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R&D W76-0 Weapon System Lead (Experienced)

Sandia National Labs

Sandia National Labs

Albuquerque, NM, USA
Posted on Monday, November 20, 2023

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: http://www.sandia.gov*These benefits vary by job classification.

What Your Job Will Be Like:

The W76-0 Navy Systems department (07227) is seeking a well-organized and highly motivated R&D S&E System Engineer to take on the Weapon System Lead (WSL) role for the W76-0 program at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). In this impactful and rewarding role, you will be responsible for and must be cognizant of all aspects of engineering work at SNL pertaining to the W76-0 and its annual assessment, including preparing and delivering programmatic and technical presentations and writing the annual assessment report. As the WSL, you will play a key role in the preparation of a multi-million-dollar Future Years Notional Spend Plan (FYNSP) and will ensure support of various Navy Project Officers Group (POG) and subcommittee meetings.

On any given day, you may be called on to:

  • Have a direct, positive impact on the national security of the United States.

  • Lead a high-performing, dynamic and multi-disciplinary team in carrying out the stewardship mission for the W76-0 Stockpile System.

  • Shape the overall technical basis strategy for supporting annual assessment in the risk-informed stockpile evaluation framework.

  • Develop and execute a strategic sustainment plan for the W76-0 to maintain this critical capability for the future.

  • Identify and implement innovative technologies to inform the technical basis of the safety and functional viability of the system.

  • Develop and implement rapid solutions to inform emerging issues or concerns about the W76-0.

  • Team with peer WSLs on other programs in both NM and CA to address cross-cutting issues impacting the stockpile.

  • Serve as the central SNL systems and NCE POC for the W76-0 to ensure that the W76-0 remains a robust cog in the nuclear deterrent.

  • Engage and team with numerous groups at SNL (e.g., component engineers, surveillance, independent assessment, military liaison, system surety, nuclear safety, technical subject matter experts) as well as external agencies (Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs (SP), National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Kansas City National Security Campus (KSNSC), and Pantex Production as well as DoD contractors).

    Due to the nature of the work, the selected applicant will be required to work onsite full-time in Albuquerque, NM and will be required to travel approximately 25%.

Qualifications We Require:

  • Master’s degree in an engineering or related scientific field; OR Bachelor’s degree in stated field, plus five (5) years of experience.

  • At least three (3) years of experience as a nuclear weapons engineer working on systems or component design, development, qualification, production, or related modeling/simulation projects.

  • Background and understanding of nuclear weapons across the lifecycle, familiarity with processes within the Nuclear Security Enterprise (NSE), and experience in working with the NNSA production agencies.

  • Active and current US DOE Q security clearance (DoD equivalent), and ability to participate as requested in random polygraph testing.

Qualifications We Desire:

  • Advanced degree (Master’s or PhD) in above-stated relevant fields.

  • Self-motivated, positive individual comfortable working in a constantly evolving, fast-paced environment.

  • Commitment to fostering a culturally and technically diverse atmosphere.

  • Effective leadership, delegation, teamwork, negotiation, conflict resolution and coaching/mentoring skills.

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to prepare and deliver briefings to customers and various levels of management.

  • Experience with Nuclear Safety and Enhanced Nuclear Detonation Safety (ENDS) principles.

  • Experience with Stockpile to Target Sequence (STS) requirements for weapon systems.

  • Experience interfacing external to SNL, including with LANL, NNSA, and/or Navy SP.

About Our Team:

The W76-0 Stockpile Systems Engineering team directly supports the Nuclear Deterrence mission through annual assessment of the Systems' safety and reliability and providing design agency engineering support for the production agencies. The deployment extension of the W76-0 weapon system is a key challenge and provides great opportunities for success and freedom to innovate. We partner with technical organizations across Sandia National Laboratories, including other system groups, stockpile surveillance, materials research, science and engineering, and computational modeling and simulation, to design and execute aging, reliability, and safety studies. In addition, we partner with external stakeholders, including the National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Defense and its contractors, Los Alamos National Laboratory, as well as the Kansas City National Security Campus and Pantex Production plants, to ensure the continued success of the W76-0/Mk4 Deterrence mission.

Also, in Department 7227, the Navy Experimental Reentry (NER) program within the Navy Reentry Systems (NRS) portfolio is part of a Strategic Partnership Project (SPP) Other Federal Agency (OFA) funded by the US Navy. Our team provides leadership and directly contributes to the design, development, and demonstration of flight test reentry experiments that directly impacts national security needs. We partner closely with Center 2400 to develop and test Advanced & Exploratory System efforts on HOTShot, Mk7/W93, and advanced concepts. We also have significant collaborations with external stakeholders including the Navy and NER co-contractors (Lockheed Martin Space, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Labs, Charles Stark Draper Lab) to advance the technologies in missile reentry flight programs in support of Nuclear Deterrence.

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.

Security Clearance:

Position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) Q security clearance to start, or equivalent active security clearance with another U.S. government agency (e.g., DOD). Sandia is required by DOE directive 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 maintain a DOE Q-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 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.

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.

Job ID: 692090