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Sandia National Laboratories Geophysicist - Geophysical Detection Program (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.


We are seeking a driven and results oriented R&D Geosciences Engineer to support Sandia’s U.S. National Data Center Modernization (USNDC-M) project and Ground Nuclear Detonation Detection (GNDD) program area. The USNDC-M project is a large-scale, multi-year software development effort to modernize the software used by the U.S. Air Force Technical Applications Center, to acquire, process, and analyze seismic, infrasonic, and hydroacoustic waveforms for the purpose of detecting and reporting technical information about foreign nuclear explosions to national decision makers.

On any given day you may be called upon to:

  • Define test procedures

  • Create and provide test data sets

  • Provide expert geophysical knowledge about data processing algorithms and geophysical concepts and explain geophysics concepts to the developers writing the production code

  • Write prototype code that shows how algorithms should be implemented

  • Validate the scientific accuracy of the resultant production software both at a unit level and as part of the overall integrated system

  • Perform low-TRL R&D in the GNDD Signal Analysis research portfolio

The successful applicant might be considered for the role of Geophysics SME team leader within approximately 9 – 12 months after hire. The lead role requires the ability to work with the larger USNDC-M management and leadership team to technically define and coordinate both near-term and strategic work of the Geophysics SME team.

The successful applicant will be expected to support the USNDC-M project at approximately 75% of full-time work level and GNDD at approximately 25% of full-time work level.


  • M.S. in Geophysics, or closely related field plus one year of related experience

  • Ability to obtain a DOE Q and SCI clearance


  • Ph.D. in Geophysics, or closely related field

  • Proficiency in coding scientific algorithms in Python or Matlab

  • Familiarity with relational databases (Oracle is preferred)

  • Familiarity with Gitlab

  • Strong organizational, written, oral, and presentation skills, including the ability to effectively communicate scientific/engineering concepts and results at multiple levels (highly technical to high-level/programmatic)

  • Ground-based nuclear detonation detection monitoring or equivalent operational earthquake monitoring experience

  • Ability to work effectively both individually and on interdisciplinary teams

  • Demonstrated ability to deliver high-quality results on-time and on-schedule under challenging circumstances

  • Ability to help customers define requirements and technical path forward

  • Experience defining and executing research and development efforts, from the proposal writing stage to delivery and dissemination of results

  • Active DOE Q-clearance or SCI clearance

    Department Description:

We develop and lead underground nuclear explosion detection and monitoring programs for global and U.S. national security purposes. We partner with other departments within Sandia’s Proliferation Detection Programs group and with departments across Sandia to integrate multi¿disciplinary capabilities into teams that can address broad national security needs in geophysically¿based detection and monitoring. We strategically partner with our Federal sponsors, including NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development, the Air Force Technical Applications Center, and other government agencies to both execute current and define future detection and monitoring programs. We also work with our strategic partners to identify and plan for near¿, mid¿, and long¿term U.S. needs in these areas.

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.