Research Geophysicist for Seismic Signal Analysis

Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Aug 06, 2020
Aug 24, 2020
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What Your Job Will Be Like

Passionate about your work and dream of utilizing state-of-the-art facilities to explore solutions? Join our high energy, dynamic team and develop creative solutions to unique national security challenges!

We are seeking an early career Geosciences Engineer to join our team! Initially, you will support existing research efforts combining traditional geophysics with novel data science techniques to improve monitoring capabilities for underground nuclear explosions. You will be responsible for developing and applying signal processing algorithms to unique seismic data sets. Then, supported by your team, you will interpret the results and communicate findings through presentations and publications.

Opportunities are available to explore the full seismic processing pipeline, including signal detection, signal association, event location, and event identification. Over time, you will be expected to apply the expertise you gain to develop new R&D efforts within Sandia mission areas. You will be expected to perform work according to Sandia values, which include serving national needs, delivering with excellence, respect for others, teaming, and scientific integrity.

On any given day, you may be asked to:

  • Support your team members by sharing results and providing/receiving feedback on work
  • Collaborate with computer scientists to develop signal detection algorithms
  • Modify an existing code base to test a new hypothesis and write data analysis codes to interpret and graph results
  • Develop methods to handle large data sets
  • Attend a mini-course to learn new technical skills
  • Participate in journal article discussion groups and seminar series
  • Run codes on both CPU and GPU clusters
  • Draft publications, reports, and presentations

About Our Team

The Geophysical Detection Technology R&D department performs geophysical monitoring research and development in support of Sandia’s mission as a national security laboratory. The team’s geophysics expertise addresses challenges surrounding ground-based nuclear detonation detection through next-generation algorithms exploiting multi-phenomenological data, advanced sensor technologies, and demonstration experiments.

The team has a wide range of expertise in field seismology, subsurface characterization, seismo-acoustic and infrasound modeling; evaluation of seismic and infrasound sensors and systems; and the processing, analysis, and interpretation of all types of geophysical data. Technical work spans the spectrum from theoretical to applied and includes strong modeling, lab and field data collection, and analysis capabilities. The department serves as Sandia’s resource for ground-based monitoring expertise, partnering with departments across the labs to integrate multiple types of data—including optical, seismic, electromagnetic, infrasound, atmospheric, radionuclide—to address broad national security needs.

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, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.

Qualifications We Require

  • Master’s degree in geophysics, seismology, or closely related field, with an emphasis on data analysis
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q-level clearance

Qualifications We Desire

  • Research experience in the one or more of the following technical fields: general geophysical signal processing; machine learning; waveform correlation; inversion methods; algorithm tuning & optimization; uncertainty quantification
  • Interpersonal skills and can work effectively both individually and on teams
  • Proficiency with at least one common computer programming language (Java, C++, Python, MATLAB)
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to meet scheduled work completion dates
  • Proficiency with varied communication methods, including oral presentation, preparation of high-impact visual presentations, written reports, and the ability to clearly and concisely communicate scientific and technical information at a level tailored the audience

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.