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Intern - START HBCU, Mechanical Flight Systems R&D Graduate Year-Round

Albuquerque, NM

Job ID: 685863

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What Your Job Will Be Like:

We are seeking an Intern - START HBCU Mechanical Flight Systems R&D Graduate Year-Round Intern.

The Securing Top Academic Research Talent at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (START HBCU) Institute is designed to provide collaborations with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and to develop an intentional talent pipeline for minority students in various Business fields. We are interested in identifying candidates from HBCUs ( and growing collaboration opportunities between HBCUs and Sandia. A key part of this is through granting internships to undergraduate students to work at Sandia National Laboratories. The START HBCU Institute will hire interns into several critical R&D functions.

Are you passionate about your work and dream of utilizing state-of-the-art facilities to explore solutions? Do you want to join a dynamic team that solves significant issues for our nation's security?

We are seeking an Intern Year Round - R&D Graduate in support of Integrated Missile & Strike Systems work. You will perform conceptualization, design, analysis, design definition, fabrication oversight, assembly/integration, flight certification testing, and supporting fielding and flight test operations all within a dynamic, multi-disciplinary, team-focused environment. You may need to travel to support program interactions, system integration activities and flight testing at partner locations and remote test facilities. You will work as a fully integrated member of a highly skilled team in one of the critical disciplines listed below based on your skills and interests:

  • Aerodynamics & Flight Mechanics

  • Mechanical Engineering

  • Ordnance and Propulsion

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.

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.

Qualifications We Require:

You bring the confidence and skills to be eligible for the job by meeting these minimum requirements:

  • Earned bachelor's degree

  • Currently attending and enrolled full time in an accredited science, engineering, or math graduate program

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0

  • Ability to work up to 30 hours per week during the academic year, and up to 40 hours per week during the summer

  • U.S. citizenship

Additional requirements:

  • Currently attending a Historically Black College or University ( during the Spring term prior to this summer.

Qualifications We Desire:

Preference will be given to those who possess any of the following additional qualifications in their area of focus:

  • Aerodynamics & Flight Mechanics

  • Experience with aerodynamic prediction codes, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and wind-tunnel testing

  • Experience in developing and deploying multi-fidelity aerodynamic and flight performance models in multi-disciplinary design, optimization, and

  • 3DOF/6DOF trajectory simulation environments

  • Demonstrated ability to think at a systems level, recognizing how components and subsystems impact one another

  • Experience with the capabilities, use, and application of MATLAB®, Simulink®, Python™, C/C++, or other modern programming languages

  • Experience in high performance computing and technical software development

  • Experience with Monte Carlo analysis and estimating mission uncertainty parameters

  • Mechanical Engineering

  • Experience in mechanical design and analysis with Solidworks, Creo, Abaqus, or other engineering tools

  • Understanding of manufacturing processes used for precision metal parts

  • Understand and/or exposure to advanced manufacturing processes

  • Working knowledge of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T)

  • Experience with hands-on assembly and integration of payloads and/or flight systems

  • Experience with the packaging and integration of flight electronics

  • Ordnance and Propulsion

  • Experience in energetic material safe handling practices

  • Experience or understanding of combustion principles and energetics composition

  • Familiarity/Experience with Solid Rocket Motor Systems

  • Familiarity/Experience with Pressure Systems

  • Familiarity/Experience with Small Ordnance and Actuation Devices

  • General

  • Experience working with DOE or DoD partners including Navy, Army, Air Force, Space Force, MDA

  • Active DOE L/Q clearance or DoD S/TS clearance

  • Experience with design definition, configuration management, requirements development, tracking, and verification

  • Fielding/ deployment experience at test ranges

  • Ability to travel for extended periods in support of test and fielding operations

  • Ability to travel on average 1-2 months per year.

About Our Team:

The mission of Center 5400, Integrated Military Systems (IMS), is to solve the warfighters' most challenging, urgent, and high-risk problems, defend the nation, and defeat threats to the national security. Sandia has more than 60 years of rocketry experience with hundreds of successful launches and flight experiments. Born out of a national need to conduct atmospheric testing for the nuclear weapons program, this capability for executing complex integrated flight systems testing now supports programs ranging from small sounding rockets used for rapid technology advancement in urgent mission areas to advanced hypersonic flight vehicles critical to national posturing. IMS stands ready to meet the emerging needs of the nation.

The center performed the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) and Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) flight test demonstrations for the US Army and Navy, including full system integration of the booster and payload. IMS has similar flight test programs underway for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in addition to the Army and Navy ongoing CPS and Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) programs, giving center personnel no shortage of challenging and rewarding work. Sandia is working closely with well-known aerospace and defense partners from the private sector to transition key hypersonics technologies to industry while continuing to look into the future for the next challenges to be tackled in this exciting mission area. IMS is the system integrator for the High Operational Tempo for Hypersonics (H4H) program that conducts annual sounding rocket launch campaigns to rapidly mature hypersonic weapon technologies. This program gives our engineers opportunities to design, build, and fly rocket hardware and dozens of experimental payloads on a regular and consistent basis. The center manages the Kauai Test Facility (KTF) situated on the Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on the Western-most island of the Hawaiian chain.

The center has expertise in:

  • Flight system design and integration

  • Aerodynamic modeling of every fidelity

  • Wind tunnel testing

  • Flight dynamics and mission design

  • Navigation, guidance and control

  • Software and Hardware in the Loop (S/HWIL) testing

  • Mechanical and electrical hardware testing and integration

  • Ordnance handling and logistics

  • Operational security and classified hardware/ data handling

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 L-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 the 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.

Job ID: 685863

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  • 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

Sandia invites you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law, EEO is the Law Poster Supplement, and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Sandia is a drug-free workplace. As a national laboratory funded by a U.S. government agency, we are subject to federal laws regarding illegal drug use. Illegal use of a controlled substance, including marijuana even in places where it does not violate state law, may impact your ability to obtain and/or maintain a Department of Energy security clearance, and may result in the withdrawal of an employment offer or termination of employment.

Sandia is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and providing reasonable accommodation in its application process for qualified individuals with disabilities. If you have difficulty using our online system due to a disability and need special assistance or accommodation, please send an email with your request to the Job Accommodation Specialist in (NM) . Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation are made on a case-by-case basis.