R&D Controls Engineer - Automation & Robotics (Experienced) - Hybrid

Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jun 19, 2024
Jun 20, 2024
Engineering, Systems
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Corporate, Other Corporate
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.

What Your Job Will Be Like

We are seeking a motivated R&D Engineer to join our research, engineering, and design team.

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

Work with a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team on fast-moving, innovative projects that progress from research to real-world applications that serve the national interest.
Develop methods that enable rapid, adaptive, low volume production, inspection, and assembly.
Develop new methods that enable robotic systems to intelligently perceive, manipulate, and interact with the environment.
Create, design, and implement algorithms to enable advanced automation/autonomy, perception solutions, and action based on geometric and semantic perception of surroundings.
Develop architectures for data collection to optimize assembly, inspection, and process flow.
Develop software and hardware to implement on embedded systems to demonstrate real-time performance.
Design real-time control systems for atypical, high-consequence systems with significant nonlinearities, known and unknown interactions, and/or other challenges.
Develop capabilities to enable autonomous operations in complex environments: unstructured, previously unexplored, hazardous, or adversarial.
Author publications and patent applications describing advances.
Creatively brainstorm new problems, solutions, and capabilities
Develop new ideas and proposals to obtain funding.
Establish new collaborative partnerships within and external to Sandia.

The selected applicant can work a combination of onsite and offsite work. The selected applicant must live within a reasonable distance for commuting to the assigned work location when necessary.

Salary Range

$109,300 - $217,400

Salary range is estimated, and actual salary will be determined after consideration of the selected candidate's experience and qualifications, and application of any approved geographic salary differential.

Qualifications We Require

PhD or Master's degree in Manufacturing/Process engineering, Computer Science or Engineering, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, plus one (1) or more years of related experience; OR Bachelor's degree as mentioned above, plus five (5) years or more of directly related experience.
Experience in the following:
Implementing novel algorithms and control systems on hardware.
Applying image- and/or signal-processing algorithms to sensor data.
Development and use of one or more of the following: robots, perception systems, manipulation systems, or control systems.
Ability to obtain and maintain DOE Q-level Security Clearance.
Qualifications We Desire

Experience developing machine vision and image analysis solutions and tools
Experience with the control or automation of manufacturing processes and systems such as additive manufacturing, machining and machine tools, forming, robotic assembly and/or welding, etc.
Experience in online metrology, process instrumentation, measurements, or inspection
Current or past focus on object detection, localization, estimation, autonomous navigation, planning, computer vision, machine learning, tracking, structure from motion, or related areas
Expert-level experience developing code in Python, C++, or similar languages
Experience with the Robot Operating System (ROS)
Experience developing nonlinear, adaptive control systems
Experience with robotic manipulation systems
Experience with embedded and portable computing systems to include GPUs, FPGAs, microcontrollers, and related technologies
Experience with collaborative software development and related tools and methods including version control tools (e.g., GitLab), communication and task management tools (e.g., mattermost, JIRA), and dynamic task planning (e.g., Agile)
Experience developing novel robotic systems
Experience developing electronic circuit boards, electrical power systems, etc.
About Our Team

Organization 06533 - Unmanned Systems & Autonomy R&D specializes in autonomous operations of uncrewed systems, advanced controls, miniature mechanical design and fabrication, advanced drive system development, and the human/machine interface. We solve manufacturing (fabrication, inspection, assembly, certification) automation challenges unique to our government sponsors and we advance national security by providing next generation remote systems and automation/autonomy solutions. We have established leadership in this field through capabilities such as active, autonomous perception, distributed control of heterogeneous systems, real-time control of dynamic systems, autonomous manipulation, miniature mechatronic design and fabrication, and advanced human-machine interface R&D. With state-of-the-art facilities, we are using subject matter experience in uncrewed systems R&D to design and deploy systems to address critical national security challenges. The department conducts numerous active research, development, and application projects for a variety of customers, both internal to Sandia and across the national security establishment, collaborating heavily with partners across Sandia. The department is one of five in the Autonomy and Unmanned Systems Group within the Weapon and Force Protection Center.

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

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.


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.