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Senior Laser Engineer

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Engineering | livermore, CA | 03/17/2023

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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 essential to innovation and creativity for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Pay Range

$148,650 - $200,328 Annually for the SES.3 level 
$178,410 - $240,384 Annually for the SES.4 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 multiple openings for Senior Laser Engineers to support laser systems in the National Ignition Facility (NIF).  You will be an integral part of the team responsible for running, maintaining, and enhancing the advanced laser systems and diagnostics for the world’s largest laser system with 192 beams used to conduct experiments in High Energy Density Physics, Laser Fusion and Ignition, and National Security.  NIF also houses two advanced laser systems that you may support: the Advanced Radiographic Capability (ARC) – the world’s highest energy short-pulse laser - and the Optical Thompson Scattering Laser (OTSL) – a high energy deep UV laser.  Both advanced laser systems are used in conjunction with the NIF laser.  As a Senior Laser Engineer, you will be responsible for ensuring optimal performance of all laser subsystems, troubleshooting off-normal events, and supporting the integration of new capabilities while working under the direction of the System Manager (SM).  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

  • Perform complex hands-on work activities on the NIF, ARC and OTS laser systems using established techniques and methods to ensure optimal performance.  Responsibilities may include performing alignment, evaluation, calibration (offline and online), troubleshooting, data analysis, data archiving and system documentation.
  • Support the development and design of system enhancements that may be complex and are often not well defined that increase system reliability and maintainability.
  • Participate in the coordination and planning of all work activities both within your work teams as well as beyond the local work unit..
  • Acquire and analyze large sets of data using computer-based data acquisition and controls.
  • Interact with a large computer control system to operate and maintain various complex diagnostics and controls.
  • Generate and maintain system documentation relating to configuration management including operations & test procedures; interpret & document performance and test results; 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.4 level

  • Apply scientific & engineering principles in the development of highly complex sub-system designs.  Activities include leading and planning work activities, collaborating with stakeholders to develop requirements, leading design reviews, designing and building hardware prototypes, and executing instrumentation performance evaluation, installation, commissioning, and documentation.
  • Perform analysis of laser performance at a system level and present data to a peer review team with recommendations to enhance system performance while working independently, under minimal direction.
  • Schedule work activities, lead workforce planning and scheduling, ensuring all tasked workers meet training requirements while providing advanced technical advice to technical teams and management.
  • Provide engineering solutions to resolve highly complex technical and programmatic issues including matters that may not be well defined.


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Optical Engineering, Physics, Electrical Engineering or the equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Experience and advanced knowledge working with complex optical technologies including pulsed infrared laser systems, detectors, and measurement techniques.
  • Experience working with the full lifecycle of system design, operation, maintenance, repairs, and upgrades while troubleshooting moderately complex to complex technical issues and evaluating system performance.
  • Experience and advanced knowledge with laboratory test equipment including oscilloscopes, signal generators, optical spectrum analyzers, energy & power meters.
  • Experience collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data; writing test plans, documenting test results, and generating reports.
  • Advanced knowledge of analytical software such as MATLAB, IDL or Python.
  • Possess the decision making and analytical skills necessary to work under limited direction and anticipate, analyze, and provide solutions t moderately complex to complex technical problems, while adhering to well-defined practices and procedures.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills to collaborate effectively in a team environment and present and explain technical information.

Additional qualifications at the SES.4 level

  • Master’s degree in Optical Engineering, Physics, Electrical Engineering or the equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Expert problem-solving and decision-making skills to anticipate, identify, and recommend appropriate actions and solutions in a timely, cost-effective manner.
  • Substantial experience managing schedule and deliverables for multiple concurrent and complex projects with a range of priorities under minimal direction.
  • Substantial experience collaborating with diverse technical teams to achieve goals.
  • Substantial 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

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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