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W87-1 Senior/Principal Systems Engineer (NM or CA) - Onsite

Albuquerque, NM

Job ID: 692393

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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:

Envisioning your future as a Sandian

The W87-1 Modification Program at Sandia National Laboratories is working with the NNSA, U.S. Air Force and other national labs to develop a ground-based strategic warhead that improves on the safety and security elements of legacy weapons in the U.S. nuclear stockpile. This program is a critical element in our nation’s nuclear deterrence strategy.

Join our dedicated team

Working on the W87-1, you’ll be part of an outstanding team that takes its national security mission to heart, helping make decisions that lay the foundation for a high-visibility, high-impact nuclear weapon modernization program. You’ll work in state-of-the-art facilities with talented people across the Nuclear Security Enterprise, addressing interesting challenges at every stage of design and development, and making lasting relationships that will continue throughout your career.

This is an extraordinary unique opportunity at Sandia unlike any other place to gain experience for a national and international priority. Why not join us? We want you to be a part of our innovative and collaborative team and make an impact on the nation and the world! We are seeking a highly motivated and experienced Systems Engineer team member. This is a rare opportunity to mold the design process from concept to delivery with a new program. In this exciting and dynamic role, you may be performing several engineering functions, from crafting design concepts on the system level, to developing and testing actual prototypes, and qualifying innovative fabrication and assembly techniques. You will also be supporting systems and/or component engineering efforts across all phases of projects spanning from conceptual-design studies to feasibility/cost studies, to full scale engineering. Along with fellow engineers, this role also involves engaging and collaborating regularly with personnel across multiple Sandia organizations, as well as Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), production agencies throughout the NNSA nuclear security enterprise, and Department of Defense (DOD) organizations. This is an amazing opportunity to grow your career in all areas of system engineering by working on a variety of projects and tasks to align with your interests and specializations. This position is located at either our Livermore, CA or Albuquerque, NM location. Applicants on this requisition may be interviewed by multiple organizations at Sandia National Laboratories.

On any given day, as a Systems Engineer, you will:

  • Plan, conceive, conduct, or lead design, development, test, and qualification activities.

  • Use engineering principles to research, design, and develop testing approaches, testers, and test configurations to ensure that the design effectively meets requirements.

  • Create, interpret, and update electrical schematics, environmental specifications, and system level documentation using the Sandia NW drawing and authorization system.

  • Direct detailed study toward a greater knowledge and understanding of the technical basis of the system and related hardware.

  • Work independently and as a team to coordinate and execute large scale electrical integration testing and environmental testing.

  • Interface with the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Department of Defense, Los Alamos National Laboratory, DoD contractors, the Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC), and Pantex on various topics including design, testing approaches, requirements, and test facility planning.

    Due to the nature of the work, the selected applicant will be required to work onsite in Livermore, CA or Albuquerque, NM. Some travel is required for this position (up to 25%).

Qualifications We Require:

  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, or a relevant STEM field; OR Master's degree in stated field, plus one (1) year of experience; OR Bachelor's degree in stated field, plus five (5) years of experience.

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

Qualifications We Desire:

  • Advanced degree (Master's or PhD) in above stated field.

  • Academic or job experiences in areas such as: engineering design, qualification, production, or related modeling/simulation projects.

  • Familiarity with product development and qualification, testing and evaluation, and modeling and simulation.

  • Familiarity with MATLAB, Creo, PDMLink, PRIME, DOORS, GENESYS.

  • Familiarity with development of test plans for components and systems.

  • Outstanding verbal and written skills, including the ability to develop and present briefings that are clear and compelling.

  • Ability to take initiative and be a self-starter in an ambiguous environment.

  • Knowledge and/or experience of system engineering concepts and principles.

About Our Team:

The W87-1 System team is responsible for designing and qualifying the W87-1 warhead and for working with the Sentinel missile System Project Officer (SPO) to integrate the warhead with the missile. The team comprises advanced-degree technical staff with backgrounds in electrical, mechanical, and systems engineering. Additionally, the team includes core partners in project management, reliability, quality, nuclear safety, surveillance, engineering sciences, and material sciences. The W87-1 system team collaborates closely with LLNL as Design Agencies for the program. The system team also participates in multiple subgroups supporting the USAF Project Officers Group (POG).

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: 692393

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