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Sandia National Laboratories FPGA (VHDL) Firmware Engineer (Experienced) in Livermore, California


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.


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Any concerns about the ability to meet this requirement should be directed to HR Solutions at (505) 284-4700.


We are looking to hire an experienced FPGA Firmware Engineer to design, develop and test embedded systems in a telemetry data acquisition system. The telemetry product consists of several printed wiring assemblies (PWAs) that each heavily rely on FPGAs for functionality. The designer will be the owner of one or more of the embedded firmware systems for a telemetry product and ensure functionality with the hardware and signal interfaces through simulation and test. This position would be part of a product realization team. As an experienced engineer, the selected candidate would participate in both reviewing peer designs and act as a mentor to early career engineers.

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

  • Design high-level digital architectures and firmware requirements that align with top-level Telemetry system requirements.

  • Design embedded firmware (in VHDL) to collect/organize data from various ICs/sensors via any manner of serial/parallel communication protocols (e.g. SPI, I2C, USB, 8b10b) and disseminate that data in a multitude of ways (e.g. serial outputs such as USB, UART, NRZL, biphase).

  • Develop verification strategies, create test plans, and perform hands-on testing of embedded systems.

  • Team with digital experts to mature and uphold a core Telemetry firmware architecture based on modular firmware.

  • Develop documentation of a given design and provide technical presentations to peers and managers.

The role will collaborate with diverse design teams and requires supporting multiple programs/teams simultaneously.


  • Bachelor’s degree in electrical, computer engineering, or relevant field, with at least 8 years' related experience; or bachelor’s and master’s degrees in these fields with a minimum of 4 years' related experience

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

  • Ability to travel for business up to 25% time


  • Demonstrated experience with embedded firmware design (preferably VHDL)

  • Demonstrated experience with firmware verification methodologies (such as OSVVM or UVM) and developing requirement evidence

  • Demonstrated experience with analog and digital circuit design and analysis

  • Experienced in static timing analysis and capable of deriving firmware requirements

  • Experience with scripting and programming languages (e.g. TCL, Python) for build and verification automation

  • Hands-on experience testing and debugging circuitry, with clear mastery of tools such as oscilloscopes, logic/network/spectrum analyzers, function/pulse generators, etc.

  • Demonstrated strong communication skills with peers and stakeholders

  • Demonstrated leadership skills in a highly teaming environment

  • Currently holding an active DOE Q security clearance

    Department Description:

Sandia California’s Telemetry Systems Engineering develops and maintains telemetry systems in support of the nuclear deterrence surveillance mission. Telemetry systems has responsibility for all aspects of telemetry development, including conceptual design, prototype development and testing, and transitioning production work to DOE production agencies. Telemetry systems integrate precision sensor electronics and signal conditioning with RF communication systems to support flight testing of Joint Test Assemblies. Work is performed by teams of electrical engineers and mechanical engineers, in partnership with quality engineering, reliability engineering, and project management. Current development mission assignments include the B61-12 TM, the W87-1 EFTU TM, the W87-1 JTA10 TM and Encryption.

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.

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.

Job ID: 679663