Sandia National Laboratories Intern - Engine Combustion Researcher R&D Graduate Summer in Livermore, California


We are seeking an Intern - Engine Combustion Researcher R&D Graduate Summer. The successful candidate will assist with the development of new optical and or conventional diagnostics to investigate in-cylinder engine processes related to heat transfer losses and emissions formation.

On any given day, your potential activities may include:

  • Design, fabrication, installation and testing of components for optically accessible research facilities and laboratory infrastructure
  • Development of instrumentation and control systems for temperature, pressure, and flow
  • Development of data acquisition systems and data processing codes
  • Design and implementation of laboratory safety systems, including gas sensors, interlocks, pressure relief, and seismic restraints
  • Development/application of image processing codes for part qualification, image distortion correction, and engineering/scientific data analysis
  • Participation in research projects, potentially leading to technical publications

You will be paired with a mentor, and this position offers substantial opportunity for training and technical mentorship. The successful candidate should enjoy working in a challenging and dynamic environment requiring independent work and constant learning.


You bring the confidence and skills to be eligible for the job by meeting these minimum requirements:

  • Earned bachelor's degree
  • Currently attending and enrolled full time (or scheduled to graduate in the spring) in an accredited science, engineering, or math graduate program
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0
  • Ability to work up to 40 hours per week during the summer
  • U.S. citizenship

Note: If you have not yet started your graduate program, please apply to an undergraduate intern position.

Additional Requirements

  • General computer proficiency (Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office) is required.


  • Strong interest in modern engine technology
  • Mechanical design skills; proficiency in SolidWorks or Pro-Engineer software with FEA
  • Programming experience (MATLAB, Python, C++ or similar)
  • Experience interfacing with DAQ systems and basic PID/Arduino controller programming
  • Well-developed hands-on skills
  • Experience in light machining, welding & joining (mill, lathe, tig, mig, brazing, soldering, Haas/ProtoTRAK NC programming)
  • Interest in pursuing a research career (M.S. or Ph.D.) in engineering, physical science, or computer science

Department Description:

The mission of Sandia California's Engine Combustion Research Department is to develop the science base needed by industry to build and optimize a new generation of advanced, high-efficiency, clean internal-combustion engines that use both conventional and alternative fuels. The department is part of Sandia's Combustion Research Facility (CRF), where 100 scientists, engineers, and technologists conduct basic and applied research to improve our nation's ability to use and control combustion processes efficiently and cleanly (

CRF engine researchers use advanced, laser-based diagnostics in conjunction with experimental hardware that simulates or closely mimics realistic engine conditions. Research hardware includes several optically accessible, single-cylinder engines with production or prototypical engine heads and an optically accessible combustion vessel capable of simulating an extremely wide range of potential engine thermodynamic conditions. Optical access in the engines is provided by quartz piston heads, quartz cylinder liners, windowed spacers, and/or replacement of exhaust valves with periscope assemblies. Researchers also develop and adapt or improve optical diagnostic techniques as needed.

The CRF offers a challenging and stimulating work environment that addresses today's most critical energy and environmental issues, as well as opportunities for personal, professional, and technical growth.

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 withamazingimpact 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 schedules, generous vacations,strongmedical 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:

This position does not currently require a Department of Energy (DOE)-granted security clearance.

Sandia will conduct a pre-employment drug testing, and a pre-employment background review that includes personal reference checks, law enforcement record checks, and employment and education verifications. Further, employees in New Mexico must pass a U.S. Air Force background screen for access to the work site. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause access to be denied or terminated, rendering the inability to perform the duties assigned and resulting in termination of employment.

If hired without a clearance, and one subsequently becomes required or you bid on positions that require a DOE-granted security clearance, a pre-processing background review that includes personal reference checks, law enforcement record and credit checks, and employment and education verifications may be conducted prior to a required federal background investigation. Applicants for DOE-granted security clearances must be U.S. citizens and be able to obtain and maintain the appropriate DOE security clearance as required for the position.

EEO Statement:

Equal opportunity employer/Disability/Vet/GLBT