Job Information

Sandia National Laboratories Test Operations Engineer (Experienced) in Albuquerque, New Mexico

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.

Salary Range:

$86,300 - $166,800

*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:

We are seeking a highly motivated Test Operations Engineer to lead a satellite thermal vacuum (TVAC) environmental test facility. The TVAC facility has a comprehensive suite of chambers which simulate the hot and cold temperatures, and high altitudes (vacuum), of a space environment, characterizing designs and assessing payload space flight survivability.

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

  • Manage operational and safety aspects of multiple thermal vacuum test operations.

  • Integrate hardware and instrumentation with facility capabilities, ensuring customer requirements are successfully achieved.

  • Maintain and lead technical issues, including hazard challenges, ensuring all problems are addressed safely and expeditiously.

  • Coordinate the efforts of associate test personnel, as well as be the point of contact for facility users – planning activity level work, negotiating and prioritizing work, and completing tests.

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

Qualifications We Require:

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field, plus five (5) years' of related experience; Or equivalent combination of relevant education and experience.

  • Minimum of 5 years of current experience working with, and troubleshooting, electro-mechanical hardware and instrumentation.

  • Experience conducting complex work, planning, and control (engineered safety) involving hazardous lab/facility operations.

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

Qualifications We Desire:

  • Two years’ current experience with thermal vacuum chambers, including engineering, operations, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

  • Current pressure safety training and knowledge of complex pressure/vacuum systems.

  • Experience with the following:

  • Engineering and operations of a Thermotron.

  • AVEVA InTouch HMI software, Allen Bradly Compact Logix, and/or Programmable Logic Controller (PLC).

  • Laboratory-level machine shop tools.

  • Materiel sourcing, selection, and procurement.

  • Dedication to positive teaming dynamics while attaining shared objectives.

  • Strong written and verbal skills, and detail oriented with a keen focus on customer service.

  • Strong problem-solving skills, and a willingness to submit work for extensive review.

  • History of being proactive and following through on assignments while producing consistent, high-quality work.

  • Ability to prioritize and balance competing activities and manage ambiguity.

  • Active DOE L or Q clearance, or DoD equivalent.

About Our Team:

We perform key test and post-delivery activities with a focus on the United States Nuclear Detonation Detection System’s (USNDS) Global Burst Detector (GBD) Space Segment. GBD payloads have a long association with Global Positioning System (GPS) host satellites and contribute to a diverse national capability for the detection of nuclear detonation.

We lead the integration and test (I&T) of GBD hardware in Albuquerque and support the payload I&T at satellite vehicle factories and launch sites. Once launched, we support early orbit turn-on and the checkout of our payload sensors. We have a team of analysts that conduct state-of-health and performance monitoring, development of commanding, and triage/investigation/resolution of anomalies for the 24+ on-orbit satellite constellation. Our spaceflight function is conducted in unison with ground systems engineering and the mission user community. The department staffs and manages two satellite environmental test facilities: TVAC and LAZAP. The Thermal Vacuum (TVAC) Facility has a comprehensive suite of chambers that simulate the temperatures, and high altitudes, of a space environment, characterizing designs and assessing payload space flight survivability. The Laser Applications (LAZAP) Facility is used to propagate visible high-powered lasers through the atmosphere with a large aperture beam director, testing optical sensor mission readiness on earth orbiting satellites.

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 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.

Job ID: 686896