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R&D Chief Program Engineer - W93 - ND Weapon System Modernization - Onsite

Albuquerque, NM

Job ID: 693153

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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:

This Senior Engineer job posting is to fill the Chief Program Engineer (CPE) Role for W93. The CPE partners with the system senior manager and supports the Center 2300 Director in leading the SNL System Integrator and Design Agency efforts for the program. The CPE’s specific leadership roles include system integration, design optimization and themes, qualification basis and efficiency, anomaly resolution, and technical trades in coordination with sites across the Nuclear Security Enterprise, supported by a team of diverse, discipline specific technical leadership on the program. The role enables technically informed program decisions, establishment of a technically robust design with defensible qualification program, optimization of knowledge base development, strategic implementation of digital engineering approaches, evaluation of advanced manufacturing approaches, and facilitation of internal and external peer review approaches for technical questions and challenges. The W93 CPE will also partner with other CPEs and Domain Chief Engineers (DCE) to assure consistency and excellence in technical deliverables while assuring timeliness and responsiveness of technical decisions.

On any given day, in this Senior Engineer position, you may be called on to:

  • Owns technical decision authority for the System, enabled by the System Engineering Team within cost and schedule constraints.

  • Technical approval of change requests involving impacts to cost or schedule constraints.

  • Leads identification and evaluation of impacts to assure program decisions are properly risk informed from a technical perspective.

  • Accountable for assuring all key technical concerns are fully informed to SNL executive leadership, such as inadequate technical definition, unclear or ‘to be determined’ requirements, single point technical failures, etc.

  • Assure technical rigor and documentation quality for system level product realization documents including signature approval on key system level paperwork such as CD, ME, BB, PQ, RQs, NS, etc.

  • SNL lead for technical integration and optimization with LANL and LMSSC, including advisement or technical authority for system Interface Documents (ID) and Interface Control Documents (ICD).

  • Technical coordination and engagement in POG, POG sub teams and NNSA Project Team in coordination with program senior manager.

  • Maintaining technical alignment and coordination to the extent practical and acceptable between W93 and A21 programs.

  • Lead interface for all major peer and technical reviews on program, including partnership with DCEs to identify appropriate areas for implementation of peer reviews at all levels of program.

  • Responsible for executing and documenting the program’s external peer review plan.

  • Identification and development of the next generation system design and integration technical leaders.

  • Engagement in review and support of other ND system integration activities as needed and in coordination with 2300 Director and Chief Engineer Network.

    The selected candidate will lead teams staffed by the W93 management team with responsibilities including (but not limited to):

  • Maturation of Sandia’s system integrator role to optimize the performance of the RBA within the identified requirements and provide flexibility for future development.

  • Assures technical rigor of system design architecture and qualification approaches including balanced technical basis (mod-sim and test) in a resource constrained environment.

  • Leadership in development, optimization, and stewardship of Material Requirements Schedule (MRS) to support technical basis at all levels of assembly recognizing the limitation of SNL’s production partners.

  • Significantly advance implementation of model-based system engineering/design/analysis and advanced manufacturing within program constraints.

  • Alignment of maturing cyber security implementation, risk management and assurance, including rigor in technical data packages with DOD and NNSA.

    Due to the nature of the work, the selected applicant will be required to work onsite in Albuquerque, NM. Some travel may be required for this position.

Qualifications We Require:

  • PhD in a relevant STEM discipline, plus seven (7) years of relevant ND experience; OR Master’s degree in stated field, plus eleven (11) years of relevant ND experience; OR Bachelor’s degree in stated field, plus fifteen (15) years of relevant ND experience.

  • Direct technical experience in modernization programs for nuclear weapons systems, subsystems, surveillance, production, and/or components.

  • Current and active DOE Q-level security clearance or DOD equivalent (i.e., Top Secret).

  • Willingness to hold and eligibility for additional clearances as required.

Qualifications We Desire:

  • A broad network within Sandia’s ND weapons community including the system technical leadership of other modernization programs.

  • Broad understanding of the Sandia ND mission and its interfaces and responsibilities with the NNSA and the Nuclear Security Enterprise (NSE) – particularly LANL, KCNSC, and PX.

  • Direct experience with AWE programs and partners.

  • Experience conceiving, developing, and leading cross-organizational technical programs/projects/teams.

  • Prior or existing working relationships with NNSA and with DoD elements supporting modernization programs.

  • Outstanding organizational and briefing skills to effectively communicate with diverse audiences including high-level customers and SNL executive leadership.

About Our Team:

The ND Weapon System Modernization Center performs systems engineering and leadership for the modernization of multiple nuclear weapon systems. Focus of the center is on product realization beginning in Phase 2/6.2, through full scale engineering, pre-production, and transition into full scale production (Phase 6/6.6). In all phases, assuring the safety, security, and reliability of weapons throughout their anticipated life cycle and the development and development of the supporting technical basis are an essential part of Center activities. In partnership with Center 8200, the center leads the Laboratories’ efforts to develop integrated engineering solutions to maintain weapon system required military effectiveness and reliability while seeking improvements in safety and security where possible within programmatic constraints. The current focus of this organization is to deliver on time and within budget the Mk21 AFA, W87-1, with an imminent transition to assume leadership responsibilities for the W93.

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:

Position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) Q security clearance to start, or equivalent active security clearance with another U.S. government agency (e.g., DOD). Sandia is required by DOE directive 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 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: 693153

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