Job Title: R&D Computer Scientist - Simulation Modeling (Experienced)

Location of Position: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Employing Institution: Sandia National Laboratories

Description of Position: Are you passionate about your work and dream of using state-of-the-art facilities to explore solutions? Join a dynamic team that helps tackle some of the most challenging issues facing our nation’s security!

You could be the Computer Scientist, Mechanics Engineer, or Software Engineer we are looking for to join the Simulation Modeling Sciences department, contributing through agile code development teams, with a focus on design optimization applications. Our software applications are composed of many components such as optimization algorithms, computational mechanics, and computational geometry—all architected for massively parallel high-performance computing. You will utilize and extend your own expertise as part of a development team made up of researchers and developers focusing upon design optimization and analysis that will deliver research advances and end user products to customers. It is expected that you will learn or bring computer science expertise to the team and will help foster good software architecture, code design and maintenance, and overall high-quality software engineering practices. This role offers the opportunity to work across many software teams, including Plato, Inverse Optimization, Cubit, Meshing, Structural Dynamics, Solid Mechanics, Thermal-Fluids, and others.

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

  • Apply and grow your own personal knowledge by engaging in research and development of techniques for design and analysis through computational mechanics for many national security missions.
  • Perform software design, architecting, development, and maintenance, including engagement with customers.
  • Perform C++ software development in various areas including adjoint-based optimization techniques and application of these methods for solving complex design and inverse problems.
  • Coordinate and interact with Sandia staff in mechanics, computational science, and material science.
  • Prepare presentation materials and theory documents as part of conference presentations and journal publications.
  • Develop, implement, and verify algorithms for optimization, computational mechanics, computational geometry, and numerical techniques in support of the national security integrated codes applications of the laboratories.
  • Refine and extend geometry and meshing tools for computational mechanics.
  • Work within agile software development environment team rooms on codes that involve research but are also production quality.
  • Ensure codes are performant on next generation computing platforms at the petaflop level including work on advanced and applied research topics towards enabling exascale capability.
  • Attend national and international conferences, write papers, and present in ways that help Sandia stay in touch with the latest developments around the world in your field of expertise.

Join our team and achieve your dreams while making a difference. We look forward to talking to you about the fun and exciting environment on our teams!

About Our Team: Simulation Modeling Sciences department 1543 enables credible design and analysis involving computational simulation and finite element method approaches for meshing, topology optimization, inverse optimization, metamaterials, and high-performance computing I/O. We are part of Sandia’s CompSim organization 1540, teaming with others developing Solid Mechanics, Structural Dynamics, Thermal Fluids, V&V, uncertainty quantification, workflow, analyst interfaces, as well as DevOps support. Users rely upon these codes for the Sandia’s Nuclear Deterrence mission, various other missions of the Laboratory, DoD, and industry partners. We team with other research programs at Sandia and sponsor research and development of critical modeling science applications within Sandia and at partner university programs. We help coordinate and engage the International Meshing Roundtable and Topology Optimization Roundtable.

Our software tools, including the following, are intended to be used on high performance next generation computing platforms. • PLATO provides intelligent design to the Additive Manufacturing (AM) process. PLATO inverts traditional design approach by creating a computer-optimized structure rather than validating a conceptual CAD-CAM design, optimizing structures and materials over a wide range of parameters and environments. • Next Generation Simulation (NGS), including the Cubit tool known for its hexahedral meshing, enables many types of Finite Element Method (FEM) discretization for computational simulation by providing meshing of CAD geometries, now including many advancements in tetrahedral meshing. • Scaleable Geometric Modeler (SGM), a tool intended to create and explore geometries and also translate geometric representation between computer aided design and facets or finite elements. Our Geometry and Meshing team works at the nexus of engineering, mathematics, physics, numerical methods, and software engineering on many leading-edge NGS efforts. • Inverse Optimization tools work at the nexus of experimental measurement, test, and design, enabling reconstruction of sources, residual stress, and contact surfaces as well as design of experiments. With a current focus in acoustic metamaterials and structural acoustics, InverseOpt tools infer information that is not directly observable and enables design that matches a desired system behavior. • Our SEACAS tool, including Exodus and IOSS libraries, provides high-performance I/O for finite element applications. SEACAS encompasses both production support and HPC research through ECP and ATDM programs and is used at Sandia, several other National Laboratories, commercial companies, and universities.

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 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.

EEO: 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.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • PhD in Computer Science, Engineering or related STEM field using computer science
  • Experience with computational mechanics concepts and application
  • Proficiency or commitment to learn C++ programming, UNIX/Linux environment
  • Ability to obtain and hold a Q clearance

Sandia demonstrates its commitment to public safety in the national interest by requiring that all new hires be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious accommodation before commencing employment. The requirement also applies to those who are telecommuting and working virtually.

Any concerns about the ability to meet this requirement should be directed to HR Solutions at (505) 284-4700.

Qualifications We Desire: Because our team is diverse, your overlap with the following desired qualifications may be broad or focused upon a few.

  • PhD in Computer Science, Engineering or related STEM discipline
  • Good communication, presentation, and technical writing skills
  • Strong background in applied mathematics, mechanics, and software development
  • Depth and breadth in several aspects of computational mechanics (e.g., equations solvers, element formulations, multi-scale approaches, data structures, coupled physics)
  • Experience with adjoint-based optimization techniques and application of these methods for solving complex design and inverse problems
  • Experience with software design/architecture/testing skills
  • Experience with software quality and testing practices
  • Experience with high performance and parallel computation concepts
  • Experience developing and creating tests for large scale software applications
  • Experience teaming with multiple software teams and users of software
  • Experience with parallel computing environments with MPI, threading, GPU
  • Agile software development experience, especially in a team room environment
  • Experience with V&V and credibility concepts and practice
  • Experience with test driven development
  • Proven research capability and large scientific software projects
  • Experience with the finite element method and geometric representations
  • Template meta programming experience
  • Experience with Cubit, Plato, Sierra Inverse Optimization tools

Application Procedure: Apply for Job Opening ID:  682538

Contact Information: Timothy Walsh, [email protected]