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R&D Computational Physics and Modeling (Early/Mid-Career)

Albuquerque, NM

Job ID: 687835

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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.

Salary Range:

$101,400 - $201,400

*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:

Are you passionate about using innovative technologies to explore ground breaking solutions? We are seeking a dedicated R&D Computational Physics and Modeling staff member to join our dynamic team. We serve as a Laboratory-wide R&D resource for computational simulation of nuclear detonation signature development, propagation, and detection. We model a broad range of conventional and nuclear weapon effects for national security customers and concentrate on optical, ionizing radiation, and radio-frequency phenomena for the remote sensing mission of the United States Nuclear Detonation Detection System (USNDS). Join us to develop creative solutions to unique national security challenges!

On any given day you may be required to:

  • Tackle complex multi-physics problems primarily in the areas of hydrodynamics and radiation transport.

  • Develop, improve, and maintain in-house computational simulation tools that serve the national interest.

  • Use code verification and validation techniques to improve in-house codes and tools.

  • Analyze laboratory and field data and compare against simulation outputs.

  • Apply knowledge of atmospheric transport, air chemistry, and non-local thermodynamic equilibrium physics to mission-relevant problems.

  • Produce high-quality presentations and reports.

Some travel is required.

Due to the nature of the work, the selected applicant must be able to work onsite 80% of the time.

Qualifications We Require:

  • Master's degree in Physics, Nuclear Physics, Nuclear Engineering, Optical Sciences, Optical Engineering, Physical Chemistry, Mathematics, or a relevant field.

  • Experience in the following:

  • Hydrodynamics, fluid dynamics, radiative transport and/or atmospheric simulation codes.

  • Analysis of complex coupled physics processes including: radiation hydrodynamics, turbulence, computational fluid dynamics, and plasma physics.

  • High level scientific code, object structured and oriented programming (FORTRAN, C++, Python), and algorithm development.

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance. The position will likely require higher-level clearance, which may require a polygraph test.

Qualifications We Desire:

  • Experience with the following:

  • Modeling and simulation, data exploitation, signal or image processing, and statistical analysis.

  • Understanding of combustion physics and equilibrium/non-equilibrium chemistry.

  • Simulation using the radiation transport codes MNCP and/or GEANT4.

  • Simulation using UChicago’s FLASH code, UMichigan’s SWMF, BATSRUS, or CRASH codes.

  • Building and maintaining large code architectures.

  • Version control software like git.

  • Radiation detection and familiarity with different types of radiation detectors (eg x-ray, neutron, gamma, rf).

  • Parallel programming and debugging in high performance computing environments

  • Uncertainty quantification methodologies.

  • Perform independent research.

  • Knowledge or past experience with radiative shock physics, material opacities, thermal/radiative-transport.

  • Demonstrated understanding of the physics involved in energetic nuclear reactions and the resulting radiation generated.

  • Familiarity with magneto-hydrodynamics, quantum chemistry/spectroscopy or non-LTE (Local Thermal Equilibrium) particle kinetics.

  • Understanding of system engineering and architectures.

  • Excellent communications skills with experience in giving presentations, constructively interacting with coworkers and preparing peer reviewed publications.

  • Experience and ability to interact with staff and users at a nuclear science facility.

  • Ability to work effectively in a team in various roles (leader and group member).

  • Active DOE/DOD clearance.

About Our Team:

The Phenomenology & Signatures Department advances analysis and algorithms for remote sensing support of the United States Nuclear Detonation Detection System (USNDS) Nuclear Effects for Survivability and Consequence Management, and Nuclear Forensics. Missions such as treaty verification, non-proliferation and nuclear force management, with respect to nuclear detonation detection, are supported through our modeling and software products using optical, particle, and radio-frequency phenomenologies. The organization serves as a laboratories R&D resource for nuclear signatures modeling, simulation, and analysis expertise.

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.

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.

Job ID: 687835

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

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.