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Distributed Control Systems Engineer

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Engineering | 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

We have multiple openings for Distributed Control Systems Engineers within the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and Photon Science Directorate (NIF&PS).  You will be responsible for the systems engineering, development, integration, and commissioning of distributed control systems for Z-machine diagnostics located at Sandia National Laboratory (SNL).  These systems perform a critical role in collecting experimental data on a large scientific facility which requires high precision timing and accurate recording to meet experimental objectives.  Occasional travel to Sandia National Laboratory, New Mexico for the deployment, commissioning, and maintenance of the diagnostic controls systems will be required.  These positions are in the Laser Systems Engineering and Operations (LSEO) Division, within the Engineering Directorate.

These positions 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 

  • Partner closely with NIF&PS diagnostic scientists and engineers and stakeholders in gathering system, hardware, and software requirements.
  • Design and develop graphical user interfaces to support complex control system operation and commissioning.
  • Select and integrate the LabVIEW compatible controls hardware with scientific sensors and instruments independently while under minimal direction.
  • Develop complex LabVIEW applications for supervisory, automated processing, device level controls, and data collection.
  • Evaluate and provide recommendations on technological solutions using prototyping and other analysis techniques.
  • Refine and manage the complex system requirement specifications and control software design.
  • Participate in formal and informal code and design reviews.
  • Develop procedures and participate in initial qualification and operational qualification of the diagnostic control systems given information that may not be well defined.
  • Maintain a close interface with the various programmatic and project elements to ensure effective teamwork and end-user communication.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.4 level

  • Conduct failure mode and effects analysis and identify risk mitigations for the control system using subject matter expertise.
  • Lead highly advanced control system design reviews.
  • Identify architectural improvements or new technologies to advance NIF&PS control systems under consultative direction.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Computer Science, or the equivalent combination of education and previous relevant experience.
  • Advanced knowledge of, and significant experience in selection and interfacing of complex control system hardware to scientific and process control instrumentation including the ability to work independently.
  • Advanced knowledge and/or certification in, National Instruments LabVIEW development.
  • Significant experience with the application, use, and implementation of complex distributed control systems. 
  • Advanced knowledge and significant experience with the systems and software engineering process for generation of requirements, design documents, configuration control, and preparation of test plans and user documentation.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills necessary to effectively collaborate in a team environment and present and explain technical information and provide advice to external customers and management.
  • Experience working effectively in a dynamic multidisciplinary environment, which includes working with scientists, engineers, technicians, and designers.
  • Ability to travel to customer and vendor sites, as necessary.

Additional qualifications at the SES.4 level

  • Subject matter expertise and substantial  experience in applying formal systems engineering principles and methods to highly advanced system development under consultative direction including failure analysis.
  • Expert knowledge and application of proper human-machine interface design principles pertaining to control system operation including significant experience identifying system improvements.
  • Highly advanced knowledge of precision timing systems within highly complex distributed control system architectures.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Master’s degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering.
  • Use of software configuration management and development tools (e.g., Git, Jira, Bamboo, Bitbucket).
  • Knowledge of robotics, instrumentation, and process engineering.

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.

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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