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Sandia National Laboratories Autonomous Sensing and Perception Engineer (Early/Mid-Career) in Albuquerque, New Mexico


This posting will be open for application submissions for a minimum of seven (7) calendar days, including the ‘posting date’. Sandia reserves the right to extend the posting date at any time.


Organization 5448, Autonomous Sensing & Perception, is seeking an early to mid-career Engineer to perform research and development work focused on making orbital, aerial, and terrestrial sensors and their associated platforms and support equipment more autonomous through the application of cutting-edge remote sensing and perception methods. The successful applicant should have experience in remote sensing systems, machine intelligence (artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning), pattern recognition, supervised and unsupervised classification, target detection, signature matching, image and signal processing, computer vision, photogrammetry and object geolocation, and associated algorithm development with respect to remote sensing applications.

On any given day, you may be called on to:

  • Analyze data from sensor collections to identify and explore potential quantitative approaches that would allow for information to be automatically extracted from the data and properly contextualized for higher-confidence autonomous decision making.

  • Develop algorithms that will enable the autonomous processing of multiple live sensor streams in real time, in both data center and edge environments.

  • Implement and deploy high potential approaches in software, working closely with diverse teams of scientists and engineers from across Sandia and external partner organizations (government, academia, industry) that are designing and building multiple sensor systems, platforms, and ground stations.


  • Bachelor's degree in STEM field, such as Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Data Science, Remote Sensing, Geomatics, Imaging Science, Geography, Geology, Earth Science, Atmospheric Science, Planetary Science, Physics, Robotics, or another relevant science or engineering discipline

  • General experience and ability to perform rigorous analysis and algorithm development with large volumes of sensor data

  • Occasional travel may be required for this position.

  • Ability to acquire and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance with SCI access, which typically requires a polygraph test


Ideally, your background would include one or more of the following:

  • Master’s degree in STEM Field as noted above

  • Active DOE Q-level clearance with SCI access

  • Experience with active (radar, LIDAR) and passive (EO/IR, FMV) imaging modalities, applied statistics and mathematics, and the Linux operating system. A working knowledge of SAR imaging systems and associated ATR technologies is highly desired.

  • Experience with synthetic remote sensing data generation packages like Xpatch and DIRSIG.

  • Knowledge and experience in programming languages such as Python, MATLAB, IDL, R, Scala, Julia, Rust, and C/C++.

  • Familiarity with image and signal processing, machine intelligence (artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning), photogrammetry and object geolocation techniques, information theory, and real-time processing algorithms.

  • Experience with scientific computing and numerical solver libraries like Numpy, SciPy, Eigen, and Ceres

  • Experience with machine learning software frameworks like PyTorch, TensorFlow, Keras, and scikit-learn

  • Experience with image processing and computer vision software frameworks like OpenCV, ImageJ, ITK, and scikit-image

  • Experience with CAD models and the standard software packages used to manipulate them

  • Experience with remote sensing data analysis software packages like ENVI, ERDAS Imagine, IDRISI, and SOCET GXP

  • Experience with geospatial software libraries like GDAL, PDAL, PCL, PROJ, OSSIM, Cesium, and NITRO

  • Experience with CPU and GPU parallel computing software frameworks like CUDA, OpenMP, OpenCL, OpenACC, and MPI

  • Experience with edge computing hardware like NVIDIA Jetson and FPGAs

  • Experience with hierarchical and metadata-rich file formats like NITF and HDF

  • Experience with conceiving, proposing, and conducting both basic and applied research projects; assembling and leading small project teams; technical writing (journal articles, conference contributions, white papers, reports); and interacting directly with project sponsors

  • Interest in pursuing professional development opportunities focused on increased sensor modality domain expertise, increased software engineering proficiency, and increased technical leadership.

  • Able to work effectively as a member of diverse, multidisciplinary project teams

    Department Description:

The Autonomous Sensing & Perception Department (5448) develops, implements, and deploys quantitative methods for the detection, identification, classification, and contextualization of objects of interest in orbital, aerial, and terrestrial sensor data to support autonomous decision making by associated platforms and their support equipment. It does so by drawing on expertise from a wide array of disciplines that include engineering, mathematics, statistics, computer science, data science, imaging science, remote sensing, computer vision, and photogrammetry--to name only a few. Department 5448 applies these methods to a variety of sensor modalities including Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR); High Range Resolution (HRR) Radar; Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR, spanning VNIR/SWIR/MWIR/LWIR); Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR); Full Motion Video (FMV); Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT); and acoustics.

About Sandia:

Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs:• Challenging work with amazing impact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide• Extraordinary co-workers• Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world• Career advancement and enrichment opportunities• Flexible work arrangements for many positions include 9/80 (work 80 hours every two weeks, with every other Friday off) and 4/10 (work 4 ten-hour days each week) compressed workweeks, part-time work, and telecommuting (a mix of onsite work and working from home)• Generous vacations, strong medical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance*

World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers. Learn more about Sandia at:*These benefits vary by job classification.

Security Clearance:

Sandia is required by DOE to conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Applicants for employment need to be able to obtain and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance and SCI access, both of which require US citizenship. SCI access may also require a polygraph examination. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain these levels of access may be impacted.

Applicants offered employment with Sandia are subject to a federal background investigation to meet the requirements for access to classified information or matter if the duties of the position require a DOE security clearance. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause a clearance to be denied or terminated by the DOE, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.

EEO Statement:

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.