R&D Engineer 3
Los Alamos National Laboratory - Los Alamos, NM

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Weapon Systems Engineering Division (W Division/W Program) 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 Advanced Engineering Analysis Group (W-13) strives to provide our customers with timely and accurate answers to complex engineering problems by creatively combining cutting-edge numerical tools. Our customers include the nuclear weapons program, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense, among others. W-13 group expertise includes structural dynamics, radiation transport, thermodynamics, hydrodynamics, probabilistic methods, mechanics of materials, and numerical analysis.

We have an immediate need for an expert in constitutive model implementation for finite element codes. This would typically require a Master's or Ph.D. Degree (or equivalent degree and experience) in the area of computational solid mechanics.

This position will be responsible for the following: Working closely with analysts to determine constitutive model requirements, working closely with materials characterization testers to define necessary characterization tests, leading brainstorming sessions to determine best theoretical models, drafting formal constitutive model implementation plans, implementing appropriate incremental forms of theoretical constitutive models for use in both implicit and explicit finite element analyses, performing analyses of appropriate verification and validation problems and documenting the results, working closely with test engineers to design validation experiments, analyzing large datasets from simulations and experiments to draw conclusions, critically evaluating modeling assumptions and theory and determining their associated errors and uncertainties in the simulation regimes of interest, presenting and defending constitutive model applicability, uncertainties, and error estimates at formal model validation peer reviews, writing formal conference papers and technical reports that clearly and effectively communicate constitutive model theory, model implementation details, user guidelines, and model verification and validation evidence, working within ISO 9001 compliant engineering simulation quality management system.

Key Position Requirements

Strong knowledge of fundamental engineering principles and practices. Expertise in continuum mechanics, nonlinear finite element analysis, and computational inelasticity. Extensive experience in implementation of constitutive models for finite element analysis. Demonstrated ability to contribute to the research, design, testing, analysis, verification, and validation of engineering and technology solutions in support of R&D initiatives. Strong written, oral and interpersonal communication skills. Thorough knowledge and experience with ABAQUS, DYNA3D, or SIERRA finite element analysis software. Experience with scripting using Python, Matlab, or ABAQUS is also desired. The position will make use of verification and validation (V&V) methods. Experience with formal V&V methods, statistical analysis (including design of experiments and sensitivity studies), and probabilistic analysis is highly desired. This position will require the ability to obtain a DOE Q Clearance which normally requires US citizenship.

Desired Skills: General knowledge of weapons. Working experience in ISO 9001 compliant engineering simulation quality management system.

Job Description
(show details...)

Leads an extensive and diverse set of activities across multiple engineering disciplines or within a narrow, highly specialized field in support of engineering research and development (R&D), which is defined as the creative application of scientific principles to research, design, or develop structures, instruments, machines, experiments, processes, theories or technologies; or to construct or operate the same with full cognizance of their design; or to forecast their behavior under ambiguous operating conditions. Skilled professional with expertise crossing several technical areas or depth in a particular area is required. Serves as a technical leader in one or more discipline areas. Job Duties

Safety and security are primary responsibilities for all Laboratory employees. Maintains required safety and security training and assures compliance; makes safety and security an integral part of every task. Takes steps to stop work if unsafe conditions exist or security is compromised.

Adheres to engineering policies, programs, procedures and practices.

Applies and interprets, on a broad basis, specialized, state-of-the-art engineering and scientific principles, techniques, methods and tools to provide solutions for an extensive and diverse range of complex and/or ambiguous problems where analysis of situations or data requires in-depth evaluation of variable factors.

Leads the research, design, testing, analysis, verification, and validation of novel engineering and technology solutions in support of R&D initiatives.

Develops innovative advanced concepts, theories, methods, techniques and approaches to address specialized problems. May contribute to the development of industry standards. Develops new technical capabilities and creates opportunities to extend R&D engineering through the expansion of existing efforts.

Leads the development of technical products such as journal papers, reports, presentations, and concept papers. Develops intellectual property leading to publications, copyrights, and/or patents. May contribute to technology transfer.

