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Optical Diagnostics Lead Engineer

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Engineering | livermore, CA | 05/12/2023

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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

$160,590.00  - $206,220.00  Annually for the SEL.3 level
$192,660.00  - $247,416.00  Annually for the SEL.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 Optical Diagnostics Lead Engineers to provide strategic engineering expertise and technical leadership for new and ongoing projects for the National Ignition Facility and Photon Sciences (NIF&PS) Directorate. You will oversee the development of innovative components and systems using advanced design and manufacturing techniques for scientific and defense applications. These positions are in the Laser Systems Engineering & 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 

  • Provide leadership for multiple large, distributed projects involving state of the art/first of a kind optical, laser, and scientific systems deployed on NIF, the world’s most energetic laser.
  • Provide technical guidance, leadership, and supervision to 10+ team members with a focus on defining, developing, and deploying critical systems and components.
  • Serve as a technical expert providing innovative solutions to complex problems and in-depth analysis of complex optical diagnostics and laser engineering.
  • Set specific technical strategy and direction for self and others, establishing objectives and allocating resources.  Provide employee development, mentoring, and coaching.
  • Maintain and ensure quality standards for deliverables, publications and presentations; leverage team members’ skills to successfully complete complex projects, by ensuring excellence in execution of technical work in the program.
  • Successfully utilize existing work, internal resources, and partnerships to develop innovative capabilities to increase the impact of LLNL and lead the development of project portfolios.
  • Prepare and present written and verbal presentations of technical work.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SEL.4 level

  • Assess strategic technical needs for development of supporting research and investments in diagnostic technology infrastructure; lead technical initiatives and strategies in advancing state of the art optical diagnostic capabilities.
  • Serve as subject matter expert on major projects and multi-disciplinary efforts to positively impact the team’s long-term goals and objectives.
  • Represent the Laboratory to stakeholders and serve on external technical committees and act as primary technical contact and subject matter expert on large programs/projects.


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • Master’s degree in Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical, etc.), Systems Engineering or the equivalent combination of education and relevant prior experience.
  • Advanced knowledge in complex system design and analysis and significant experience in project planning and complex technical leadership.
  • Significant experience developing and implementing creative solutions to a diverse range of complex problems and leading corrective actions where necessary.
  • Significant experience in developing advanced high-performance x-ray, nuclear and/or optical systems, precision systems and assembly.
  • Significant experience leading large dynamic projects and multi-laboratory efforts that positively affected the organization’s goals and objectives.
  • Significant experience interacting, cooperating, and advising with all levels of technical staff, managers, and vendors.
  • Leadership skills and experience leading and managing multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills necessary to effectively collaborate in a team environment and present and explain technical information and provide advice to management.

Additional qualifications at the SEL.4 level

  • Subject matter expertise in one or more of the following areas: reflective optics systems, advanced manufacturing of systems, system integration, large system precision engineering and alignment. 
  • Expert level application and development of existing work, internal resources, and partnerships that resulted in successfully developing new project portfolios.
  • Ability to lead the application and development of principles, theories, and concepts in an applicable discipline in a creative and innovative fashion.

Qualifications We Desire

  • PhD in Engineering.
  • Experience in writing technical specifications and statements of work.

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.

Beware of Fraudulent Job Postings. LLNL’s hiring practices:

  • Never requires job applicants to pay an application/training fee or submit personal documents like bank account details, passport number, Social Security number, tax forms or credit card information as part of the application process. 
  • For interviews and to be granted access to a Federal facility, a LLNL employee will contact you directly to collect visa, passport number, and/or Social Security number.  To vet the authenticity of the employee please have them provide you their name and phone number and verify at
  • Involves at least one interview (virtual or in-person) and never interviews job applicants through chat platforms such as Google Hangouts, or via correspondence through text and instant messaging systems.
  • Only sends email communications to job applicants from domain “” or via their applicant tracking system, [email protected]. Occasionally LLNL uses third-party vendors that will contact you about job opportunities.  If a recruiter contacts you to apply, you will always be directed to our career page to apply through our career site.
  • Encourages all applicants to visit LLNL’s careers page at if they saw the job posting on another site prior to applying to ensure the job posting is accurate and valid.

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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