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Laser Physicist- Advanced Photon Technologies

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 11/12/2021

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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 looking for individuals that demonstrate an understanding of working in partnership with team peers, who engage, advocate, and contribute to building an inclusive culture, and provide expertise to solve challenging problems.

Job Description

We have multiple openings for experienced Laser Physicists to independently guide laser technology-related research and development efforts and provide technical direction to interdisciplinary teams that will perform design, analysis, modeling, construction, and testing and commissioning of state-of-the-art high energy, high peak power, and high average power laser systems for DOE missions and applications. These positions are in the Advanced Photon Technologies (APT) group in the High Energy Density and Photon Systems (HED&PS) Program in the National Ignition Facility and Photon Science (NIF&PS) Principal Associate 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:

  • Lead efforts and strategies for interdisciplinary teams that research, design, develop, integrate, and field or enhance performance of advanced, high-energy laser systems, high peak power lasers and high average power laser technologies.
  • Guide systems design and apply system-level engineering principles to a wide variety of advanced laser design and analysis projects using novel approaches to develop operational, system, and subsystem solutions.
  • Lead integrated experiments in the fields of nonlinear optics, long & short pulse, high power and high energy laser physics.
  • Develop complex theoretical and numerical system models needed to corroborate or anticipate experimental results that test advanced, coupled physics and modeling capability in collaboration with laboratory scientists and engineers.
  • Provide recommendations to leadership and technical team regarding project vision and strategy independently, under minimal supervision, and influence technical direction for yourself and others, while providing technical and intellectual leadership on research and development projects.
  • Prepare and provide technical presentations and publications for internal and external audiences.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities at the SES.4 level:

  • Utilize highly advanced knowledge and expertise to propose and then guide and oversee research, design, and enhancement or development of state-of-the-art laser technologies or systems, including elements that are frequently not well defined and often involve uncertain factors.
  • Apply subject matter expertise and leadership in Joule-class to multi-hundred Joule-class shaped nanosecond (long pulse), CPA, OPCPA, and frequency conversion systems that account for polarization, thermal, and/or birefringence effects, nonlinear optical effects, and other linear or nonlinear effects that may degrade the final output.
  • Design and lead teams to perform highly complex / intricate / integrated laser performance experiments, perform analysis of these extensive, highly intricate, and/or integrated laser performance experiments, and effectively communicate findings to both broad technical audiences and other Subject Matter Experts.



  • PhD in Laser Physics, Applied Physics, general solid-state laser engineering, high average power laser technology and thermal, birefringence management techniques, short and long pulse laser physics, and/or nonlinear optics as applied to laser development, modeling, applications, and operations or related field or the equivalent combination of education and previous relevant experience.
  • Significant hands-on experience working safely and through the full engineering lifecycle with commercial or custom-built pulsed laser systems in a laboratory environment.
  • Advanced knowledge of and significant experience with complex analytical, numerical modeling and experiments needed to make recommendations and lead strategies for scientific and/or technical projects.
  • Advanced knowledge and significant experience recommending, developing, and implementing solutions to a diverse range of difficult and complex problems.
  • Experience guiding, leading, and mentoring team members.
  • Advanced communication, facilitation, and collaboration skills necessary to present, explain, and advise senior management.

Additional Qualifications at the SES.4 Level

  • Substantial knowledge and subject matter expertise developing highly complex state-of-the-art laser systems in an R&D environment and using high energy lasers for experiments and/or industrial applications.
  • Substantial experience leading interdisciplinary teams, particularly related to laser design, construction, or commissioning activities.
  • Expert level knowledge and hands-on experience with Joule-class to multi-hundred Joule-class and/or 10s to 100s W average power shaped nanosecond (long pulse), CPA, OPCPA, and/or frequency conversion systems and their respective modeling.
  • Substantial experience developing and utilizing highly complex laser performance and/or laser propagation modeling codes from their theorical aspect to their numerical implementation potentially in massively parallel high-performance computer systems.


  • Extensive hands-on experience with Joule-class and above pulsed lasers in a laser development or operational environment.
  • Significant experience in systems design for advanced laser design and analysis projects.
  • Formal or informal systems engineering or systems architecting training or experience.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE L or Q clearance.

Additional Information

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

  • Included in 2020 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.

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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