Job Information

Sandia National Laboratories Modeling/Simulation of Thermal Protection Systems for Hypersonic Reentry Vehicles in Albuquerque, New Mexico

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.

Salary Range:

$99,700 - $196,100

*Salary range is estimated, and actual salary will be determined after consideration of the selected candidate's experience and qualifications, and application of any approved geographic salary differential.

What Your Job Will Be Like:

You could be the staff member we are seeking to partner with a dynamic team performing modeling and simulation research for the development of thermal protection systems (TPS) for hypersonic reentry vehicles. We are developing mesoscale and macroscale models that couple multiple physics across length scales to predict the performance and degradation of composite heat shield materials in hypersonic flight environments. You will develop and implement these models on Sandia’s high-performance computing assets using innovative multi-physics simulation codes. We also desire to combine high-fidelity simulation with experimental data and machine learning techniques to develop the best solution for our national security. You will demonstrate proficiencies and interest in research spanning multiple fields, including heat transport, multi-material mechanical deformation, composite materials, microscale/mesoscale modeling, chemistry, and fluid dynamics. Sandia Job Title: R&D S&E Chemical Engineer.

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

  • Develop mathematical models for coupled fluid, thermal, chemical, radiative, and mechanical physics in composite materials or in component systems at the meso- and/or macro-scales

  • Perform large-scale computational analyses to answer scientific and engineering questions supporting hypersonic heat shield material development

  • Combine physics simulations with experimental data and machine learning techniques to deliver solutions to national security problems

  • Work efficiently and independently within a dynamic team of experimental and computational scientists and engineers to develop this mission critical TPS technology

  • Publish work in peer-reviewed scientific publications and in internal technical reports

  • Present work to team members, customers, and the larger scientific community

Qualifications We Require:

  • PhD in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science/engineering, chemistry, physics, or related engineering or science fields

  • Experience with computational modeling and simulation with coupling of various physical domains such as thermal, mechanical, chemical, and/or fluid physics.

  • Experience with advanced continuum mechanics simulation techniques (FEM/FEA, CFD, etc.) on massively parallel computing clusters

  • Research experience in at least one of the following fields: (1) Composite materials performance or failure modeling; (2) Processing and manufacture of composite, porous, or complex materials; (3) Gas-surface interactions or chemistry modeling; (4) Combining models and experimental data using machine learning or reduced order models

  • Experience with the Linux operating system

  • Experience with high-level programming or scripting languages, such as Python or C++

  • Proven track record of publications and innovation, as evidenced by peer-reviewed journals and external presentations at scientific conferences

  • Ability to acquire and maintain a DOE Q security clearance

Qualifications We Desire:

Ideally, your background could also include:

  • Python development experience

  • Experience with object-oriented programming in C++ within an existing, large code base

  • Experience with version control systems (e.g. Git, CVS, etc.)

About Our Team:

The Thermal/Fluid Component Sciences Department at Sandia National Laboratories provides a wide range of fluid modeling and analysis, and experimental discovery and validation support in field areas such as: incompressible flow, porous flow, reactive flow, multiphase flow, thermal/fluid coupling, suspensions, plasma physics, and rarefied gas dynamics. The department supports activities spanning the entire research-design-analysis spectrum, from creating fundamental physical models, to developing computational algorithms and codes, to applying these models and codes to tackle fluid and plasma problems in a wide range of applications.

Our team is committed to nurturing a culture compatible with a broad group of people and perspectives in accordance with the changing makeup of the workforce. In support of this vision, our center actively recruits applicants from diverse groups of backgrounds and fosters an inclusive community.

Join us and work towards your goals while making a difference!

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, 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.

Job ID: 685923