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RF Signatures System Engineering and Integration - Onsite

Albuquerque, NM

Job ID: 691616

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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:

The Applied Optical and Plasma Sciences Team is seeking a highly motivated RF engineer to design, develop, build, operate, and maintain a variety of electronic equipment designed to be deployed both locally and at remote locations in support of field-testing campaigns. The successful candidate will join a high-performing cross-divisional team and contribute to a key aspect of Sandia’s Non-Proliferation Detection mission. Two main aspects of the position include developing new capabilities in RF sensing technologies and supporting field campaigns using both commercial and custom detection systems. While much of the work will be onsite at Sandia, the field campaigns are an integral part of the job and will require travel for a week to several weeks at a time over the course of the year to various locations.

The engineer will work with a diverse team to design, develop, implement, and field unique RF detection hardware and software to solve challenging problems and meet evolving project needs. The engineer must have a commitment to investigative problem solving and a strong desire to learn. Attention to detail, critical thinking, good lab practices, and awareness for lab safety are highly valued attributes of the successful candidate.

Work in collaboration with other technical staff and customers to determine objectives, communicate progress, and assure that deliverables are met. The engineer will be encouraged to gain mastery over the design, development, maintenance, and operation of a range of experimental equipment including electronic instruments such as antennas, oscilloscopes, custom-designed RF systems, and National Instruments equipment.

Much of the work will occur as part of a team of scientists and engineers. Proven track record of collaborating as part of a team is a key attribute needed to succeed. There will be frequent interactions with a variety of results-oriented staff members, technologists, safety personnel, facilities, and service engineers.

In this role, you will have the chance to make important contributions in support of the Department's growing research activities.

The Engineer will be required to travel to partner laboratories and remote test sites in support of data collection field campaigns often for a few weeks at a time.

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

Qualifications We Require:

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, physics, or relevant science, technology, or mathematics (STEM) field or eight or more years of equivalent and relevant experience

  • One or more years of experience with design or development of RF systems

  • One or more years of experience in operation of laboratory instrumentation including both hardware and software to perform data collection and analysis

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q clearance

Qualifications We Desire:

This position will require rigorous training and the candidate should be results-oriented and self-motivated. Additionally, desired qualifications include one or more of the following skills, interests, or aptitudes:

  • A Master's degree in physics, engineering, or a related field

  • Knowledge or experience with

  • Electronic RF collection systems, spectral analysis, and RF signal generation

  • Software Defined Radios – programming and integration into custom RF systems

  • RF circuit and component design and construction

  • Python for software development

  • Linux Operating System

  • LabVIEW programming and operation of National Instruments hardware and software

  • MATLAB or other programming language to process, analyze and display data

  • computer aided design software such as SolidWorks

  • Ability to learn and master new techniques as needed

  • Effective interpersonal and oral/written communication skills and the flexibility for effective participation in teams

  • Ability to work independently and self-sufficiently with high reliability and attention to detail as part of a larger team effort

  • Ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects demonstrating good time and organizational skills

About Our Team:

Our department is a multidisciplinary group of experts in three areas: Low Temperature Plasma Physics, Laser and Optical Diagnostics and Analysis, and Thermal Characterization of Materials. We work with groups in Sandia and other entities to develop the science that enables engineering solutions.

The Low Temperature Plasma Physics thrust has ongoing work in plasma-driven chemistry, plasma-surface interactions, arc discharges (from vacuum to high pressure), charged particle transport, sheath physics, and more. To study this wide array of phenomena, we possess both experimental and computational experts that work together to produce new understanding. The plasma codes we use range from fully kinetic, through hybrid, to fluid models. We also actively use and develop models for surface properties, electromagnetic propagation, and more. Experimentally, we have developed a variety of sources including multipole confinement systems, CCP/ICP RF plasmas, and atmospheric pressure plasma systems. We use a variety of diagnostics to examine these systems and are actively involved in the development or use of advanced laser diagnostics, other spectroscopic techniques, physical probes, RF sensing, and more.

The Laser and Optical Diagnostics and Analysis thrust conducts innovative research, application development, and analysis using a wide variety of techniques and instrumentation. Some of these involve development of optical or laser sources, as well as passive or active optical spectroscopy providing unique, real-time, non-contact, in-situ optical diagnostic capabilities from Brillion spectroscopy, Optical Emission Spectroscopy, Raman Spectroscopy, and numerous hyphenated FTIR techniques.

The Thermal Characterization thrust research the fundamental thermal properties and performance of a diverse set of materials experiencing an expansive range of environments. This research uses state-of-the-art custom and commercial thermal imaging tools, Frequency Domain Thermal Reflectance (FDTR), and modeling/simulation tools to create and characterize new materials. This work entails both state-of-the-art diagnostics as well as developing custom diagnostics and techniques to provide information on the underlying science of thermal behaviors of materials.

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, 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.


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: 691616

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