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R&D Spent Nuclear Fuel Expert

Unidentified, NM

Job ID: 689549

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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.

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.

Salary Range:

$138,600 - $235,500

*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 R&D Nuclear Engineer with extensive expertise in spent nuclear fuel from both light water and advanced reactor concepts to join the Storage and Transportation Technologies Department as a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff (DMTS).

Our organization is part of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Technologies Group, which conducts research related to the Back End of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (BENFC). We focus on storage and transportation of spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste, and security and safeguards technologies. Our research underpins the Department of Energy’s mission to safely and securely manage and disposition high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. We develop and communicate the scientific and engineering technical basis for the related nuclear waste issues in storage and transportation and develop the essential capabilities for the DOE to execute its program. While our main customers are the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE:NE) and NNSA, we also partner with stakeholders from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Electric Power Research Institute, the Nuclear Energy Institute, other national labs, industry, the international community, and academia.

The successful candidate will provide the technical background and expertise needed to guide the spent nuclear fuel storage, transportation, and disposal current and future testing, modeling, strategic direction, and staff development. This role is essential to ensure that Sandia can provide DOE:NE the science and engineering data, analyses and communication needed to meet its storage, transportation, and disposal mission.

On any given day you may be called on to:

  • Provide strategic, technical, and integration leadership for R&D topics related to spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. This involves:

  • close coordination with the other BENFC departments and other areas within Sandia

  • coordination of work with other national labs

  • frequent communication with our DOE customer, universities, NRC, and industry stakeholders

  • Communicate and present the work, impact, and strategy in different domestic and international venues, such as conferences, working group meetings, the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, the DOE, and the NRC

  • Lead large-scale experimental programs and modeling efforts to practical outcomes within time and budget constraints, using Sandia’s world class testing and computing facilities

  • Mentor other staff to build a strong technically vigorous nuclear safety culture. This includes balancing work assignments, upholding quality principles, supporting hands-on experimental work, encouraging recognition and growth opportunities, supporting staff and organizational knowledge management efforts, and promoting diversity

  • Adjust to changes on program and project priorities, based on national policy decisions

  • Support Sandia by participating in corporate committees and outreach and developing new and novel ideas into larger research portfolios

  • Travel, including some international travel, to disseminate technical results and to build and sustain customer and partner relationships

The selected applicant can be a virtual worker located in any U.S. State or District of Columbia. Regular or periodic travel to your assigned work location may be required.

Qualifications We Require:

  • Master’s in an engineering or science field, plus at least 12 years of relevant experience in team-based experimental and/or analytical R&D in nuclear material storage, transportation and/or security, or equivalent combination of education and experience

  • A publication record in advance reactor fuels and design concepts, nuclear material storage, transportation, security, safeguards, and/or disposal

  • Experience interacting with multiple levels of management and external customers

  • Experience serving as principal investigator or project manager of multiple concurrent complex projects of varying budget and oversight levels with multidisciplinary teams

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

Qualifications We Desire:

  • PhD in a relevant field

  • Ten or more years of demonstrated technical leadership experience working in spent nuclear fuel testing, spent nuclear fuel analysis, and/or advanced reactor fuel cycle analysis

  • Experience formulating and executing a R&D strategic plan

  • Ability to engage with and present technical information to both technical and non-technical audiences

  • Experience leading or performing large- or small-scale experimental work

  • Experience performing high fidelity computational modeling

  • Experience mentoring and growing technical staff and leading a diverse team

  • Experience developing new research areas into larger research programs

  • Excellent verbal and written communications

About Our Team:

The Storage and Transportation Technologies Department conducts the R&D to support the development of the technical basis for the extended storage and transportation of commercial used nuclear fuel, and safeguards and security modeling and analysis of nuclear fuel cycle facilities. The department produces peer reviewed research reports pertaining to many areas of used nuclear fuel storage, transportation, and security including: chemical instigators and mitigate of stress corrosion cracking of stainless steel; analysis of stress and strain on used nuclear fuel rods, cladding, and assemblies; modeling & simulation for analysis of safeguards and security systems.

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 L-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 the 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: 689549

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

Sandia invites you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law, EEO is the Law Poster Supplement, and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Sandia is a drug-free workplace. As a national laboratory funded by a U.S. government agency, we are subject to federal laws regarding illegal drug use. Illegal use of a controlled substance, including marijuana even in places where it does not violate state law, may impact your ability to obtain and/or maintain a Department of Energy security clearance, and may result in the withdrawal of an employment offer or termination of employment.

Sandia is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and providing reasonable accommodation in its application process for qualified individuals with disabilities. If you have difficulty using our online system due to a disability and need special assistance or accommodation, please send an email with your request to the Job Accommodation Specialist in (NM) . Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation are made on a case-by-case basis.