Sandia National Laboratories R&D S&E, Systems Research Analysis in Livermore, California


Job Summary

Applies integrated technical judgment--which requires using the scientific method to recognize and formulate problems, to collect data through observation and experimentation, and to formulate and test hypotheses--to anticipate, innovate, and deliver solutions to Sandia National Laboratories missions. Roots the work in the fundamentals of science and engineering while applying a deep understanding of engineering and scientific principles. Creates and applies scientific theories and laws and engineering methods used within scientific and engineering disciplines to develop or demonstrate new designs, concepts, materials, machines, products, processes, or systems. Uses physical and computational simulation, analysis, and evaluation as inherent activities of development. Plans, conducts, and executes Sandia's scientific programs within the spectrum of fundamental research, development, or demonstration.

Researches, evaluates, designs, and develops system solutions addressing national security challenges. Provides decision insight to customers in ill-defined or complex multi-domain problem areas by applying critical thinking using a diversity of technical skills and expertise, and effectively communicating results of analyses to explain options and trade-offs. Develops and negotiates problem scope and requirements with decision makers to address near- and long-term problems with complex technical components. Formally defines problems, formulates solution requirements, develops technical approaches, gathers information from a variety of sources, and applies analytical and modeling methods from mathematics, the sciences, and engineering to illuminate, modify or create system architectures, and perform objective assessments. Develops, evaluates, and utilizes analytical and computational tools for the evaluation of complex systems and systems-of-systems. Creates analytical frameworks germane to stakeholder objectives and evaluates competing characteristics between system elements to determine the most effective integrated system solutions. Uses a multidisciplinary approach and teams as appropriate to model interfaces and interactions between the components of complex systems.

Primary Job Duties

  • Plans, conceives, conducts, or manages research and development for Sandia's customers and sponsors.
  • Formally defines problem to be solved and formulates solution requirements, working with decision-maker(s) to refine solution space
  • Uses physical and computational simulation, analysis, and evaluation as inherent activities of development.
  • Undertakes systematic investigation, analysis or experimentation to discover or revise knowledge of system phenomena, and discovers new approaches to optimizing system performance.
  • Creates new understandings and capabilities by using the scientific method's hypothesis, test, and evaluation techniques; critical review; or similar engineering research and development methods.
  • Creates and applies an analytic framework that utilizes quantitative and qualitative measures of effectiveness germane to stakeholder's objectives.
  • Uses engineering principles to research, design, or develop experiments, processes, systems, theories, or technologies, or to forecast their behavior under expected and emergent/unexpected conditions.
  • Builds and works with multi-disciplinary teams to incorporate necessary subject matter expertise and domain knowledge for gaining an intimate knowledge of the system and its linkages and influences. Seeks knowledge of how to affect system performance while deploying new capabilities in complex systems.
  • Develops novel analysis tools and techniques, and applies analysis skills and domain knowledge to understand and interpret model results, and evaluate options within the framework developed. Includes developing conceptual, descriptive, numerical or computational system models of complex systems.
  • Communicates results to explain options, insights, and trade-offs to customers in a concise way that enables action.
  • Contributes to technical publications and delivers presentations.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Excellent communication skills, including strong writing, interpersonal, and formal briefing capabilities.
  • Ability to contribute within team environments and in conjunction with diverse collaborators.
  • Ability to travel throughout the nation to meet with sponsors and customers.
  • Advanced technical degree or significant equivalent experience.
  • Technical knowledge and competencies appropriate to the position.
  • Thorough knowledge of and applied experience with scientific, mathematical, and engineering methods.
  • Thorough knowledge of and experience with designing, planning, and executing projects.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience implementing Sandia policies affecting projects and initiatives.
  • Demonstrated ability to team across all disciplines.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate complex system issues and ideas to customers and stakeholders at all levels of government within the United States as well as internationally.


  • Requires a bachelor’s and master’s degree in relevant STEM discipline plus eight or more years experience; or bachelor's and doctorate in relevant STEM discipline plus five or more years experience.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. DOE Q security clearance.


  • Experience in program development and project execution in a team environment is also valued.
  • Proven interest in and capability to address broad, unstructured, interdisciplinary problem areas.
  • Evidence of independent initiative in the development of new ideas or programs.

Department Description:

The Systems Research and Analysis Department is part of a multi-department System Analysis and Engineering Group (8710) in the Homeland Security and Defense Systems Center. Employing independent thinking and a variety of advanced tools and methods, this team provides decision-makers with information, analyses, and engineering to support evaluation of strategy and technology options across the lifecycle of national security issues. When appropriate, the team develops exploratory engineering designs to further assess technical feasibility and engineering trade-offs ¿ an approach that can augment Sandia¿s analytical findings and provide a more comprehensive basis for sound decisions. Work in 8710 is focused on a broad range of topics in national security including nuclear weapons, homeland security, and transportation energy. Nuclear weapons work includes stockpile studies, surety systems analysis, cost estimation, and future stockpile planning. Homeland security work includes analyses, simulations, and prototype technology deployments which address defense against biological, nuclear, chemical, and radiological terrorism; planning and training for disaster management; and emerging cybersecurity threats. Transportation energy analyses enable technology, policy and regulatory decisions focused on vehicle fleet composition and fuel alternatives. In these complex problem areas, staff in 8700 combine technical depth, cross-domain breadth, and multiple analytic disciplines to deliver products that inform decision makers and facilitate evaluation of options and trade-offs.

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:

Position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) granted Q-level security clearance.

Sandia is required by DOE directive to conduct a pre-employment drug testing, and a pre-employment background review that includes personal reference checks, law enforcement record and credit checks, and employment and education verifications. Applicants for employment must be able to obtain and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance, which requires U.S. citizenship.

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 the DOE, rendering the inability to perform the duties assigned and resulting in termination of employment.

EEO Statement:

Equal opportunity employer/Disability/Vet/GLBT