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R&D Mechanical Engineer - Dispersal Threat Science and Engineering (Experienced)

Albuquerque, NM

Job ID: 688738

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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.

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:

We are seeking a motivated R&D S&E Mechanical Engineer to augment our team’s aerosol science and counter- Weapons of Mass Destruction (c-WMD) research capabilities. We operate multiple testing facilities including aerosol laboratories, the Sandia Fog Chamber, chemical/biological aerosol test chambers, decontamination chemistry laboratories, and Biological Safety Level 2 (BSL-2) laboratories. We also work closely with Sandia’s Explosive Centers of Excellence.

The selected applicant will work on diverse problem sets requiring collaboration with multidisciplinary teams. Opportunities exist to develop, validate, and run models, perform testing, collect data, and execute analysis to prove empirical hypothesis in support developing novel solutions for our sponsors’ needs for countering WMDs. Future work will be motivated by your vision and national needs. There will be opportunities to develop new system concept designs and innovative solutions to support our national security mission.

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

  • Help to operationalize a developing specialty area for the Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST) program in Dispersal Device Defeat (D3) which is designed to help prevent and mitigate dispersal device threats.

  • Develop what will become the range of threat devices and potential deactivation and mitigation tool/techniques.

  • Develop new assessment, disablement, mitigation technologies to defeat dispersal devices including rad, chem and bio.

  • Design, develop and deliver high level training to interagency partners on mitigation and defeat technology, tools, and device/atmospheric physics.

  • Participate with sponsors and other SNL Project Leaders to help conceptualize, and plan for the development of this capability.

  • Participate in exercise with interagency partners to help assess current capabilities and to identify next generation R&D efforts.

  • Organize and plan D3 type training events and exercises for the national teams.

  • Become a qualified training instructor in these areas.

  • Take ownership of training materials that are provided by both SNL instructors and private company support staff.

  • Design, lead, and conduct diverse aerosol dispersion experiments in both laboratory and field environments.

  • Conceptualize and implement new and cutting-edge methods for aerosol experiments and containment.

  • Develop and execute computational models in support of experimental design.

  • Work with multi-disciplinary teams including but not limited to chemistry, biology, and nuclear engineering.

  • Participate in lab-wide working groups and collaborations.

  • Author proposals, technical papers, and reports.

  • Perform project management/leadership tasks for technical project.

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

Qualifications We Require:

  • Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Material Science/Engineering, or a related technical field; OR Bachelor's degree in stated fields, plus five (5) years experience.

  • Experience running computational fluid dynamics codes and/or C++, Matlab, Python or a programming language.

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q and SCI clearance which may require a polygraph test.

Qualifications We Desire:

  • PhD in the above stated fields

  • Laboratory experience with aerosol generation equipment and diagnostics (e.g. particle counters, aerosol generators, pressure/flow systems, etc.)

  • Experience in the following:

  • Working with customers to develop and build support for projects.

  • Building teams

  • Building and/or delivering technical training to outside partners

  • Elements of emergency response activities

  • Parallel programming in computing environments

  • Shock physics modeling

  • Linux scripting

  • Proven Experience in:

  • Implementing advanced diagnostic techniques in aerosol studies

  • Conducting large scale field studies and testing including explosives testing

  • Conducting modeling and simulation of aerosol or related phenomena (e.g. CFD, air dispersion modeling)

  • Interest in aerosol-adjacent fields (e.g. agent dispersion, optical diagnostic development for aerosol studies, mechanical design, chemistry, etc.)

  • Successful interaction with customers, project sponsors, and external collaborators

  • Developing and implementing trainings as well as “training the trainers”

  • Developing custom data analysis or image processing codes using MATLAB or Python

  • Ability to communicate effectively (written and verbal)

  • Performing experiments with bio-aerosols or working in a bio lab

About Our Team:

We serve national defense and nonproliferation customers with computational and experimental research of dispersal device effects and signatures. We apply engineering, chemistry, biology, radiological, computer science, and aerosol science to address real world situations that involve Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) threats. The Team focuses on countering dispersal threats and similar dangers by conducting research and development in transport and fate, decontamination and remediation, and detection and interdiction of dispersal threats, especially aerosolized threats. We also use extensive knowledge of aerosol science, chemistry, and engineering to address broader technological issues, ranging from the development of commercial products, especially decontamination formulations, and the performance of various foams to using aerosols to evaluate performance of diverse systems.

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 and SCI access, both of which require US citizenship. SCI access may also require a polygraph examination. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain these levels of access 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: 688738

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.