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Laser Engineer

Associate | Full-time
Engineering | livermore, CA | 11/09/2021

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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 Laser Engineer to support the operation of laser systems in the National Ignition Facility (NIF).  You will support two advanced laser systems: the Advanced Radiographic Capability (ARC) and the Optical Thompson Scattering Laser (OTSL).  Both laser systems are used in conjunction with the world’s most energetic 192-beam NIF laser in conducting experiments in the interest of national security.  The ARC laser utilizes Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) design by amplifying a stretched chirped pulse using the NIF main laser amplifiers to deliver high-intensity, short-pulse laser pulses for X-ray backlighting of NIF targets.  The OTS laser provides Joule-level deep UV light to probe the plasma conditions of the NIF target.  As a Laser Engineer supporting ARC and OTSL, you will be responsible for ensuring optimal performance of all laser subsystems, troubleshooting off-normal events, and supporting integration of new capabilities while working under the direction of the ARC/OTSL System Manager (SM).  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

  • Perform periodic maintenance activities on the ARC and OTS laser systems using standard techniques and methods.  Responsibilities include performing 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.
  • Under general direction, participate in the coordination and planning of all ARC and OTSL activities both within the ARC and OTSL teams as well as with the broader NIF facility.
  • Support the development and design of system enhancements to increase system reliability and maintainability that are of limited complexity and are well defined.
  • 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 operate and maintain various diagnostics and controls.
  • Generate and maintain system documentation relating to broadly defined configuration management including operations & test procedures; interpret & document performance and test results using readily identifiable factors; identify and propose solutions.
  • 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

  • Apply scientific & engineering principles in the development of moderately complex to complex sub-system designs.  Activities include acting as a main point of contact for planning, work activities, collaborating with stakeholders to develop requirements, informally leading design reviews, designing and building hardware prototypes, and executing instrumentation performance evaluation, installation, commissioning, and documentation.
  • Perform analysis of the ARC and OTS laser performance at a system level and present data to a peer review team with recommendations to enhance system performance.
  • Provide engineering solutions to resolve moderately complex to complex technical issues including matters that are broadly defined.


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

Additional qualifications at the SES.2 level

  • Comprehensive problem-solving and decision-making skills to anticipate, identify, and recommend appropriate actions and solutions in a timely, cost-effective manner.
  • Ability to meet schedule and deliverables for multiple concurrent projects with a range of priorities under limited direction.
  • Broad experience collaborating with diverse technical teams to achieve goals.
  • Experience in systems engineering and project management.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience with short-pulse laser systems using Chirped-Pulse-Amplification (CPA) technology.
  • Experience with Joule-level high energy laser systems.

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.

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.

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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