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Target Fabrication 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 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.

Pay Range
$123,960.00  - $159,168.00  Annually for the SES.2 level
$148,650.00  - $190,932.00  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 a Target Fabrication Engineer to be part of the team working on fabrication of complex articles called targets in support of the Inertial Fusion Confinement and other national security programs.  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.

Targets are comprised of the essential elements of experiments on these high energy laser systems and are often intricate assemblies of numerous finely manufactured components with precision tolerances ranging from one (1) micrometer to 25 nm.  Consequently, they raise many interesting challenges whose resolution requires a combination of materials & mechanical engineering and metrology science with a strong sense of practical implementation of advanced new processes. You will become the spearhead for a set of targets, using project management tools to drive the entire process to bring them to fruition from initial concept.  This position is in the Laser Systems Engineering and Operations (LSEO) Division, within the Engineering Directorate.

This position will be filled at either level depending on your qualifications. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if you are selected at the higher level.

In this role, you will

  • Work with programmatic scientists to generate specifications and drawings of centimeter-sized targets that are used in NIF laser experiments.
  • Perform moderately complex to complex engineering calculations and hands-on work to support the design, fabrication, and metrology operations on unique precision components and assemblies.
  • Use project management tools to keep multiple target designs on schedule from concept, through assembly, to delivery of the final product.
  • Provide guidance, acting as a main scientific/technical point of contact on the projects and participate in formal and informal Engineering design reviews.    
  • Design, build, and execute moderately complex to complex laboratory experiments for measuring form and finish errors on components and analyze and interpret metrology data and methodology independently, under limited direction.
  • Participate as a team member with other engineers, advanced machinists and technicians and collaborate with senior engineers within the group to learn best-practices and to become familiar with LLNL and vendor capabilities in fabrication and metrology.
  • Regularly update project engineers on progress toward completion of tasks and update them on risks to quality and schedule.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.3 level

  • Produce advanced conceptual and detail designs in support of on-going projects and perform analysis to determine the most efficient, expeditious, and cost-effective methods to source and/or fabricate complex technical equipment, components, and assemblies.
  • Work independently as an interface to the experiment and laser alignment groups to ensure adequate features are designed, measured, and documented for each target design that are complex in nature.
  • Collaborate with scientists, engineers, technicians, vendors, outside suppliers, and mid-level management to develop innovative components and systems using advanced design and manufacturing techniques.


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • Master’s in Mechanical Engineering or related field or the equivalent combination of education and previous relevant experience.
  • Comprehensive knowledge in moderately complex to complex fabrication, manufacturing, machine tools, coordinate metrology, or tomography tools.
  • Broad experience applying engineering principles and/or metrology techniques in a production environment for quality and production control.
  • Proficiency and broad experience writing inspection reports on manufactured components with the ability to determine limitations in resolution and accuracy in manufacturing, independently, under limited direction.
  • Experience with project management processes and working to stringent timelines.
  • Interpersonal, organizational, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.
  • Detail-oriented, works well in a fast-paced environment, and has a strong sense of urgency and drive to succeed.
  • 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

  • Advanced knowledge in and significant experience with complex mechanical design and analysis including the ability to develop and implement creative solutions to unique and complex problems independently, under minimal direction.
  • Significant experience in managing, overseeing, and delivering multiple projects on budget and schedule, including the ability and flexibility to reprioritize and change programmatic direction depending on emergent requests.
  • Ability to lead, manage, and mentor junior team members.
  • Advanced communication skills with proven ability to present concepts and ideas in a clear and coherent manner, both verbal and written for presentation and interaction with other technical staff members.
  • Significant experience interacting and cooperating with all levels of technical staff, managers, and vendors.

Qualifications We Desire

  • PhD in an Engineering discipline or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Experience in precision engineering design and manufacturing.
  • Knowledge of ANSI/ASME standards for testing of machine tools or coordinate measuring machines.

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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