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Sandia National Laboratories R&D S&E -Chief Engineer -Payloads (Experienced) in Albuquerque, New Mexico


Are you passionate about your work? Do you dream of working in state-of-the-art facilities with safety & security culture? Do you want to join a diverse team that serves an organization that supports our national security?

We are seeking a R&D S&E, Chief Engineer to serve as the lead for countermeasure studies, prototyping & development activities supporting the Missile Defense Agency Targets and Countermeasures program efforts to test the U.S. Missile Defense System.

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

  • Engage the Missile Defense Agency on studies and analysis of future testing requirements and approaches.
  • Lead the technical team through the prototyping selection, design, build and test of countermeasures utilizing intelligence assessments and sponsor objectives including a wide variety of phenomenologies, and operational trades.
  • Utilize knowledge of aero-mechanical effects of endo and exo atmospheric flight dynamics, thermal effects, structural behaviors, RF and Optical properties of materials, and modeling software.
  • Build complex mechanical and electrical designs
  • Periodic travel to sponsor sites and missile test ranges


  • Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering or Electrical Engineering with 8 years experience / or Bachelors in similar STEM degree with 10 years experience.
  • 7 years experience designing, building, and testing hardware products for flight (air or space).
  • Ability to work with sponsor to drive requirements and design decisions and selection process to meet mission delivery time-lines and test objectives.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a required US DOE security clearance and Top Secret/SCI clearance, which may require a polygraph test.


Ideally, we would like to see your background include some of the following:

  • Active Top Secret/SCI clearance.
  • 10 years experience designing, building, and testing hardware products for flight (air or space).
  • Experience supporting DoD programs or prior DoD service
  • Experience leading technical teams for complex projects.

Department Description:

The Advanced Concepts and Mission Payloads department is focused on defining advanced technology concepts and future target mission requirements in support of Missile, Air and Space Defense programs. Additionally, the department tests concepts both experimentally and in flight to deliver modeling and simulation truth data, while providing mission payloads in support of Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) Ballistic Missile Defense System.

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 SCI access.

Position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) Q-level security clearance and SCI access. SCI access may require a polygraph examination.

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 must 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.

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.