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Experimental Scientist

Associate | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 08/14/2023

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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

$127,680 - $163,968 Annually for the SES.2 level 
$153,210 - $196,788 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 an Experimental Scientist to support and lead modeling and experimental investigation of radiation effects on nuclear materials. In this role you will apply a multi-faceted set of skills as part of an interdisciplinary team to study the mechanical effects associated with rapid energy deposition of neutrons and x-rays. You will study and model how these effects may affect various complex mechanical structures and nuclear materials. You will design, model, field, and analyze experiments at various HED facilities (including the National Ignition Facility) and pulsed nuclear reactors and which may require familiarity with hardware and diagnostic design, relevant regulatory requirements, and/or modeling of various physical phenomena. You will travel as necessary to interact with sponsors and customers. This position is in the Physics Division.

This position will be filled at the SES.2/.3 level depending on qualifications.

You will 

  • Perform modeling/simulation and/or experiments in the following area: Irradiation of materials by neutrons and x-rays, potentially coupled with large atmospheric and/or high-explosive-generated shocks.
  • Design, implement, and calibrate experimental platforms and a multitude of diagnostics not limited to optical velocity or displacement, analytical chemistry mapping of thin films, digital image correlation, particle size analysis, temperature and density, strain gauges, and other destructive measurements.
  • Simulate various physical phenomena using a variety of modeling approaches including Monte-Carlo and deterministic methods for radiation transport and finite-element methods for thermo-structural responses.
  • Write periodic progress reports, test plans, procedures, and other documentation as required to execute experiments and update safety plans/Integration work sheets (IWS) in accordance with experimental needs.
  • Maintain an awareness of technical literature in assigned areas.
  • Prepare written analyses and verbal briefings that capture and communicate research results.
  • Travel as necessary to interact with sponsors and customers.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.3 level

  • Serve as a technical expert in formal and ad hoc groups assembled to address pressing applications in national security.
  • Lead and develop new areas of scientific inquiry.
  • Mentor, recruit, and help develop staff.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • M.S. in Applied Science, Physics, Materials Science, Nuclear Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, or a related field, or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Comprehensive understanding of analytical techniques of chemistry, material science, impulse and mechanical movements, equation of state using gas guns, and x-ray and neutron sources.
  • Broad experience conducting experiments in highly controlled environments such as at nuclear reactors or NIF, including familiarity with meeting, documenting, and operating within the associated safety and regulatory requirements, and to include cooperating with a variety of involved parties.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of designing and executing experiments including the ability to support the design and fabrication of experimental platforms and diagnostic hardware. 
  • Broad experience working with Monte Carlo and/or deterministic radiation transport codes such as MCNP and Geant4 and/or willingness to learn new modeling frameworks.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of or experience working with finite element analysis (FEA) codes such as Abaqus or Dyna etc.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of physics, nuclear science, and materials including radiation interactions with matter, neutronics, radiochemistry, nuclear materials, and related topics.
  • Broad experience authoring technical and scientific reports and publications and delivering scientific presentations.
  • Communication skills and breadth of knowledge/skills to contribute to interdisciplinary teams executing complex activities.
  • Ability to travel.

Additional qualifications at the SES.3 level

  • PhD in a physical science, or the equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Significant experience working with neutron, optical, x-ray, and/or shock diagnostics and/or fielding such diagnostics in high radiation environments.
  • Significant experience designing and executing experiments in highly regulated nuclear environments, including the capability to mentor others in this activity.
  • Significant experience leading a multi-disciplinary team to solve problems on a timeline.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience working with radiation effects testing of strategic systems.
  • Experience in working on a tight timeline and ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment.
  • Experience within the NNSA, such as headquarters or other laboratories
  • Desire to work on national security programs.

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.

How to identify fake job advertisements

Please be aware of recruitment scams where people or entities are misusing the name of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to post fake job advertisements. LLNL never extends an offer without a personal interview and will never charge a fee for joining our company. All current job openings are displayed on the Career Page under “Find Your Job” of our website. If you have encountered a job posting or have been approached with a job offer that you suspect may be fraudulent, we strongly recommend you do not respond.

To learn more about recruitment scams:

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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