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Mechanical Engineer, Precision Engineering & Diamond Turning

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Engineering | livermore, CA | 03/16/2023

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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 important for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Pay Range

$123,960- $166,992 annually for the SES.2 level
$148,650- $200,328 annually for the SES.3 level 

Please note that the pay range information is a general guideline only. Many factors are taken into consideration when setting starting pay including education, experience, the external labor market, and internal equity.

Job Description

We have an opening for an experienced Precision Mechanical Engineer. This work will take place within the National Ignition Facility & Photon Science (NIF&PS) Directorate, home to the world’s most energetic laser.  It is an exciting time to join the team that achieved fusion ignition in December 2022, a historic moment in science, opening up new physics regimes and setting the stage for new fusion energy possibilities.

You will provide solutions to a wide variety of research and development precision engineering projects and involved deliverables, through hardware design and developing advanced structural, thermal, and/or fluid analytical tools. You will be part of a diverse team responsible for ensuring the sustainment of NIF’s mission-critical capability of finishing crystal optics using precision diamond turning systems. This position is in the Laser Systems Engineering & 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.

You will

  • Design and characterize precision machine tool subsystems, test prototypes and diagnostics, including assessing tolerance stack-ups, formulating error budgets, and applying measured error compensation systems.
  • Modify and update existing analytical solutions to moderately complex to complex problems that require modeling, statistical analysis, and creative application of broadly defined established techniques and methods.
  • Perform research on reviews of relevant techniques and methods within diamond turning and precision machining.
  • Develop and execute hands-on engineering R&D test plans, analyze experimental results, and author and present reports under limited direction.
  • Generate detailed moderately complex to complex designs of subsystems in support of optics processing equipment, including precision cleaning, coating, transport & handling, and metrology systems.
  • Develop and execute assembly, installation, commissioning, maintenance, and calibration procedures for subsystems.
  • Participate in precision machine assembly laboratory activities including component assembly, spare inventory, and metrology tool calibrations.
  • Work in collaboration with project teams consisting of engineers, designers, technicians, scientists, and coordinators, independently, under limited direction.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.3 level

  • Propose and oversee relevant hands-on laboratory R&D experiments in support of sustaining and furthering crystal finishing capabilities while providing technical leadership and project management to a diverse team of engineers, scientists, designers, and technicians in support of repairs and upgrades to equipment.
  • Develop and implement new analytical solutions to a diverse range of complex problems that require modeling, statistical analysis, and creative application of established techniques and methods.
  • Lead formal and informal design reviews; exercise independent judgment in determining methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria.


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, Controls Engineering, Precision Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, or related discipline or the equivalent combination of education and previous relevant experience.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and proficiency with precision machine structural design, assembly, real-time error compensation systems, or control design processes.
  • Broad experience and comprehensive knowledge and application of moderately complex to complex engineering analysis using structural, fluid, or thermal computer codes.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and proficiency with material selection, manufacturing methods, or metrology for precision tooling and hardware.
  • Proficiency with materials and fabrication R&D, with an emphasis in diamond turning systems.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of and broad experience with moderately complex to complex engineering hardware design, fabrication, or testing processes.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills necessary to effectively collaborate in a team environment and present and explain technical information.

Additional qualifications at the SES.3 level

  • Significant hands-on experience with the design, commissioning, operation, or maintenance of complex precision mechanical systems.
  • Advanced knowledge and application of complex data analysis techniques, advanced statistics, and/or modeling.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills necessary to effectively collaborate in a team environment, present and explain technical information, and provide advice to management.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Precision Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, or related field.
  • Extensive experience designing and working with precision diamond turning machines for meter-class optical substrates.
  • Experience with precision metrology and characterization, live error compensation and metrology frames, controls engineering, or optical engineering.

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Position Information

This is a Career Indefinite position, open to Lab employees and external candidates.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

Security Clearance

This position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) Q-level clearance.  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. Also, all L or Q cleared employees are subject to random drug testing.  Q-level clearance requires U.S. citizenship. 

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position must 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

We are an equal opportunity employer that is committed to providing all with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. 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.

We invite you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Reasonable Accommodation

Our goal is to create an accessible and inclusive experience for all candidates applying and interviewing at the Laboratory.  If you need a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please use our online form to submit a request. 

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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