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Operations Manager, NIF Experimental Area

Director | 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 important for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Pay Range
$233,400.00  - $301,224.00  Annually

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 NIF Experimental Area Operations Managers.  You will manage large teams involved with successful operation of High Energy Density and Inertial Confinement Fusion experiments supporting Stockpile Stewardship, National Security Applications, and Discovery Science mission goals. The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is a stadium-sized laser system sending 192 beams to a 10-meter target chamber, making it the largest experimental facility. You will have oversight of installation, maintenance, and operation of cutting-edge experimental equipment, as well as ensuring the availability and operation of complex diagnostics and laser beam delivery systems in an unprecedented radiological environment as NIF continues to increase the yield and number of fusion ignition shots. You will partner with experimenters and operating programs to ensure proper parameters are in place for experiment and capability planning as well as development of future high yield experimental platforms for Stewardship and Survivability. You will work with diagnostic engineering teams to maintain existing and implement new diagnostic systems and capabilities in support of current and future experiments.  These positions are in the Laser Systems Engineering & Operations (LSEO) Division, within the Engineering Directorate.

In this role, you will

  • Manage resource, budget, and scope management of the NIF Experimental Area Operations organization of approximately 60 engineers, operators, and technicians working multiple shifts.
  • Direct personnel and performance of the NIF Experimental Area Operations organization, including career development of team members and succession strategies/solutions for key positions.
  • Collaborate with experimenters, programs, engineering, target fabrication, and other supporting organizations to verify and drive schedules for successful completion of experiments while ensuring successful execution and facility safety.
  • Manage configuration and maintenance of all shot systems, including targets, diagnostics, and final optics to ensure experimental campaigns meet primary scientific objectives.
  • Formulate, establish, and manage processes and projects to continually improve operational efficiencies, shot rate, user satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness of both existing operations and new-capabilities.
  • Lead shot shift reviews, evaluating problem logs, mitigation plans and schedules, high yield facility recovery activities, and evaluating/minimizing impact to upcoming activities.
  • Formulate and concurrently execute multiple technically and scientifically challenging projects with competing goals and scope, driving continuous improvement and reliability of experimental performance and implementing new capabilities.
  • Partner with engineering and other discipline organizations to coordinate diagnostic maintenance, upgrades, and new capability installation/qualification, as necessary.
  • Participate in or lead formal and informal design reviews inside and outside of NIF Experimental Area Operations to ensure that defined goals and objectives are being met and to identify areas for development.
  • Establish strategies and long-term objectives to ensure the experimental systems are available to support the NIF experimental schedule and capable of supporting current and future experimental requirements.
  • Regularly brief and collaborate with senior management within the organization as well as customers, sponsors, and stakeholders regarding new capabilities and experiments, priorities, progress, and overall NIF performance.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship .
  • Master’s degree in Physics, Nuclear Engineering or other technical area, or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Expert leadership, management, and organizational development knowledge and experience needed to direct multi-disciplinary teams in achieving unit objectives, long term strategies and to meet Laboratory, Department of Energy (DOE), and customer/sponsor requirements.
  • Extensive experience planning and directing engineering lifecycle work with technical objectives, estimating effort, setting milestones, and managing within designated budget.
  • Knowledge and technical experience in the fields of radiological operations involving x-rays, neutrons and nuclear materials, controls, and detectors including experience resolving related complex technical problems.
  • Expert communication, facilitation, collaboration, and problem-solving skills necessary to direct an organization, lead innovative research and operations, build cooperative multi-disciplinary teams, and interact with senior management and customers/sponsors on a wide variety of management and highly complex technical issues.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Familiarity with High Energy Density diagnostics and associated measurements.
  • Extensive experience in safety systems, risk assessment, and quality assurance.
  • Significant experience with process improvement processes, such as Six-Sigma, FMEA, etc.
  • Former US Nuclear Navy experience.

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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