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Sandia National Laboratories Reinforcement Learning Engineer for Hypersonics (Early/Mid-Career) in Albuquerque, New Mexico


Sandia’s Autonomous Sensing and Controls department is seeking an engineer to develop Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithms for an extensive range of applications such as multi-agent games, learning-based control, and real-time tracking. The successful candidate will have a proven background in applied research and should be comfortable balancing the time and deliverable commitments of multiple projects simultaneously.

Sandia has specialists in diverse and very broad engineering and scientific domains. The new engineer will collaborate with specialists in sensors, signal processing, image processing, embedded systems; circuits; communication; navigation, guidance and control.

The job requires clear understanding of mission from customers; definition of work scope and requirements; development of models, solutions, qualification, and documentation; communicating to partners; and delivering products to customers. Our projects generally have generous budget but results-oriented allocation of staff and time. Collaboration and mentoring provide ample opportunity for technical and professional development.


  • MS in Computer Science, Mathematics, Computer Engineering, Electrical/Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering, or closely-related STEM field
  • Solid knowledge of linear algebra and statistics/probability
  • Simulation experience with tools such as OpenAI Gym and AFSIM
  • Expertise in Python and C++
  • Ability to acquire and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance


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

  • PhD in Computer Science, Mathematics, Computer Engineering, Electrical/Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering, or closely-related STEM field
  • Basic knowledge of Reinforcement Learning algorithms
  • Good programming and documentation practices, such as version control, commenting, consistency to the PEP8 in Python
  • Experience in presentation of technical results and proposal development
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Experience planning and managing agile, high-risk, customer-oriented projects
  • A proven track record in writing production-level code, ideally following ML Ops standard methodologies
  • Knowledge of aerospace systems
  • Extensive experience writing extensible, object-oriented simulation code

Department Description:

Sandia’s Autonomous Sensing and Controls department is a diverse and highly collaborative R&D team delivering next-generation sensors, controllers, and algorithms for: detecting and classifying targets; detecting and classifying signals or images; navigating, guiding, and controlling flight bodies, including computing trajectories for hypersonic flights; segmenting images. The department’s outstanding expertise enables its sensors and control systems to have small size, weight, and power (SWaP). The sensors and controllers perform signal processing on-board in real time. They are networked and connect with each other. They are autonomous, requiring no human intervention once deployed. The development encompasses concept, algorithm, prototyping, programming at all levels, testing and qualification, and hardware delivery. The customers are Defense (such as DTRA and DARPA) and Intelligence communities, Homeland Security, and other groups within Sandia, especially the flight Navigation, Guidance and Control group. The department supports the development of hypersonic glide bodies. The department collaborates extensively with other groups at Sandia, such as Optics, Embedded Systems, Synthetic Aperture Radar, Weapon Components, Geoscience, Robotics, and Satellites. The department staff also perform fundamental research under Sandia’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program, including the $38M/6yrs Autonomy For Hypersonics Mission Campaign. The department is part of the Autonomy Enterprise within Sandia’s Integrated Military System Development Center.

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:

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.

EEO Statement:

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.


This Limited Term Employee (LTE) position is a temporary position for one year term, which may be renewed at Sandia's discretion up to a maximum of seven years.

Individuals in LTE positions may bid on regular Sandia positions as internal candidates, and in some cases may be converted to regular career positions during their term if warranted by ongoing operational needs, continuing availability of funds, and satisfactory job performance.