XRD Research Technologist 1/2 | Los Alamos, NM | Los Alamos National Laboratory

XRD Research Technologist 1/2

What You Will Do


The Nuclear Materials Science (MST-16) group at Los Alamos National Laboratory is seeking a qualified and highly motivated person for the position of Research Technologist 1 or 2 with a strong background in X-ray diffraction (XRD). This position requires leadership and coordination with staff members to provide maintenance and operational support to the X-ray diffractometers used in the characterization of plutonium alloys and compounds. A successful candidate will develop, integrate, operate and maintain state of the art X-ray scattering instruments and will be expected to integrate with staff toward the pursuit of technical endeavors. A successful candidate will also lead or contribute to the development of X-ray scattering characterization techniques that enable advanced actinide materials research and comply with all conduct of operations, safety, and security requirements.

Nuclear Materials Science (MST-16) is an international leader in plutonium science and engineering and supports a wide range of fundamental to applied programs important to US interests in energy and national security. Programmatic work includes Plutonium Sustainment, Pit Surveillance, Science Programs, Life Extension Programs, Advanced Certification, various global security programs, and Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) projects. MST-16 maintains a multidisciplinary expertise in actinide materials science and engages in areas important to Laboratory missions, including material characterization, phase stability, mechanical and dynamic properties, aging, electronic structure, corrosion, and surface science. Our work takes place in the Plutonium Facility (PF-4), the Radiological Laboratory/Utility/Office Building (RLUOB), the Target Fabrication Facility (TFF), and numerous other facilities at LANL and across the country.

This position will be filled at either the R&D Technologist 1 or 2 level, depending on the skills and experience of the selected candidate. Additional job responsibilities will be assigned if the candidate is hired at the higher level.

Research Technologist 1 $79,200 - $129,000
  • Responsibilities will include:
  • Maintain compliance with conduct of operations, safety, security, and environmental regulations. Perform work within established procedures, processes, requirements, or specifications.
  • Effectively balance work on multiple tasks and projects.
  • Independently operate and maintain X-ray diffraction instruments and its supporting systems. Troubleshoot and coordinate all facets of updates and repairs with vendors and support personnel.
  • Integrate with scientist to develop/maintain the X-ray diffraction systems and execute experiments.
  • Work with radiological and other programmatically relevant materials in glovebox environments.
  • Hands-on sample preparation and shipping (including coordination/logistics) of actinide materials, addressing technique development for preparing difficult sample environments in gloveboxes and open-front hoods.
  • Interface with various LANL support organizations including radiation protection, facilities, and shipping to coordinate and facilitate radiological work.
  • Contribute to data analysis, interpretation, and formal technical reporting.

Research Technologist 2 $87,200 - $ 142,500
  • In addition to Research Technologist Level 1 responsibilities, level 2 will include:
  • Manage day-to-day operations and laboratory processes for the X-ray scattering instruments in a nuclear facility.
  • Initiate and play a leadership role in method development and improvement efforts of the X-ray scattering systems.
  • Interact with program management, line management, and scientific staff to support ongoing facility funding.
  • Proactively assess instrument performance and reliability, generate improvement ideas, and propose integration of new equipment or capabilities.
  • Provide mentorship and contribute to the professional development of colleagues.

What You Need
Minimum Job Requirements:

  • Experience in X-ray diffraction, including instrument maintenance and operation.
  • Experience with X-ray powder/polycrystalline materials characterization.
  • Demonstrated track record of teamwork, initiative, and the ability to learn new skills.
  • Experience in sample preparation for X-ray scattering measurements.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills and the ability to interact effectively with staff, technical, and facility personnel.
  • Experience with data analysis software tools and standard office software such as e-mail, Excel, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint.
  • Ability to follow written and verbal instructions, procedures, plans and Laboratory requirements.
  • Ability to pass and maintain required training.
  • Ability to follow safeguards and security procedures in accordance with Laboratory policy.
  • Ability to obtain DOE Q clearance (usually requires U.S. citizenship) and HRP certification.

In addition to the above job requirements outlined for a Research Technologist 1, the Research Technologist 2 requirements are:
  • Experience with different X-ray scattering techniques such as GIXRD, SAXS, material stress/texture, and pair distribution function (PDF) analysis.
  • Experience in leading/managing daily laboratory operations.
  • Experience in modifying, customizing and developing X-ray scattering systems, including auxiliaries (vacuum systems, non-ambient temperature systems).
  • Experience providing direction, guidance, training, and mentorship to other laboratory users.
  • Demonstrated success in leading and working effectively in a team environment and working across organizational lines to accomplish objectives.

Education/Experience at lower level: A Bachelor's Degree in science or engineering from an accredited institution and 2 years related experience; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience directly related to this job.

Education/Experience at higher level: A Bachelor's Degree in science or engineering from an accredited institution and 5 years related experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience directly related to this job. An advanced degree may be preferred.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Experience in developing and conducting experiments with actinides.
  • Ability to balance requirements of multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Documented record of working safely and responsibly in a nuclear facility or with special nuclear materials.
  • Experience working in glove boxes
  • Experience in working with classified documents and items.
  • DOE Q clearance and HRP certification.

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 2 years.

Note to Applicants: For full consideration, your application must include a cover letter that addresses how you meet the required and desired skills and a full resume.
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.

HRP: This position is subject to the requirements of the DOE Human Reliability Program as specified in 10 Code of Federal Regulation, Part 712, §712.11. These requirements include on going drug and alcohol testing, as well as periodic medical and psychological evaluations.

426.2: This position is subject to DOE Order 426.2, Personnel Selection, Training, and Qualification Requirements for DOE Nuclear Facilities, which establishes entry-level requirements to ensure candidates selected for specific positions can successfully perform the requirements of the job.

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