Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Featured Careers: Mechanical Engineering

The work of mechanical engineers can be seen in everything from the design and fabrication of space-based custom instrumentation, to the development of new, innovative solutions for the nation’s nuclear security problems.
Super Cam and Chem Cam photographed to scale.

Super Cam and Chem Cam photographed to scale.

At Los Alamos National Laboratory, there is no shortage of challenge and career excitement for our highly skilled mechanical engineers as they create the instruments and systems used to explore, monitor, and discover natural and man-made phenomena, and technologies that impact national and global security. The Lab work environment is one that keeps teams engaged and thriving, and engineers have access to cutting-edge technology and research.

Key projects and accomplishments

Our mechanical engineers make significant contributions across the Lab. Some examples include:

  • Trident, a short pulse laser that delivers 150 Terawatts of power focused on a 7-micrometer spot to test novel methods of producing intense laser-driven ion beams.
  • ChemCam, CheMin and MMRTG, three instruments aboard NASA’s Curiosity Rover. Curiosity is making historic discoveries about whether Mars has ever had conditions that could support life.
  • Nuclear deterrence by proper management of the nuclear stockpile. Our mechanical engineers play a key role in U.S. national security. They work with the B61 gravity bomb, the W78 thermonuclear warheads carried by the U.S Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the W76 and W88 warheads carried by the U.S. Navy’s Trident missile submarines.

What employees have to say about their mechanical engineering careers at the Lab

Lee said: “The thing I love most about my job is that my group encourages and supports continued learning and expanding our skill set. This creates a dynamic team environment. The Lab has experts in many fields, and being able to work with them and learn about their areas of expertise keeps the job exciting. So much of my job consists of learning about other science and engineering areas in order to provide a better mechanical engineering solution.”

Steve said: “The best aspects of my job are the variety of work and the people I work with. It never gets boring since each project has unique challenges that have often never been attempted before and push the envelope of technology or scientific understanding. The teams are diverse and you have access to a tremendous amount of knowledge, ideas and unique perspectives. I get to work with some top people in their fields on projects that can have a significant impact on science, technology and national security.”

Seung Jun said: “I got my PhD in nuclear engineering and since I joined the lab, I have explored various engineering problems (nuclear, mechanical, solar, offshore, oil industry). My group encourages me to make various connections and work on projects that extend beyond my graduate work. For example, I have learned supercomputing for engineering applications. I love working on big engineering simulations using the Lab’s supercomputers. I believe that the nature of this working environment ensures that I will be a solid R&D engineer at the Lab.”

John said: “I love the diversity of the work. Design, analysis, fabrication, testing--I get to do it all. I work on particle accelerators, weapon systems and spacecraft instruments, to name a few. I have the greatest engineering tools at my fingertips to do my work.”

Robert said: “I love getting the experience of working at a cutting-edge research institution. Here, I participate in a nice mixture of design and research. I also have the opportunity to study interesting subjects like additive manufacturing and fluid mechanics.”

Follow our mechanical engineering career opportunities

We have exciting opportunities for R&D mechanical engineers in Engineering Sciences, Plutonium Science and Manufacturing, Intelligence and Space Research, and more. Learn about our mechanical engineering jobs at jobs.lanl.gov.