Structural Dynamics Engineer (R&D Engineer 2/3)

What You Will Do

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

We are seeking an engineer with a strong interest in experimental testing, exposure to finite element analysis, and a passion for structural dynamics to join the testing development and structural analysis (TDSA) team. Our mission is to improve dynamic analysis of weapons systems through the integration of advanced design, simulation, and testing techniques. Our small, focused team is composed of engineers with expertise in finite element simulation, data analysis, multi-input multiple-output (MIMO) test methods, and structural design. Test, modeling, simulation, and design come together into one integrated team to develop and demonstrate new capabilities in support of the weapons mission. Our ideal candidate does not need to have experience in all of these areas, but must have a willingness to learn, an enthusiasm for structural dynamics, and a desire to develop novel solutions.

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

At the R&D Engineer 2 level, you will be trained to plan and execute complex MIMO tests. You will analyze test results in near real time to guide test execution and will frequently perform detailed post-test analyses to understand the dynamics of the test structure. You will participate in test-analysis correlation together with your teammates who are executing finite element analysis, gaining familiarity with the modeling techniques and providing input. In completing each task, you will be expected to contribute to a collaborative code base so that teammates can reuse and extend your work.

R&D Engineer 3 $122,300 - $206,300

In addition to what was outlined at the lower level, at the R&D Engineer 3 level you will be required to provide technical leadership in developing novel test techniques, interface with customers, and engage in strategic planning to advance LANL's capabilities.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

Knowledge of structural dynamics and dynamic testing. Ability to leverage science and engineering fundamentals to develop new skills.

Test-Analysis Correlation
Application experience analyzing test data (especially multi-dimensional test data), and experience correlating models to test data.

Communication and Teamwork
Demonstrated, successful experience working in an integrated team environment; demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks in an environment of shifting priorities; strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills and ability to interact effectively with all levels of personnel and external customers.

Additional Job Requirements for R&D Engineer 3:
In addition to the requirements outlined above, qualification at the higher level requires:

Demonstrated expertise in structural dynamics and vibration testing / experimental modal analysis through work experience or record of publication.

Technical Leadership
Demonstrated experience leading engineering teams and working with customers and other stakeholders to define testing tasks and plan deliverables.

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 related experience.

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 related experience.

Desired Qualifications:

Desired Education
Advanced degrees in engineering or similar technical fields are strongly preferred.

Modal Analysis
Experience with experimental modal analysis is strongly desired.

Environmental Testing
Experience with environmental testing activities, especially shock and vibration testing, is desired.

Programming & Code Development
Experience with the MATLAB and/or Python programming environments, with object-oriented programming, and with version control systems (e.g. Git) is desired.

Experience with implicit dynamics simulation in ABAQUS is desired, as is specific experience with building modal models.

Experience specifying data acquisition equipment or instrumentation requirements is desired.

Experience reading and working with drawings is desired.

U.S. Nuclear Stockpile
Working knowledge of nuclear weapons and the U.S. stockpile is desired.

Active Q Clearance

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)

The Engineering Technology and Design Division (E Division) is the premier engineering solution provider for national security challenges that include mechanical and thermal, process modeling and analysis, process and automation control, experimental device engineering and assembly, non-destructive testing and evaluation, and test engineering. The Division works in close cooperation with several production facilities across the nuclear security complex as well as with the customers in the U.S. Navy and Air Force. The Division is also tasked with broadly anticipating the scope of possible future modernizations and with enabling the various technology advanced that they might require. Activities will include collaborations with the Weapons Systems Engineering Division (W) and Stockpile Modernization Division (Q). Projects vary widely from small weapon component and system level design, testing and computational simulation to experimental programs that require close integration and coordination with the U.S. Navy and NNSA.

The Test Engineering Group (E-14) is responsible for system level testing that includes project initiation, experimental design and analysis, hardware design and analysis, and fabrication for small component level up to full scale integrated tests. Test activities will include collaborations with W- and Q-Divisions, the hydrodynamic test program, dynamic materials experimental programs, joint test operations with Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, and supporting experiments performed at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). Projects vary widely from small weapon component and system level testing to experimental programs requiring containment/confinement system design and testing that is proven to contain detonation products and debris.

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 1-505-665-4444 option 1.