Influences organizational, project, and program strategies and directions. Leads technical decision-making at task level within a project. Makes decisions and/or recommendations that influence the achievement of key programmatic objectives.

Uses project assignments to further organizational goals. Develops and implements project management plans, including scope, schedule, and budget, for small to moderate projects and/or major project tasks. Defines deliverables at the project or major task level.

Actively participates in professional societies, National Nuclear Security Administration/Department of Energy Complex interactions, special assignments, and/or external collaborations. Participates in external working groups and/or assists in organizing meetings and colloquia.

Leads peer review of the work of others within his/her own organization and participates in peer review across organizations or disciplines.

Enhances technical and professional expertise of junior staff through active mentoring and training.

Contributes ideas for new proposals and business development opportunities. Leads development of technical section of small to moderate proposals. Acquires internal/external funding for self.

Contributes to developments in industry, and develops new skills consistent with state-of-the-art. Attains additional certifications, qualifications, and/or recognitions to grow in field.

Models a mutually respectful work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment and that supports cooperation, teamwork, and resource sharing. Job Knowledge

Thorough knowledge of and experience in one or more of the following engineering disciplines: aerospace, biomedical, chemical, computational, electrical, mechanical, nuclear or other R&D engineering field.

Thorough knowledge of and experience in designing, planning, and executing research and development projects.

Thorough knowledge of and experience with application of the scientific method and with discipline-relevant standards for the ethical conduct of research.

Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in implementing Laboratory policies affecting research and development activities, projects, and/or initiatives.

Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in implementing Laboratory objectives and other statements of policy, practice, and/or procedure. Education

Typical educational requirement is an advanced degree in engineering from an accredited college or university.

This position may be subject to DOE Order 5480.20A, Personnel Selection, Training, and Qualification Requirements for DOE Nuclear Facilities. This DOE Order establishes entry-level requirements to ensure employees in the positions can successfully perform the requirements of the job.









BS (1)

4 yr (2)



3 yr




1 yr

Maintenance Personnel

1 yr

Technical Staff


2 yr

1 yr

Training Coordinators


2 yr

Training Instructors



(4) (5)

(1) The Training Manager shall have a baccalaureate including courses in education and technical subjects (baccalaureate need not be in engineering or related science).

(2) Education or experience that is job related may be substituted on a case-by-case basis. The degree may fulfill 3 of the 4 years of nuclear experience required on a one-for-one time basis.

(3) Experience consistent with the material being presented.

(4) Instructors who are responsible for instruction on subjects such as Technical Safety Requirements shall have received training on facility operating characteristics and principles, and operating limits (Safety Limits, Limiting Control Settings, and Limiting Conditions for Operation) and their bases.

(5) Instructors shall have demonstrated knowledge of instructional techniques through training or experience and be qualified by the Training Manager (or equivalent) for the material being presented. Direction
A. Supervision Received

Receives nominal supervision on all but the most complex problems and solutions.

B. Supervision Exercised

Coordinates and monitors the work of junior staff, including post-docs, and peers. Provides technical direction to diverse teams for organizational initiatives.

C. Contacts

Position typically requires ability to build effective, intellectually diverse teams and to interact with directorate-wide networks. Represents the Laboratory to external agencies in limited and defined capacities. Interacts routinely with Laboratory middle- and senior-level management.
This description is not intended to be a complete statement of every aspect of the position, but rather to act as a guide to the essential functions to be performed. Assigned functions of this job may vary, and other duties and responsibilities may be assigned or changed at the discretion of management.

Notes To Applicants

A minimum of a BS in engineering from an accredited college or university is required. A Master's Degree in Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Material Science and Engineering, Physics, or related field preferred.

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.

Government Conflict of Interest

To ensure that you and LANL avoid any potential conflicts of interest, all current/former Government Officials must read and respond, if applicable, to the LANL Applicant Disclosure Form .


For specific questions about the status of this job, call (505)667-9139