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Group Leader - Plasma Engineering Operations - Active Clearance Required

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Engineering | livermore, CA | 11/02/2021

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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 Group Leader to lead the Plasma Engineering Group. The Plasma Engineering Group is a multidisciplinary group of engineers, associates, and technicians responsible for the design, modeling, and operation of Dense Plasma Focus (DPF) and related pulsed power/RGD/plasma-based systems ranging from tabletop devices through megajoule-class DPF’s in support of stockpile missions and other scientific applications. This position is funded by a small fraction of effort; the majority of the employee’s assignment will be through direct programmatic work on projects associated with R&D operations not covered by this listing. This position is in the National Security Engineering Division (NSED) 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 

  • Provide technical leadership and administrative supervision to a multi-disciplinary team of 10+ staff including engineers, associates, and technicians.
  • Provide technical guidance as the technical expert in all aspects of pulsed power/RGD/plasma-based systems operation including operational readiness, analysis, system trade studies, upgrade and maintenance, and cost and schedule estimates to ensure highest quality of work and ensured machine performance.
  • Collaborate with Project Leaders to identify workforce needs, assign, and hire staff to fill these needs and guide workload planning for multiple projects among group members to ensure completion.
  • Assist employees with establishing professional goals and establishing timelines/milestones/budget for their work scope.
  • Ensure group members remain current on all training requirements, follow, and understand Laboratory and Directorate policies and procedures while ensuring compliance with all safety and security requirements.
  • Prepare and conduct annual performance appraisals with input from program contacts and participate in formal ranking sessions. Monitor group member performance and provide periodic feedback as appropriate.
  • Participate in hiring and providing technical leadership to engineering staff and ensure employees have access to mentoring activities and career counseling resources.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SEL.4 level

  • Collaborate with stakeholders, and lead engineering staff and senior management to develop creative and innovative strategies to ensure program goals are met with optimum success and efficiency.
  • As a subject matter expert, strategically anticipate, identify, and provide technical leadership on new modeling methodologies and codes that can be used to tackle modeling problems of high complexity and/or new technologies or components that can enable cost-efficient and time-efficient design/build of new or upgraded pulsed power systems.
  • Develop and roll out technical strategies for optimal methods, techniques, and analysis criteria utilized when modeling complex systems.


  • 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.
  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, physical science, or related field or the equivalent combination of education and previous relevant experience.
  • Significant operational experience or modeling experience with megajoule-class Dense Plasma Focus systems, or significant experience working with other high energy R&D systems. 
  • Prior leadership experience and interpersonal skills needed to attract, motivate, and retain a high performing technical staff.
  • Ability to enable the success of others through leadership, mentoring, and collaboration.
  • Advanced communication, facilitation, and collaboration skills necessary to lead technical teams and provide feedback to them, present, explain, and advise senior management and interpret while conveying Laboratory policies to employees.
  • Highly advanced experience as a technical/scientific leader in organizing, planning, and coordinating projects through to successful completion in collaboration with multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Ability to manage emotions in positive ways to communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome setbacks, and defuse conflict.

Additional qualifications at the SEL.4 level

  • Highly advanced knowledge of cutting-edge modeling techniques for pulsed power/RGD/plasma-based systems.
  • Highly advanced experience and ability to apply, lead, modify and/or develop cutting-edge principles theories, concepts, and technologies for the design and manufacture of involved components, assemblies, and systems.
  • Strong track record of success developing and optimizing strategies to improve technical methodology.
  • Significant demonstrated ability to manage, communicate, and resolve conflicting situations and goals.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Master’s degree in Engineering, Physical Science, or related field, or equivalent experience.
  • Significant experience with LLNL and Engineering administrative, engineering, and safety practices, policies, and procedures, and knowledge of laboratory programs and technology applications.
  • Subject matter expertise in modeling DPF's and related pulsed power/RGD/plasma-based systems and/or subject matter expertise in the safe operation and maintenance of DPFs and related systems.
  • Experience working effectively with other national laboratories, all levels of DOE, and other sponsors.

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

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

LLNL demonstrates its commitment to public safety by requiring that all new Laboratory employees be immunized against COVID-19 unless granted an accommodation under applicable state or federal law. This requirement will apply to all new hires including those who will be working on site, as well as those who will be teleworking.

Security Clearance

LLNL is a Department of Energy (DOE) and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Laboratory.  Some positions will require a DOE L or Q clearance (please reference Security Clearance requirement above).  If you are selected and a clearance is required, 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.  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.

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.

LLNS is committed to offering reasonable accommodations during the application and recruiting processes due to a disability.  If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, 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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