Weapons Response R&D Engineer 3/4 | Los Alamos, NM | Los Alamos National Laboratory

Weapons Response R&D Engineer 3/4

What You Will Do

This position will be filled at either the R&D Engineer 3 or R&D Engineer 4 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.

Q-6 is offering an exciting opportunity to be a part of the Detonator Component Engineering team as the Lead Weapon Response Engineer for nuclear weapon stockpile detonators and related components. The Group is seeking an enthusiastic and driven individual who can bring skills in engineering design, project management, and experimentation. You must be capable of working independently on complex technical problems associated with the active nuclear weapon stockpile detonator programs and lead detonator safety teams while actively and openly contributing to the Q-6 fireset design and component engineering team.

You will work with customers and collaborators to ensure programs are supported and programmatic deliverables are met. Strong documentation (writing) skills and ability to present technical information to a wide audience through formal and informal interactions are crucial in this role. You will work daily in a classified setting and must demonstrate a strong commitment towards national security.

The Detonator Science and Technology Group (Q-6) is the design authority for detonators on Los Alamos nuclear weapon stockpile systems. Q-6 provides engineering and design support to the NNSA production plants during production of War Reserve detonators, assesses, and reports on surveillance data for each stockpile detonator.

R&D Engineer 3 ($133,100 - $190,900)

As an R&D Engineer 3, you will be part of a team with responsibilities for quantifying detonator safety with respect to electrical, RF sources but also mechanical and thermal sources. Learning and applying standard analysis tools developed and agreed to by NWEEMC (Nuclear Weapon Enterprise Electromagnetics Committee). Learn and apply lessons from past experiments (MEWCs, gapped bridge wires, detonator history, ESD testing, etc.) and accepted principles. Identify and challenge gaps in methodology and data and propose solutions for developing bases for detonator safety statements. Roles and responsibilities in detonator weapon response (W-10, Q-6, Pantex). Become a subject matter expert in detonator safety. The R&D Engineer 3 will mentor junior engineers on the technical aspects of detonator safety and electrical design.

R&D Engineer 4 ($138,700 - $240,500)

In addition to what was outlined at the R&D Engineer 3 level, at the R&D Engineer 4 level you will serve as the LANL Lead for all aspects of detonator safety. The R&D Engineer 4 will mentor junior engineers on the technical aspects of detonator safety and assist both the finest engineers and component design engineers in meeting Laboratory deliverables. You will serve as the design agency Subject Matter Expert (SME) on all electrical and detonator safety issues. R&D Engineer's at this level represent Q-6 and the program with the respective LANL program managers to secure funding and establish schedules to meet annual deliverables for the program. The R&D Engineer 4 is expected to be the Laboratory and DOE complex expert on detonator safety.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

Engineering Knowledge

Proven experience in electrical, chemical, or mechanical engineering disciplines. Candidate must have the ability to read and interpret electrical and mechanical engineering design drawings, including GD&T. Knowledge of and experience in designing, planning, and executing designs for fabrication and testing of products, and using statistical analysis techniques. Experience with computer programming languages; experience with MATLAB, C/C++ preferred. Knowledge of application of scientific methods and engineering discipline-relevant standards

Technical Leadership

Extensive and demonstrable technical knowledge, experience, and ability to provide technical leadership on product designs and testing (e.g., multi-component assemblies, characterization, assessment, or multi-parameter testing). Experience leading efforts in designing, planning, and executing projects associated with mature products. Knowledge of and experience with simulations using COMSOL, PSPICE, or other relevant modeling software.

Communication and Teamwork

Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills and demonstrated ability to interact effectively with all levels of internal and external peers, customers, and stakeholders. Ability to effectively accomplish work without considerable direction; expect significant latitude in determining objectives of assignments, and determine the methods and procedures needed for new assignments

Additional Job Requirements for the R&D Engineer 4 Level:

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

Knowledge, Skills, and Expertise

Demonstrated ability to translate strategic needs into technological objectives, goals, and deliverables. The candidate will have examples of innovations that define technical direction by conceiving, planning, and conducting research and guiding development to fruition of final products and authored reports or publications of importance with impacts within the engineering or scientific community. The successful candidate will possess a demonstrated knowledge of LANL nuclear weapon system designs and an advanced understanding of nuclear weapon response protocols and requirements.

Scope of Impact

Position requires an incumbent with proven successes in providing leadership in identifying, promoting, and developing appropriate new Laboratory technical capabilities, including influencing and establishing Laboratory strategies to ensure alignment of new programs to priorities and mission.

Decision Making, Problem Solving, and Technical Judgement

Evidence of providing solutions for unusually significant, unique, or complex problems that consistently require a high level of creativity and where analyses of situations or scarce data require an in-depth evaluation of intangibles.

Responsibility and Accountability

The candidate shall provide examples of developing technical approaches and deploying solutions for Laboratory initiatives, deliverables, or new technologies.

Interactions and Communication

The candidate must possess a record of technical or programmatic presentations to senior-level Laboratory and Federal management as well as defending technical positions and addressing technical inputs or responses from DA WR analysts, hazard analysts, or system subject matter experts.

Education and Experience Required, R&D Engineer 3: 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 experience directly related to the occupation. At this level a Ph.D. may be preferred.

Education and Experience Required, R&D Engineer 4: Position requires a Master's Degree in Engineering from an ABET accredited institution and 12 years of related experience; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience directly related to the occupation. At this level a Ph.D. may be preferred.

Desired Qualifications:

Research or experience areas of expertise (in order of importance):
  • Dielectric strength or dielectric breakdown of materials including test methods and statistical analysis for determining dielectric strength (of explosive materials)
  • Electrical detonators - primarily EBWs and EFIs general principles and construction
  • Pulsed power - small scale - fire sets and their use in determining detonator safety
  • Electrostatic discharge (ESD)
  • RF sources and inductive coupling
  • Lightning effects and physics
  • Experience with 10 CFR 830 Subpart B, DOE O 425.1E, DOE-NA-STD-3016-2016, or DOE G 424.1-1B
  • Coursework, experience, or demonstrable knowledge of shock, detonation, or explosive-initiation physics
  • Know-how to develop design of experiments for material and product-related response studies; execute and interpret the results of such
  • Knowledge of initiation systems particular to nuclear weapon applications
  • Proficiency with PTC CREO parametric modeling software
  • Knowledge of and experience relative to uncertainty quantification or QMU
  • Demonstrated experience in secure work environment or working with sensitive or classified information
  • Active Q clearance, which normally requires US citizenship

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 a 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 applyhelp@lanl.gov or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.
Employment StatusFull Time