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Flight Mechanical Lead (Experienced)

Albuquerque, NM

Job ID: 690961

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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.

What Your Job Will Be Like:

Sandia’s Space Mission Engineering Program Office (SMEPO) is seeking for an experienced mechanical engineer to lead and support projects to advance national security in space. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated ability to realize complex space flight payloads through their entire life cycle, familiarity supporting SCI level programs, and the ability to work challenging open-ended problems. Join our dynamic, multidisciplinary team providing science and engineering solutions to meet vital needs in the growing US space enterprise. This position provides opportunity to have real impact on national security through the delivery of critical space-relevant missions.

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

  • Support the entire development lifecycle, from concept development and trade analysis to host testing and deployment developing solutions to challenging and partially understood problems

  • Support conceptual development of new systems with creative solutions

  • Lead and/or support matrixed, multidisciplinary teams in project execution

  • Identify lessons learned and new ways to execute systems effectively

  • Develop new R&D flight systems to fill gaps or create new capabilities for the US space enterprise

  • Network across Sandia to leverage a broad range of expertise

  • D rive new proposals for technologies that push the boundaries of existing flight capabilities

  • Serve as a lead technical SME in your domain of expertise

  • Work with other senior staff and managers to develop new business

  • Identify new technologies or approaches that enable new missions

  • Mentor junior staff

    This position will require some travel to engage partners and investigate new opportunities. (~10% of time)

Qualifications We Require:

  • Advanced degree (MS or PhD) in mechanical engineering or relevant STEM field, or equivalent combination of relevant education and experience

  • Ten or more years’ developing new products through their entire life cycle

  • Four or more years' experience realizing space-based payloads

  • Experience working with multi-disciplinary teams

  • Demonstrated ability to deliver results

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DoE Q and SCI clearance, which may require a polygraph test

  • Ability to relocate to Albuquerque, NM (significant amount of work is onsite)

Qualifications We Desire:

Ideally, your background would also include some of the following:

  • Hands-on experience realizing space-based payloads through its lifecycle (designs/architecture, implementation/build, testing and deployment)

  • Demonstrated ability to provide effective technical leadership for creating realized solutions in response to complex and urgent national security challenges

  • Familiarity with multiple sensing and communications phenomenologies: e.g. RF, SAR, Radar, EO/Vis, IR

  • Interest in traveling (>10%) to facilitate customer engagements and strengthen relationships

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with external and internal partners

  • Possess a strong dedication to positive teaming dynamics

  • Experience developing and presenting proposals to internal and external partners

  • Strong written and verbal skills

  • Demonstrated ability to work well in a diverse teaming environment

  • Demonstrated ability to develop new methods and processes by identifying new approaches for solving complex and difficult technical problems

  • Experience with developing and implementing strategic goals and objectives

  • Experience supporting SCI and/or Special Access Program (SAP) level technical projects

  • Experience collaborating with experienced, high-performing technical staff

  • Active Q clearance, or equivalent; Active DoE SCI clearance

About Our Team:

The Emerging Flight Technologies department is responsible for realizing state-of-the-art flight systems as a strategic capability for the nation’s security interests. Efforts include:

  • Enabling development across the entire range of Sandia’s space-based enterprise: Traditional Multispectral, Space-Based ISR, Missile Warning/Missile Defense, Space Mission Architectures, Space Situational Awareness, and Space Control

  • Rapid deployment of new systems demonstrating new capabilities or in response to emerging threats

  • Developing more resilient space electronic architectures. Moving traditional algorithms, which were designed to run on high-performance ground stations, to the flight system

  • Developing novel mechanisms that reduce jitter, improve optical performance, and improve geolocation

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.

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, which requires U.S. citizenship. 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.

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 DOE, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.


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.

NNSA Requirements for MedPEDs:

If you have a Medical Portable Electronic Device (MedPED), such as a pacemaker, defibrillator, drug-releasing pump, hearing aids, or diagnostic equipment and other equipment for measuring, monitoring, and recording body functions such as heartbeat and brain waves, if employed by Sandia National Laboratories you may be required to comply with NNSA security requirements for MedPEDs.

If you have a MedPED and you are selected for an on-site interview at Sandia National Laboratories, there may be additional steps necessary to ensure compliance with NNSA security requirements prior to the interview date.

Job ID: 690961

Apply Now


  • Worklife Balance
  • Flexible Work Schedules
  • Generous Paid Time Off
  • Exceptional 401K Savings Plan
  • Medical/Dental/Vision Insurance
  • Wellness Programs
  • On-site Amenities
  • Vacation Buy Plan
  • Telecommuting Arrangements*

*with management approval

Life in New Mexico

  • Affordable housing, reasonable cost of living
  • Minimal traffic congestion compared to larger cities
  • Outdoor recreation - Ski, snowboard, hike, etc.
  • Experience rich culture and history
  • International Balloon Fiesta
  • Green chile – NM Cuisine
  • Museums, Parks, Sports

Learn more about Life in Albuquerque, New Mexico