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Space Nuclear Engineer (Experienced) (Onsite)

Albuquerque, NM

Job ID: 692707

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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 an experienced nuclear engineer to join Sandia’s Accident Consequence Modeling and Analysis Department (ACMAD) to lead the group's effort in Space Nuclear Power Launch Safety and Nuclear Power Plant Accident Assessment. This important work underpins projects for numerous federal government agencies and commercial entities, pushing the boundaries of space and energy frontiers.

As part of our team, you will enjoy working on an array of programs, including assisting programs like DRACO achieve launch approval and support missions powered by nuclear propulsion or radiological power sources. The primary responsibility of this role is to lead department space launch safety efforts. This challenging and dynamic environment will provide the successful candidate the opportunity to leverage the unique expertise of a national laboratory to solve complex problems.

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

  • Work within a multi-disciplinary team to simulate the harsh environments of a launch accident and the subsequent environmental consequences

  • Perform model development and analysis using commercially available and in-house codes and develop computer code and scripts

  • Utilize world-class high-performance computing to realistically characterize a technology’s safety and risk profile and quantify uncertainty through coupling of probabilistic methods with advanced high-fidelity modeling and simulation techniques

  • Support R&D through investigation of new approaches and methods

  • Support the Space Nuclear Launch Safety team by serving as a project lead and principal investigator

Due to the nature of the work, the selected candidate must be able to work onsite at the Sandia Albuquerque location at least 50% of the time.

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:

  • PhD in a Nuclear Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Aerospace, or a closely related field or comparable post-graduate degree and combination of experience

  • Experience working with a team of engineers to solve complex problems

  • Strong communication skills as evidenced by a history of publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at scientific conferences

  • Experience with modeling complex phenomena

  • Experience serving as the principal investigator or project lead

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance

Qualifications We Desire:

  • Experience with probabilistic safety analysis and probabilistic risk analysis

  • Demonstrated ability to come up to speed on existing projects quickly

  • Familiarity with finite element numerical techniques and algorithms

  • Understanding of modeling and simulation techniques for predicting behavior of blast, impacts, debris trajectories, fire, orbital reentry, accident sequence, atmospheric dispersion, and radiological consequences

  • Ability to effectively prioritize and execute tasks

  • Project management certifications such as the PMP

  • Experience with computer code development and working knowledge of the C++, Python and/or Fortran computer languages in a Linux or Unix environment

  • Experience with scripting and automation for pre-/post-processing and workflow efficiency

About Our Team:

The Accident Consequence Modeling and Analysis Department (ACMAD) supports the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Department of Energy (DOE) by providing experts in the Modeling of the Atmospheric Transport, Environmental, and Economic impact of released Nuclear Material as well as expertise in severe accident phenomenology; for both Emergency Response, Emergency Preparedness, Licensing applications, and basic scientific research. This team consists of high performing multi-disciplined scientists and engineers that work in a collaborative environment to develop state of art computer codes and analyses of severe accidents in nuclear power plants and nuclear facilities and the environmental transport of radiological releases, as well as the health and economic consequences of such releases. The team interacts broadly with both our domestic Federal customers as well as domestic and international customers, stake holders and customers with the goal of making nuclear power as safe as possible in a complex world faced with existential threats from climate change, terrorist threats and natural disasters.

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.

Position Information:

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.

Job ID: 692707

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