W78 System Surveillance Engineer (R&D Engineer 3)
Los Alamos National Laboratory - Los Alamos, NM

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Located in northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. LANL enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.
Weapon Systems Engineering Division (W Division) provides systems engineering and program management to ensure the safety, reliability and security of our Nation's nuclear stockpile for the entire life cycle. W Division is responsible for leadership of activities in stockpile assessment, certification, and life extension projects . The principal tool for assuring reliability of weapons in the stockpile is surveillance, in which samples are periodically disassembled and examined. The Weapons Systems Surveillance group, W-9, serves as Design Agency for the Surveillance Program and is the technical interface between the Nuclear Weapons Enterprise, Production Agencies, physics, engineering analysis and warhead system management/system engineering groups. W-9 provides guidance to assist with surveillance activities for weapon components and systems.

Detailed Description

The successful applicant will serve as the W78 System Surveillance Engineer (SSE), a position of responsibility and authority that includes a fairly high degree of autonomy and periodic travel. This position serves as the semi-independent assessor and program integrator: selecting weapon samples, prescribing tests at the system and component level, compiling the data, analyzing for trends, reporting results, and recommending component upgrades and replacement. Evaluations include flight, ground and laboratory tests. Based on an understanding of the weapon system design requirements, the assignment involves targeting the most essential data to collect to correctly assess overall weapon system health and to predict aging effects and anticipate obsolescence. A major part of this responsibility is in writing scientific based documents summarizing surveillance investigation results in the Annual Assessment and Cycle Reports, end of year surveillance briefings for Warhead Managers, and conducting briefings up to and including the Director. Equally essential tasks include writing technical requirements in accordance with Quality best practices, physically walking down processes at the Production Agencies, negotiating changes as necessary to ensure the integrity of the data and information collected. The position also requires responding to anomalies at the Production Agencies, providing expert judgment, and planning problem resolution.

The successful applicant will enjoy a varied and challenging set of tasks while ensuring successful completion of the surveillance workload. In addition to the tactical planning for each year's activities, the SSE is also responsible for strategic planning and negotiating priorities with NNSA and Production Agencies. The successful applicant possesses an inquiring mind that will be intrigued by the challenge of transitioning the evaluation program from a reactive program to a predictive program, developing new diagnostic techniques and predictive behavioral models. In performing this work the position involves routine communication and interdependent work with weapon surveillance component engineers, weapon system engineers, weapon physicists from XDT, W-DO management, and Y-12 and Pantex Plant surveillance engineers and management and colleagues at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.

Job Requirements

Minimum Job Requirements:Required Skills:
Working knowledge of nuclear weapon design, development, production, or stockpile requirements.

A fundamental knowledge of engineering and material sciences principles and concepts. Ability to maintain a high level of accuracy, completeness, and ensure planned results is achieved on schedule.

Understanding of Nuclear Weapons Enterprise (NWE) manufacturing practices.

Ability to effectively interact with all levels of management and staff at the Laboratory, NNSA, production plants, and the DoD.

General knowledge of fabrication, assembly, and inspection technologies. Good written and oral communications skills.

Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.

Understanding of Environmental Safety and Health, and security requirements.

Demonstrated experience working in accordance with NQA-1 and QC-1 standards.

Candidate must have the ability to obtain a DOE Q clearance, which normally requires US citizenship.

Desired Skills:
Familiarity with the W78 weapon system.

General knowledge of existing NNSA/DoD requirements related to manufacturing.

Working experience at one or more of the NNSA design labs or production plants.

Working knowledge of practices related to working with high explosives, special nuclear materials, and classified documents and materials.

Bachelor's Degree required, Master's Degree (MS preferred) in Mechanical, Chemical, or Industrial Engineering, Material Science, Physics, or related field.

Physical Job Requirements:
Working alone, working overtime or irregular schedule, domestic/foreign travel.

Notes to Applicants:
This position is subject to the requirements of the Human Reliability Program (HRP). All candidates invited for an interview must consent to be in the HRP at the time of the interview. Only the selected candidate will be subject to the requirements of HRP, which includes a pre-employment background check, a counterintelligence-scope polygraph, medical examination including psychological evaluations, and drug/alcohol testing.

Additional Details
Clearance: Q (Position will be cleared to this level). Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements* for access to classified matter.

  • Eligibility requirements: To obtain a clearance, an individual must be at least 18 years of age; U.S. citizenship is required except in very limited circumstances.See DOE Order 472.2 for additional information.
HRP: This position is subject to the requirements of the DOE Human Reliability Program as specified in 10 Code of Federal Regulation, Part 712, •712.11. These requirements include on going drug and alcohol testing, as well as periodic medical and psychological evaluations.
Pre-Employment Drug Test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a pre-employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing.

Regular position: Term status Laboratory employees applying for regular-status positions are converted to a regular status only with approval of the cognizant Principal Associate Director.
Equal Opportunity: Los Alamos National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. We welcome and encourage applications from the broadest possible range of qualified candidates. The Laboratory is also committed to making our workplace accessible to individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, for individuals to participate in the application and hiring process. To request such an accommodation, please send an email to company website or call 1-505-665-5627.

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Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national...