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Lead High Explosives Experimentalist

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 06/15/2021

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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

The Energetic Materials Center (EMC) is looking for a Lead High Explosives Experimentalist (AKA Ramrod).  The Lead Ramrod will serve with their Group Leader as the Points of Contact (POCs) to Firing Operations within the High Explosives Application Facility (HEAF).  The Lead Ramrod will be responsible for coordination and scheduling of EMC staff, as well as mechanical technicians and coordinators matrixed to EMC for activities in main HEAF firing tanks: 10KG, 1KG (N & S), and Gun (100mm & TSLGG).  This individual will also serve a consulting role for EMC activities in other, smaller, firing tanks and the EMC laboratories. This position is in the  in the Energetics Materials Group of the Materials Science Division.

In this role you will 

  • Promote and enable a safe and clean work environment impacting multiple aspects of shot assembly, execution, and completion in a WCI high-hazard facility.
  • Collaborate with other scientists in the implementation of safety guidelines for experimental operations by applying technical knowledge and skills in a variety of safety disciplines and ensuring design reviews are conducted on novel experiments in compliance with the HEAF Facility Safety Document.
  • With minimal direction, work with HEAF Firing Operations to load-balance the complex and not well-defined interplay of resources to enable the efficient and effective execution of the HEAF shot schedule.  Account and accommodate for off-site work (S300, user facilities, off-site test ranges).
  • Work with professional colleagues and mid-level managers (including EMC GLs and Supervisors in HEAF) to coordinate tasks and priorities to enable effective shot execution as well as the maintenance, upkeep, and development of EMC laboratories in HEAF.
  • Working independently and with minimal direction, develop, implement, and maintain a Ramrod-In-Training program which clearly articulates the requirements for trainees to ascend to Ramrod status. 
  • Develop, implement, and maintain a Ramrod leveling structure which establishes distinct levels of Ramrod status with escalating responsibility and complexity of scope.  This program will need to be approved by line supervisors in DTED and MSD, HEAF management, and EMC.
  •  Perform other duties as assigned.



  • This position requires an active Department of Energy (DOE) Q-level clearance or active Top Secret clearance issued by another U.S. government agency at the time of hire.
  • BS in chemistry, materials science, engineering, engineering technology, or related field, or the equivalent combination of education and significant related experience.
  • Advanced knowledge of engineering design and engineering drawings, including geometric tolerancing and dimensioning, high-speed diagnostics and knowledge of machining processes, mechanical fabrication and assembly, materials properties, and manufacturing methods.
  • Significant experience working on projects with a high consequence of error with regard to safety.
  • Significant experience functioning in multidisciplinary teams conducting experimental studies.
  • Experience using independent judgment in determining methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria with latitude to establish objectives of assignment and allocate resources.
  • Significant experience in collection, analysis, and documentation of scientific data and/or results.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills necessary to routinely interact with professional colleagues, mid‐level management, and sponsors across and outside Laboratory.
  • Advanced experience mentoring other personnel and assisting in recruiting. 
  • Span of control demonstrated by responsibility for one or more functions within an organization with equivalent line, budget, and/or program/project impact while managing the scope of 10 or more employees.

Qualifications We Desire

  • LLNL qualified HE Handler.
  • Experienced Ramrod / Experimenter.
  • Preparation of Peer Reviews.

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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