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Senior Design Physicist

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 05/23/2023

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Company Description

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

$148,650.00 - $229,116.00  Annually

$148,650.00  - $190,932.00  Annually for the SES.3 level
$178,410.00  - $229,116.00  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 Design Physicists who are exceptional physical scientists and engineers with backgrounds in fields such as plasma physics, radiation transport, atomic physics, nuclear physics, physical chemistry, condensed matter physics, computational physics, or hydrodynamics.  Our national-security mission encompasses aspects of computational, theoretical, and experimental physics associated with the complex processes of nuclear explosives.  Under limited direction, you will be responsible for advancing our understanding and developing methodologies for important national-security challenges.  This position is in the Design Physics Division within the Weapons and Complex Integration (WCI) 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.

In this role you will

  • Design and provide analysis of complex experiments exploring the physics of nuclear explosives.
  • Simulate weapons phenomena and perform weapons assessment and certification tasks using physical models in computer codes.  Participate in the assessment of foreign nuclear weapon systems.
  • Present and disseminate research results at scientific conferences and in peer-reviewed publications, in both open and classified environments, internal and external to LLNL.  Positively represent the Program and Laboratory demonstrating advanced verbal and written skills. Responsibilities may also include interacting with external stakeholders, both at NNSA and across the broader interagency, via offsite assignments.
  • Develop expertise in interrelated fields of physics important to weapons assessment and certification.
  • Lead independent work conducting applied physics research.  Lead and mentor staff as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Promote and support plans to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the program.
  • Lead top quality research in relevant areas of physics and engineering.  Problem-solve and make decisions necessary to independently address challenging problems.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities at the SES.4 Level

  • Assess the highly complex physics interactions that take place in a nuclear explosion.
  • Design and provide in depth analysis of experiments exploring the physics of nuclear explosives.  Define and implement stockpile stewardship for specific weapons systems.
  • Simulate weapons phenomena and perform highly advanced weapons assessment and certification tasks using physical models in computer codes.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Demonstrated subject matter expert knowledgeable of highly advanced concepts to include experience and ability to lead independent work conducting applied physics research in one or more of the following fields: plasma physics, radiation transport, atomic physics, nuclear physics, and hydrodynamics.
  • Significant experience with highly advanced computer-based design and analysis of highly complex experiments.
  • Extensive experience at the expert level in the development of principles, theories, concepts, and techniques relevant to applied physics research.


  • Ability to maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • Master’s degree in physics, engineering, or related field or equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Significant experience conducting applied physics research.
  • Demonstrated record of completing outstanding research in relevant areas of physics and engineering.
  • Significant experience with advanced computer-based design and analysis of experiments.
  • Demonstrated aptitude for mastering new fields of physics; a record of creativity, physical insight, and breadth of understanding in advanced applications of complex physical processes.
  • Significant experience in using advanced computational facilities for applied physics analysis.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication and presentation skills necessary to author advanced technical and scientific reports, publications, invited papers, and to deliver scientific presentations.
  • Demonstrated ability/commitment to valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion principles in the workplace.
  • Significant experience working effectively independently and in a multidisciplinary, team-research environment.  Demonstrated self-motivation and initiative in addressing challenging problems.

Additional qualifications at the SES.4 Level

  • Substantial experience presenting and disseminate highly advanced research results at scientific conferences and peer-reviewed publications, in open and classified environments, internal and external to LLNL.  Substantial experience communicating results of work with external sponsors.
  • Substantial experience developing innovative methods to expand knowledge of interrelated fields of highly advanced physics important to weapons assessment and certification.
  • Substantial experience setting specific strategies and/or directing multi-disciplinary teams to achieve program goals.

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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