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R&D Systems Engineer - USNDS Ground Systems (Experienced) - Onsite

Albuquerque, NM

Job ID: 693575

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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.

What Your Job Will Be Like:

We are seeking R&D Systems Engineers for the USNDS Ground Systems funded through the US Space Force. The existing ground systems include mission algorithms for analyzing space-based sensor data, interfaces to satellite communication channels, complex system architectures that support the USNDS missions and support functions/analysis for the broader USNDS Systems Engineering department. Join us to develop creative solutions to unique national security challenges!

The selected candidate will have external programmatic interaction with the Space Systems Command (SSC) sponsor as well as with other government partner organizations and other SNL organizations that partner on the USNDS Ground efforts.

On any given day you may be called on to:

  • Work with technical leads to track progress, resolve technical issues and support system/subsystem technical reviews

  • Work with the Lead Systems Engineer to define and clarify project requirements, develop project support plan, and acceptance criteria for system and subsystem technical reviews

  • Perform requirement’s definition, verification and validation, map and allocate, downlink, definition, ICD review and management

  • Defining acceptance criteria for subsystems and perform technical reviews on project documents

  • Coordinate integration and test activities and provide technical information to internal organizations and the project office

    Due to the nature of the work, the selected applicant must be able to work onsite. This position will may require some travel.

Salary Range:

$104,100 - $207,100

*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.

Qualifications We Require:

  • Bachelor's degree in relevant STEM field, such as engineering, science, or mathematics or other relevant STEM field plus 5 years' relevant experience or equivalent

  • Experience with systems engineering roles or with large complex systems development

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q clearance with SCI

Qualifications We Desire:

  • Experience with some aspect of this nation’s survivable nuclear command and control architecture

  • Proven ability to build effective partnerships across customer and organizational boundaries

  • 5 or more years domain experience working on the USNDS Program, with ground system experience

  • Knowledge of large-scale software engineering processes and software design/development experience

  • Experience developing and documenting performance requirements for large projects

  • Experience with formal system test processes

  • RF and digital baseband theory as applicable to antenna and digital receiver systems.

  • Familiarity with space to ground RF link budgets.

  • Proven leadership and strong dedication to positive teaming dynamic

About Our Team:

We have researched and developed new monitoring systems and technologies for over half a century. Building on that legacy, today we support national security missions involving nuclear proliferation detection, treaty monitoring, arms control, and various needs within the national security communities.

We lead the design, development, test, and delivery of the next generation ground segment of the United States Nuclear Detonation Detection System (USNDS). The team provides leadership and technical solutions throughout the acquisition life cycle of next generation ground systems. Working with USNDS partners to define future ground system performance and operational requirements, the department ensures all work is completed within the approved schedule and budget. Additionally, the team communicates status, issue resolution, and related communications with the Space Systems Command (SSC) acquisition customer and key USNDS partner community.

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.

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.

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.

Job ID: 693575

Job Family: RD

Regular/Temporary Position: R

Full/Part-Time Status: F

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


  • At Sandia, recruiters manually review resumes on each job posting instead of using a resume screening software program
  • Review the Sandia Resume Writing Best Practices Sheet before beginning your application
  • By following the best practices outlined, this ensures that recruiters can accurately determine your qualifications for the position