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High Pressure Physics and Materials - Diagnostics Physicist

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 a Diagnostic Physicist to develop, integrate, field, and support diagnostics that measure the dynamic response of materials at high rates and pressures. You will be responsible for multiple challenges including design of optical and electrical systems, diagnostic fielding, experiment integration, along with data collection and analysis. Your scope of work will involve working at several dynamic high-presure drive research facilities (e.g., gas guns, pulsed-power, high-explosives) with broadly defined priorities. This position is in the Materials Physics at Extremes group of the LLNL Physics Division.

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.

You will 

  • Design moderately complex and complex diagnostics which involve laser systems, fiber optics, imaging, and electronic systems.
  • Understand the system-level big picture, diagnose complex problems, and propose solutions while working under limited direction.
  • Integrate with projects from concept to operations.
  • Generate and review diagnostics and safety documentation.
  • Contribute to the design and analysis of diagnostics capable of measuring conditions found nowhere else on the planet.
  • Contribute to high-pressure and high-temperature data collection, analysis, and publications.
  • Work closely with a multidisciplinary team of engineers, scientists, and technicians both at LLNL as well as outside of LLNL, to complete project goals.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.3 level

  • Lead a team of engineers and technicians to develop new state-of-the-art diagnostics systems.
  • Pursue solutions with minimal direction in situations that may not be well-defined.
  • Contribute to design and analysis of studies of material properties under extreme pressure and strain rate conditions. Potential research areas include, but are not limited to, the following topics: high-pressure thermal transport, unloading processes, shock produced jetting, heterogeneous materials, high-pressure chemistry and spectroscopy.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • M.S. in Mechanical/Electrical/Optical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, or related field, or the equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Experience in designing, building, and developing advanced diagnostics and data analysis.
  • Experience with optical sources, x-ray sources, microwave systems,  time-resolved detection techniques, CCDs, fast scopes, imaging and spectroscopy, high-voltage  systems, or spectrum and image analysis using numerical processing.
  • Advanced analytical skills necessary to solve complex problems and make decisions.
  • Experience working independently, as well as in a team, with minimal direction in a driven environment.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills, such as would be needed to write reports, peer-reviewed publications, and proposals.
  • Strong technical motivation to help ensure projects have sound strategy and minimized risks while working to resolve moderately complex to complex engineering issues.

Additional qualifications at the SES.3 level

  • Ph.D. in Mechanical/Electrical/Optical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, or related field, or the equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills necessary to effectively collaborate in a team environment, present and explain technical information, author technical and scientific reports, publications, and invited papers, and provide advice to management.
  • Significant experience developing and integrating new diagnostics, and training others on instrumentation.
  • Experience conducting research in one or more of the following areas: high-rate experiments, high-pressure science, mechanics of materials, fluid dynamics, finite element modeling, single-shot experiments, and hydrodynamic simulations.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience developing operating procedures for multiple diagnostics
  • Experience developing new products from TRL0 through TRL6

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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