Sandia National Laboratories R&D Component Surveillance Principal Investigator (Entry/Mid-Career) in Albuquerque, New Mexico


The Firing Sets and Controllers department (2626) has an opening for a motivated R&D Systems Engineer as a Component Surveillance Principal Investigator (PI). We are seeking an engineer with excellent leadership and communication skills, who is interested in gaining valuable Nuclear Weapons experience in firing sets across one or several systems, interacting frequently with a team of other surveillance PIs, staff, and technologists, Kansas City National Security Campus, NW systems customers, and SNL management. The position would require executing and leading technical work for at least one surveillance component and helping to build and be a part of a larger team of staff and technologists in surveillance activities of various high voltage, capacitive discharge unit (CDU) firing sets in the stockpile. Responsibilities include working with management, a business team, and other PIs to manage the surveillance portfolio for NW firing sets and related major components; ensuring customer needs are satisfied by leading, coordinating, and executing specific deliverables; delivering required annual surveillance activities – e.g. Component Assessment Reports (CARs); and handling Significant Finding Investigations (SFIs) as they arise. The successful candidate will plan and execute tests, investigate aging-related issues, analyze data, document results, execute long-term planning, team with system-level surveillance leads and stockpile evaluation engineers, and team with Center 1800 material scientists and SMEs. Occasional travel, as driven by business needs, may be required.


Bachelor’s degree in Electrical, Mechanical, or Systems Engineering, or relevant STEM discipline plus four years demonstrated technical and leadership experience.


  • Component or hardware engineering, testing, and/or characterization expertise, preferably firing sets
  • Expertise in physics of failure, design of experiments, failure mode and effects analysis, materials aging, or QMU analysis
  • Knowledge of statistical techniques and models to analyze test data and evaluate component lifecycle performance
  • Nuclear weapons experience or Weapon Intern Program graduate
  • Prior project management or leadership experience
  • Demonstrated attention to detail and ability to work on challenging engineering projects with extensive cross-organizational/multidisciplinary teaming
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to multitask with competing priorities
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills to include generating comprehensive documentation in MS Word and creating slides in MS PowerPoint
  • Active DOE Q clearance

Department Description:

The Engineering and Design Integration Center 2600 is a multi-discipline, product-focused organization that provides engineering design, components, subsystems, integration, testing, and field support for nuclear weapons and other national security applications. Examples of these applications include the development of satellite and other space-flight payloads and testing for high consequence military programs. The Center is divided into three main competencies: Advanced Mechanical Systems, Fuze/Firing and Embedded Systems, and Telemetry and Software Systems.

The Firing Sets and Controllers department (2626) works closely with two other Firing Set Departments: 2624 and 2625. These three departments have responsibility for firing subsystems used on U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force nuclear weapon systems. These products are reliable, operate in extreme environments and have a high-performance consequence. The department has life-cycle product responsibility to design, develop, qualify, validate, produce, monitor, assess and dispose. We provide engineering support for our products including production, surveillance, special finding investigations, and improving our technical basis for understanding performance. Current work activities include the B61-12 Life Extension Program Firing Control Unit and Preflight Controller, W87/Mk21 AFA Firing Set Interface Module, W88 ALT 370 Firing Subsystem, W87 Firing System Assembly, Advanced & Exploratory Firing set, and stockpile surveillance support of our Air Force products. Department staff are a highly competent multidisciplinary team with skills in electrical, mechanical and systems engineering, electrical and mechanical design, performance verification, and project management.

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 withamazingimpact 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 schedules, generous vacations,strongmedical 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:

Position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) granted Q-level security clearance.

Sandia is required by DOE directive to conduct a pre-employment drug testing, and a pre-employment background review that includes personal reference checks, law enforcement record and credit checks, and employment and education verifications. Applicants for employment must be able to obtain and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance, which requires U.S. citizenship.

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, rendering the inability to perform the duties assigned and resulting in 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, disability, or veteran status.