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Technical System Engineer - NIF Advanced Radiographic Capability

Associate | Full-time
Engineering | livermore, CA | 05/08/2021

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Company Description

Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Are you interested in joining some of the brightest talent in the world to strengthen the United States’ security? Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where our employees apply their expertise to create solutions for BIG ideas that make our world a better place.

We are committed to a diverse and equitable workforce with an inclusive culture that values and celebrates the diversity of our people, talents, ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This is essential to innovation and creativity for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Job Description

We have an opening for a Technical System Engineer (SE) for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) Advanced Radiographic Capability (ARC) system. NIF is the largest and most energetic laser facility, the most precise and reproducible laser, as well as the world’s largest optical instrument. The laser has nearly 40,000 optics that precisely guide, reflect, amplify, and focus 192 laser beams onto a fusion target about the size of a pencil eraser. ARC utilizes Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) design, by amplifying a stretched chirped pulse using NIF main laser amplifiers, to deliver high intensity, short pulse laser pulses for X-ray backlighting of NIF fusion targets. As the ARC SE, you will be responsible for ensuring optimal performance of all ARC subsystems, supporting integration of new capabilities, troubleshooting off-normal events, prioritizing work activities and scheduling, assisting in the development of cost estimates, fulfilling work permit requirements, and ensuring all ARC training requirements are kept up to date.  This position is in the Laser Systems Engineering and Operations (LSEO) Division, within the Engineering Directorate.

This position will be filled at either level based on knowledge and related experience as assessed by the hiring team. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if hired at the higher level.

In this role you will 

  • Apply fundamental knowledge to support fielding ARC on well-defined high energy density physics experiments, perform maintenance, repairs, and upgrades to the ARC system.
  • Perform periodic maintenance activities of limited complexity on the ARC system. Responsibilities include performance evaluation, calibration (offline and online), troubleshooting and supporting off-normal occurrences including off-hours on-call support, data analysis, data archiving and developing test reports and analysis presentations for readily identifiable factors utilizing standard techniques and methods.
  • Participate in the coordination and planning of all ARC activities, under general direction, both within the ARC team as well as with the broader NIF facility.
  • Contribute and function as a team member involved with the development and design of system enhancements to increase system reliability and maintainability.
  • Acquire and analyze large sets of data using computer-based data acquisition and controls.
  • Interact with a large computer control system, through graphical user interfaces (GUI’S), to commission, operate and maintain various diagnostics and controls.
  • Generate and maintain system documentation relating to well defined configuration management including operations & test procedures; document performance and test results; identify issues and propose solutions utilizing fundamental knowledge while under general direction.
  • Interface with immediate supervisors, project leads, scientists, engineers, and technicians in the group to complete various projects.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.2 level

  • Using comprehensive knowledge and broad experience, apply scientific & engineering principles in the development of moderately complex to complex sub-system designs.  Activities include planning work activities, collaborating with stakeholders to develop requirements, design reviews, designing and building hardware prototypes, and executing instrumentation performance evaluation, installation, commissioning, and documentation.
  • Perform analysis of the ARC performance at a systems level under limited direction and present data to a peer review team with recommendations to enhance system performance.
  • Provide engineering solutions to resolve moderately complex to complex technical and programmatic issues including matters that may be broadly defined.


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Optical Engineering, Physics, Electrical Engineering or the equivalent combination of education and previous relevant experience.
  • Fundamental knowledge of well-defined and limited complexity technologies including pulsed infrared laser systems, detectors, and measurement techniques.
  • Fundamental knowledge and experience working with the full lifecycle of systems design, operations, maintenance, repairs, and upgrades while troubleshooting technical issues of limited complexity and evaluating system performance.
  • Proficiency with laboratory test equipment including oscilloscopes, signal generators, optical spectrum analyzers, energy, and power meters.
  • Experience collecting, analyzing, interpreting data; writing test plans, documenting test results, and generating reports under well-defined circumstances.
  • Knowledge of analytical software such as MATLAB, IDL or Python.
  • Decision making and analytical skills and ability to work under general direction and with well-defined parameters to anticipate, analyze, and provide solutions to technical problems of limited complexity, while adhering to well-defined practices and procedures.
  • Sufficient verbal and written communication skills to collaborate effectively in a team environment.

Additional qualifications at the SES.2 level

  • Comprehensive knowledge and broad experience needed to apply scientific & engineering principles to the development of moderately complex to complex sub-system designs including planning work activities, collaborating with stakeholders to develop requirements, design reviews, designing and building hardware prototypes, and executing instrumentation performance evaluation, installation, commissioning, and documentation.
  • Broad experience performing analysis of systems level performance under limited direction including presenting data to a peer review teams and making recommendations to enhance system performance.
  • Proficiency, comprehensive knowledge, and experience providing engineering solutions to resolve moderately complex to complex technical issues including matters that may be broadly defined while under limited direction.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience with short pulse laser systems using Chirped-Pulse-Amplification (CPA) technology.
  • Experience with laser diagnostics and timing systems.
  • Experience with integrated computer control systems for system operation and alignment.

Additional Information

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

  • Included in 2021 Best Places to Work by Glassdoor!
  • Work for a premier innovative national Laboratory
  • Comprehensive Benefits Package
  • Flexible schedules (*depending on project needs)
  • Collaborative, creative, inclusive, and fun team environment

Learn more about our company, selection process, position types and security clearances by visiting our Career site

Security Clearance

LLNL is a Department of Energy (DOE) and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Laboratory.  Most positions will require a DOE L or Q clearance (please reference Security Clearance requirement).  If you are selected, we will initiate a Federal background investigation to determine if you meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information or matter. In addition, all L or Q cleared employees are subject to random drug testing.  An L or Q clearance requires U.S. citizenship.  If you hold multiple citizenships (U.S. and another country), you may be required to renounce your non-U.S. citizenship before a DOE L or Q clearance will be processed/granted.  For additional information please see DOE Order 472.2.

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position will be required to pass a post-offer, pre-employment drug test. This includes testing for use of marijuana as Federal Law applies to us as a Federal Contractor.

Pre-Placement Medical Exam

A job related pre-placement medical examination may be required.

Equal Employment Opportunity

LLNL is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer that values and hires a diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, protected veteran status, age, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please submit a request via our online form

California Privacy Notice

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants privacy rights to all California residents. The law also entitles job applicants, employees, and non-employee workers to be notified of what personal information LLNL collects and for what purpose. The Employee Privacy Notice can be accessed here.

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