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Research & Development, Geosciences Engineer (Early/Mid-Career)

We are seeking a high performing, creative, and passionate engineer or scientist to join our engaged, dynamic, and multidisciplinary team, particularly someone with expertise and experience in modeling and simulation of two-phase subsurface flow and radionuclide transport. 

Do you want to be part of a multi-disciplinary team? Are you passionate about the work you do? We need you to join our team of experts. 

You will work with the Sandia Performance Assessment and Decision Analysis Group is responsible for performing long-term environmental assessments of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the nation’s only operating geologic nuclear waste repository, to ensure that current and future designs meet federal regulations. At the core of WIPP Performance Assessment (PA) is a suite of coupled process models and numerical codes used to describe physical processes in and around the repository. Foremost among these processes are brine and gas flow in the repository and through the surrounding geology, as well as radionuclide solution and transport away from the facility. 

About Our Team

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, located outside of Carlsbad, New Mexico, is the nation’s only licensed and operating deep geologic repository for the disposal of transuranic nuclear waste. The WIPP Performance Assessment and Decision Analysis Department (8881) at Sandia’s Carlsbad remote site designs, executes, analyzes, documents, and defends calculations (1) used to assess the compliance of WIPP’s long-term waste containment performance with federal regulations and (2) used to assess the impact of DOE proposed/planned changes to WIPP’s design on its compliance. The high performing group is also engaged in modernizing the simulation codes and run control system to allow for more general repository designs and assumptions.

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 schedules, 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.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status.

On any given day, you may be called on to:
  • Enhance models and perform simulations of subsurface flow and radionuclide transport in and around the WIPP. Author reports documenting the impact of flow and radionuclide transport on WIPP regulatory compliance. Communicate insights, findings, and options to the Department of Energy customer, the Environmental Protection Agency federal regulator, and public stakeholders in a concise way that enables action.
  • Develop process model simulation tools, extending the flexibility of current codes. Write requirements for, test, validate, and document codes in accordance with NQA-1 and our DOE-specific QA requirements. 
  • Use state-of-the-art equipment to perform scientific investigations and implement/document process model or parameter improvements, particularly in the areas of multiphase flow in porous media and radionuclide transport.
  • Be a dynamic and integral contributor to a multi-disciplinary team in the development of technical publications and presentations.

Qualifications We Require

  • Master's degree or a PhD in a relevant discipline (Chemical/Environmental/Mechanical/Nuclear/Petroleum Engineering, Computer Science, Systems Engineering, Hydrology, Applied Mathematics, Statistics, or a related discipline);
  • Demonstrated experience with groundwater flow and transport and the computational tools used in their simulation.
  • Numerical/scientific computer programming experience; familiarity with Python, FORTRAN, UNIX/Linux environment;
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE L-level security clearance;
Applicant must reside in or have the ability to reside in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience applying uncertainty quantification/risk assessment to engineering problems;
  • Experience developing numerical software in Python, FORTRAN, C/C++ and working with HPC UNIX/Linux environments;
  • Experience applying systems engineering methods to ensure software QA;
  • Experience performing engineering analyses and software development following regulated QA guidelines and requirements;
  • Self-directed: able to both work independently and collaboratively as necessary;
  • Proven problem-solving skills;
  • Demonstrated writing, presentation, and explanatory skills;
  • A demonstrated record of technical publication and presentation.

Security Clearance

Position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) L-level 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 must 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.