Job Information

Sandia National Laboratories Concentrated Solar Power Postdoctoral Appointee in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Bidder Eligibility:

This postdoctoral position is a temporary position for up to one year, which may be renewed at Sandia's discretion up to five additional years. The PhD must have been conferred within five years prior to employment. Individuals in postdoctoral positions may bid on regular Sandia positions as internal candidates, and in some cases may be converted to regular career positions during their term if warranted by ongoing operational needs, continuing availability of funds, and satisfactory job performance.

Employees must remain in their current position for one year before applying for a new position, with the exception of student interns. Application of this requirement will not supersede collective bargaining agreements. See collective bargaining labor agreements for represented bidder eligibility requirements for represented employees.

Posting Duration:

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.

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate:

Sandia demonstrates its commitment to public safety in the national interest by requiring that all new hires be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious accommodation before commencing employment. The requirement also applies to those who are telecommuting and working virtually.

Any concerns about the ability to meet this requirement should be directed to HR Solutions at (505) 284-4700.

What Your Job Will Be Like:

We are seeking a dedicated and innovative Postdoctoral Researcher to support one or more large DOE Gen3 CSP projects, applying your expertise in mechanical engineering fundamentals, including thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, and solid mechanics. Projects could include sCO2 heat exchangers, thermal energy storage from Concentrated Solar, solar reactor/receivers, particle based systems or molten salt based systems. Use your passion and creativity to devise groundbreaking engineering solutions alongside a hardworking, multi-disciplinary renewable energy team of expert scientists and engineers. Your work, centered on concentrating solar applications could ultimately include a span of activities we do for other mission areas at the Labs.

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

  • Independently conduct and deliver your own R&D activities or projects under leadership of senior staff. These activities and projects may be theoretical, computational and/or experimental. These activities will often require working in teams that can include partners from other institutions;

  • Work with Sandia’s technology transfer and licensing professionals to move successful R&D from the Labs to industry;

  • Assist or lead in the development of proposals to seek funding from sponsors and customers for new or ongoing R&D projects in CSP;

  • Disseminate R&D outcomes and the departments capabilities in various forms including journal article publications and by presenting papers at national and international conferences;

  • Potentially represent Sandia and the department in national or international committees relating to conferences, standards and publications.

Qualifications We Require:

  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering or closely related field

  • Expertise in the mechanical engineering fundamentals including thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, and solid mechanics

  • Proven technical writing skills as demonstrated in scientific publications or conference presentations

  • Prior academic or professional experience in mechanical design and generation of engineering drawings

  • Demonstrated ability to generate CFD and/or FEA models to analyze thermal and/or mechanical components

Qualifications We Desire:

  • Well-developed communication, oral presentation, and leadership skills;

  • Prior experience in Ansys Fluent, Ansys Mechanical, SolidWorks, Engineering Equation Solver, MATLAB, and LabVIEW

  • Understanding of radiation heat transfer and solar thermal technologies

  • Willingness to collaborate with scientists and engineers of various backgrounds

  • Capable of communicating with and supervising the work of fabricators, machinists, welders, and electricians

  • Experience in the design and operation of thermal equipment where hardware is taken through concept generation, design, manufacturing, and testing

  • Knowledgeable of traditional manufacturing techniques (e.g., welding, machining, bending, brazing, sheet metal forming)

  • Experience in design, operation, measurement, and control with high-temperature systems

  • Experience in bulk solids (particle) handling, heating, and transport

About Our Team:

Sandia National Laboratories is a world leader in the development of renewable energy systems with a long history of demonstrating some of the most significant technical advances in the field. Our Concentrating Solar Technologies Department located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, conducts research and operates facilities that support the development of large-scale concepts in solar receivers, heliostats, thermal energy storage, and other aspects of thermal energy conversion. Facilities at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) include a 6 MWth heliostat field with 214 heliostats, a 200 ft solar tower with multiple test bays, a high-temperature/high-pressure flowing molten salt test loop, optical characterization tools, a 16 kWth solar furnace, and long-range heliostat analysis tools. The world-class facilities and extensive experience of researchers in the department provide the opportunity to make significant technological impacts in utility-scale solar electric generation, solar fuels and thermochemical cycles, high flux materials, thermal storage, and related fields, and also in development of future, progressive technologies. Excellent opportunities exist to provide new technology options in support of our nation's renewable energy industry and to apply our core strengths in other areas of investigation.

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:

This position does not currently require a Department of Energy (DOE) security clearance.

Sandia will conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Furthermore, employees in New Mexico need to pass a U.S. Air Force background screen for access to Kirtland Air Force Base. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause access to be denied or terminated, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.

If hired without a clearance and it subsequently becomes necessary to obtain and maintain one for the position, or you bid on positions that require a clearance, a pre-processing background review may be conducted prior to a required federal background investigation. Applicants for a DOE security clearance need to be U.S. citizens. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted.

Members of the workforce (MOWs) hired at Sandia who require uncleared access for greater than 179 days during their employment, are required to go through the Uncleared Personal Identity Verification (UPIV) process. Access includes physical and/or cyber (logical) access, as well as remote access to any NNSA information technology (IT) systems. UPIV requirements are not applicable to individuals who require a DOE personnel security clearance for the performance of their SNL employment or to foreign nationals. The UPIV process will include the completion of a USAccess Enrollment, SF-85 (Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions) and OF-306 (Declaration of for Federal Employment). An unfavorable UPIV determination will result in immediate retrieval of the SNL issued badge, removal of cyber (logical) access and/or removal from SNL subcontract. All MOWs may appeal the unfavorable UPIV determination to DOE/NNSA immediately. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the MOW may try to go through the UPIV process one year after the decision date.


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.

Job ID: 682964