Space Instrument Research Technologist (Research Technologist 1/2)

What You Will Do

This position will be filled at either the Research Technologist 1 or 2 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 a Research Technologist, you will be part of our X-ray and Particle Sensing (XAPS) team. XAPS instruments measure 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 might 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, reading electronic schematics, and troubleshooting as issues arise.
  • Collaborate with engineers, scientists, technicians, and project leaders, including brainstorming and implementing innovative solutions to complex and challenging technical and operational problems.
  • Aid in the refurbishment, maintenance, and management of classified laboratory space where space instruments are built, assembled, and tested.
  • Actively participate in R&D activities of the XAPS science and engineering teams including the development of next generation sensors and electronics.
  • Use basic analog electronics skills such as reading and understanding schematics in troubleshooting.
  • Operate benchtop test equipment including oscilloscopes and signal generators.
  • Contribute to research initiatives impacting multiple projects across ISR, such as outgassing studies for new materials deployed to space or new fabrication approaches (AM/3D printing).
  • Participate in and contribute to technical and planning meetings.
  • Document test results, author reports, review or edit reports for others; maintain libraries or repositories of information, data, or reports .
  • Work safely and securely, adhering to all LANL and ISR procedures and policies. Help create and maintain safety documentation as needed. Perform occasional service on division or group safety panels.
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. This includes space-based measurement systems for verification of international nuclear treaties, basic scientific missions, nuclear nonproliferation, space situational awareness, and remote sensing.

Research Technologist 1:
The candidate will initially work under general supervision with review until independence is developed. They will perform moderate to complex tasks in support of ISR R&D activities including assembly and testing of critical space flight components analysis of test data, and generation of reports. The candidate should be able to work independently as well as part of a team.

Research Technologist 2:
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. The candidate will actively seek to improve work processes to meet customer needs.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

Minimum job requirements for lower level title:

Curiosity, passion, and a desire to learn will differentiate great candidates. Foundational traits include the ability to engage actively with your teammates, ask questions, and be open to new information.

Technical Knowledge

Background experience and/or foundational education that supports the development of skills in radiation detection and measurement techniques. Working knowledge of analog electronics.

Technical Experience

Basic experience with standard test equipment such as oscilloscopes and multichannel analyzers.


Strong documentation skills, including the ability to contribute to plans, procedures, reports, and presentations. Excellent verbal communication and demonstrated teaming skills.

Work Environment

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

Additional Job Requirements for higher level title:

In addition to the requirements outlined above, qualification at the higher level requires:
  • Ability to set up, run, debug, and analyze standalone experiments and acquire data with acquisition tools such as LabView. Experience with radioactive sources and source handling requirements. Experience with data analysis such as data fitting or statistical analysis.

Education/Experience at lower level: Position requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and two 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 5 years related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience directly related to the occupation.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Ability to perform basic fabrication and assembly tasks such as developing test fixtures and electronic breadboards
  • Ability for occasional travel, sometimes on short notice, to support mission needs
  • 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
  • Basic working experience characterizing and debugging space instrumentation such as solid-state detectors, photomultiplier tubes, etc.
  • Basic software/firmware programming skills, especially in C#

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.
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 (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.