in a hot or cold environment 5 - 100 F, in a wet or humid environment, in a noisy environment, under unusual lighting conditions; near sources of ionizing radiation, near sources of non-ionizing radiation, with weapons or explosives, with vibrating equipment/machinery, near machinery with moving parts, toxic chemicals, irritant chemicals, dusts or powders, fumes, carcinogens; wearing face shield or facial protection, wearing mask or respirator, use of hearing protection, wearing gloves or hand protection, wearing safety shoes or protective footgear; operation of motor vehicles, operation of specialized heavy equipment; working alone, working overtime or irregular schedule, domestic and international travel possible.

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: Please include a resume & cover letter detailing how you meet the listed required and desired skills, qualifications, and experience 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 1-505-664-6947 option 2 and then option 3.