Space Instrument Electrical Engineer (R&D Engineer 2/3)

What You Will Do

This position will be filled at either the R&D Engineer 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.

Come join our passionate team at the most innovative R&D facility supporting national security! The Space Electronics and Signal Processing (ISR-4) Group is seeking R&D Electrical Engineers to assist and lead the design and development of high-quality, innovative measurement systems followed by their deployment to space for national security applications and NASA missions. This job is the essence of "Cradle to Grave" engineering; once designed, built, and tested, you will often provide subject matter expertise for payload delivery, launch, and operations over the life of the mission whether in earth orbit for 10+ years, Mars, or deep space. ISR's 400+ instruments fly on over 200 satellites, including numerous NASA missions like Voyager, that has left our solar system, and the last two Mars Rovers. Many of the custom instrumentation we produce is utilized to solve significant issues for our nation's security - something we have been doing so since the early 1960's. For more information, see the ISR-4: Space Electronics and Signal Processing home page.

If you possess self-initiative and enjoy working in a small team environment of rapid prototype, high quality, low volume, electrical assemblies this is the job for you. ISR-4 is looking for a few highly motivated early to mid-career electrical engineers to assist in the development of custom instrumentation for various space-based detection systems. These systems can include:
  • Satellite-based detectors for space monitoring programs in support of nonproliferation and nuclear event detection missions;
  • Payloads for planetary science missions; and
  • Smallsat and Cubesat Systems.

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

As a Space Instrument Electrical Engineer, you will work with the Science Team to define specifications, and a multidisciplinary Engineering Team to design, model, fabricate, and test the resulting instrument. As an R&D Engineer 2, you are self-sufficient in identifying and applying advanced electrical engineering methodologies and able to assure this is done safely, securely, and at the quality dictated by space environments. You seek out opportunities for growth, such as formal education, participation in professional societies, or proposing innovative solutions.

R&D Engineer 3 ($122,300 - $206,200)

In addition to what was outlined at the lower level, as an R&D Engineer 3 you participate as an ISR technical leader with recognized, advanced skills in one or more of the areas of Engineering Expertise, listed below. Project leadership will look to you for in-depth evaluation of design variables and technical decision making. You will continue to build on your strong communication skills through leadership opportunities, collaborations, and mentoring early career staff.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

Engineering Expertise
Design experience in ONE or more of the following electrical engineering focus areas:

  • Analog Design: Fundamentals of analog components, Low noise design principles, Signal conditioning of electronic sensors, High speed analog to digital conversion.
  • Digital Design: Synchronous design, synthesis, routing, simulation, testing, and technical documentation of FPGA or other digital circuits, VHDL or Verilog , Test benches for FPGA or ASIC based design and Digital circuit card design.
  • Power Supply Design: Linear voltage regulators and DC/DC converters as well as switching devices; power supply filtering, protection, and gate drives; power supply control theory, analysis, and testing.
  • Mixed Domains: The ideal candidate doesn't approach a problem as "Analog vs. Digital" but as a whole and is interested in finding an optimal solution across disciplines.

Communication & Teaming
Demonstrated ability to accomplish technical tasks while working independently as well as in a team environment with engineers, scientists, and technicians. Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills and interpersonal skills; strong organizational skills.

Additional Job Requirements for the R&D Engineer 3:

In addition to the requirements outlined above, qualification at the higher level requires:

  • Advanced skills in one or more of the areas of Engineering Expertise, listed above.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead the research, design, verification and validation of electrical engineering solutions.
  • Proven capability to understand the broader technical system, beyond the electrical design, and team seamlessly with other subject matter experts to make design decisions at a task level.
  • Desire to influence organizational project or team strategies and direction.

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 and 6 years of relevant experience; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of configuration management tools and processes
  • Experience with space-flight hardware development and formal verification methods desirable
  • Experience debugging & troubleshooting circuits/prototypes
  • Experience or knowledge of best practices for maintaining signal integrity in mixed analog/digital designs from circuit design to PCB layout

Note to Applicants:

In addition to providing a resume, applicants should also include a cover letter detailing their experience as applied to the job requirements.

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.
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 (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 (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. 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 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 1-505-664-6947 option 2.