Space Instrument Research Technologist 2/3 | Los Alamos, NM | Los Alamos National Laboratory

Space Instrument Research Technologist 2/3

What You Will Do

This position will be filled at either the Research Technologist 2 or 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.

Are you a skilled hands-on worker, self-motivated, and a proficient multi-tasker with a strong desire and capacity to learn? If so, we want you to come and join the brightest minds at the most innovative R&D facility supporting our national security! We are seeking a Research Technologist to join our collaborative and dynamic team.

As the Research Technologist, you will be part of our X-ray and Particle Sensing (XAPS) team. XAPS instruments measures x-rays and energetic charged particles as part of the United States Nuclear Detonation Detection System (USNDS). The XAPS project provides capabilities to produce actionable information for a broad range of National security stakeholders, and its execution spans all groups of ISR Division as well as other Divisions and external partners.

You will use the principles and theories of engineering, math and science to solve challenging technical problems in broad areas of research and development. On any given day, you will do one or more of the following:
  • Perform a wide variety of hands-on work in ISR laboratories, including space instrument development and testing; maintaining equipment; developing mechanical designs; reading electronic schematics; and troubleshooting as issues arise.
  • Collaborate with engineers, scientists, technicians, project leaders, and to brainstorm and implement innovative solutions to complex and challenging technical and operational problems.
  • Lead refurbishment, maintenance, and management of classified laboratory space where space instruments are built, assembled, and tested.
  • Maintain and improve existing calibration capabilities and help develop novel, compact, portable flash sources and methods.
  • Actively participate in R&D activities of the XAPS science and engineering teams including the development of next generation sensors and electronics.
  • Develop and use custom data acquisition systems based on, for example, Labview, Python or C.
  • Use basic analog electronic skills such as reading and understanding schematics in troubleshooting and next generation design work.
  • Operate bench top test equipment including oscilloscopes and signal generators.
  • Lead research initiatives impacting multiple projects across ISR, such as an out-gassing studies for new materials deployed to space or new fabrication approaches (AM/3D printing).
  • Participate in and contribute to technical and planning meetings.
  • Documents test results, authors reports, reviews/edits reports for others; maintains libraries or repositories of information, data, or reports available to others on the project for future accessibility. Presents work at design reviews, to external entities and at conferences, as appropriate.
  • Works safely and securely adhering to all LANL and ISR procedures and policies. Create and maintain IWDs, as needed. Performs occasional service on division or group panels, e.g., on WSST, or as an ESO or LSO.

The Space Instrument Realization Group (ISR-5) provides engineering and technical expertise to develop and deploy high-quality, innovative measurement systems to space for national security applications and NASA missions. ISR-5 is composed of electrical and mechanical engineers, systems engineers, technicians, project control specialists, and technical project managers, all of whom engage on interdisciplinary, high performance project teams that span conceptual development to deployment. The Intelligence and Space Research (ISR) Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has been designing, building, and operating highly innovative ground, air, and space-based measurement and detection systems for nearly 60 years; including space-based measurement systems for verification of international nuclear treaties, basic scientific missions, nuclear nonproliferation, space situational awareness, and remote sensing.

Research Technologist 2 ($85,400 - $139,600):

The candidate will use best practices in engineering, math, and science to solve challenging technical problems in broad areas of research and development. This role is responsible for assigned activities in support of facilities, design, operation, maintenance, project- and/or research-based engineering, and performing work within a strong safety and security program. The candidate should be able to work independently as well as part of a team, and actively seek to improve work processes to meet customer needs.

Research Technologist 3 ($94,100 - $155,700):

The Research Technologist 3 will be expected to perform the tasks above in a leadership capacity.

What You Need
Minimum Job Requirements:

Technical Knowledge

Knowledge of radiation detection and measurement techniques and experience characterizing and debugging radiation detectors such as solid-state detectors or Photomultiplier tube - Scintillator detectors.

Working knowledge of analog electronics and experience working with standard test equipment such as oscilloscopes and multichannel analyzers.

Technical Experience

Experience with radioactive sources and source handling requirements

Technical Skills

Ability to setup, run, debug and analyze standalone experiments and acquire data with acquisition tools such as LabView. Strong documentation skills.

Work Environment

Ability to work successfully in a diverse, collaborative environment, ability to lift 30lbs, working with minimal supervision.

Additional Job Requirements for Research Technologist 3:

In addition to the responsibilities and activities outlined above, the Research Technologist 3 will be expected to apply fundamental understanding and strong technical skills to lead the execution of complex assignments. This position will be expected to mentor technicians, technologists, and junior staff on research or projects. This role may also be required to represent the XAPS program with internal and external stakeholders at technical interchange meetings, design reviews, and program milestones.

Education/Experience at lower level: 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/Experience at higher level: 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:
  • Ability to perform basic fabrication and assembly tasks such as machining, developing test fixtures, and developing electronic breadboards.
  • Ability to travel, often on short notice, to support mission needs.
  • Experience with data analysis such as data fitting or statistical analysis.
  • Experience with space hardware.
  • Experience with vacuum systems.
  • Experience with flash and/or synchrotron-based X-ray sources
  • Experience as a laser operator
  • Experience with CAD tools such as mechanical design, schematic generation and PCB layout.
  • Ability to supervise and provide direction and guidance to one or more team members.

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 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.

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