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R&D Systems Engineer- Concentrating Solar (Early/Mid-Career)

Albuquerque, NM

Job ID: 689442

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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:

$88,600 - $146,200 *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 an engineer interested in renewable energy? Do you want to make a difference in solar thermal energy research? Join Sandia's Concentrating Solar Technologies Group and help address ambitious and impactful barriers to the adoption of renewable energies like solar thermal energy!

Concentrating solar has the potential to fill key gaps in the renewable energy portfolio. Some key areas are in long duration energy storage, and in decarbonizing high temperature industrial processes and solar thermochemical processes. The National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) at Sandia is at the center of a global community passionate about advancing concentrating solar solutions to address these obstacles.

We are seeking a R&D S&E Systems Engineer (Early/Mid-Career) to lead the test operations for multiple hardware-based experiments and system controls and lead research, development, and design in pilot and demonstration scale projects in the department. This position will support ongoing projects (test operations, test hardware fabrication and design, assembly and testing) as well as proposing new projects to support the department's focus areas. The Systems Operations engineer will also track operations and maintenance at the NSTTF. Ongoing projects may include subject areas including thermal energy storage, particle-based concentrating solar systems, and sophisticated Brayton cycle supercritical CO2 heat exchangers. With a variety of ongoing projects and new projects on the horizon, everyday you will be able to use your skills to contribute to current projects and grow your skills on challenging new problems!

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

  • Develop and implement test validation procedures that ensure hardware meets all performance criteria

  • Perform field collection of data and/or test data analysis, and address issues

  • Prepare test and diagnostic programs and design test fixtures and equipment

  • Perform work planning, hazard analysis, and safety planning.

  • Prepare test, maintenance, operations, and administrative procedures to support operations at hazardous facilities

  • Independently conduct and deliver your own R&D activities or projects. These activities will often require working in teams that can include partners from other institutions

  • Assist or lead in the development of proposals to seek funding from sponsors and customers for new or ongoing R&D&D projects in CSP

  • Disseminate R&D outcomes and the departments capabilities in various forms including journal article publications and by presenting papers at national and international conferences

Qualifications We Require:

  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering or Master’s in Mechanical Engineering or relevant STEM field plus two years' experience with proven expertise in the fundamentals of thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, and/or solid mechanics

  • Excellent technical writing skills as proven in scientific publications

  • Experience in producing designs, and models of complex objects (e.g. experience with SolidWorks)

  • Experience with engineering design tools for finite element analysis (FEA), thermal analysis, or other engineering analysis such as ANSYS or EES

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE L security clearance

Qualifications We Desire:

  • Prior experience with LabVIEW and NI equipment highly desired

  • Prior experience in complex systems integration; with DAQ setup and communication between multiple systems and sensors

  • Experience with one or more of the following: heat transfer, thermodynamics, kinetics, modeling, computational methods, experimental design/fabrication, Test design, planning, data analysis and documentation;

  • Proven ability to generate CFD and/or FEA models to analyze thermal and/or mechanical components

  • Prior experience in Ansys Fluent, Ansys Mechanical, SolidWorks, Engineering Equation Solver, and MATLAB

  • Background in high temperature and/or solar processes

  • Excellent communication and organizational skills

  • Ability to work independently, take initiative, and expand outside of comfort zone

  • Willingness to collaborate with scientists and engineers of various backgrounds

About Our Team:

Sandia National Laboratories is a world leader in the development of renewable energy systems. Our Concentrated Solar Technologies Department located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, develops Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems in partnership with DOE, industry partners, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to facilitate the successful development and market deployment of utility scale solar electricity, sustainable solar fuels, and industrially relevant solar thermal chemistry.

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 L-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 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: 689442

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.