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Flight Test Group Leader - Active Security Clearance Required

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Engineering | livermore, CA | 07/02/2024

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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

$153,450 - $236,316 Annually


$153,450 - $197,028 Annually for the TSL.3 level

$183,990 - $236,316 Annually for the TSL.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 an opening for a Flight Test Group Leader. The Flight Test Groups house the staff that supports the LLNL Independent Diagnostics Scoring System (LIDSS) program.  LIDSS develops and applies unique technologies to support terminal area diagnostics for NNSA and DoD weapons sustainment, modernization, and development programs.  This team is responsible for diagnostic design and development, technology integration into fieldable systems, and for deployment around the world to land and sea-based locations in support of several critical national defense programs.  These deployable diagnostics suites require state-of-the-art optics, embedded electronic systems, control of semi-autonomous sea-worthy instrumented rafts and drones, robust remote communications, and advanced mechanical and electrical engineering designs.  The successful candidate will lead high-functioning teams in innovative design, integration, and deployment of these engineered systems for flight test assessments. This position has both programmatic and line responsibilities in the Weapon Technologies and Engineering (WTE) Program and the Defense Technologies Engineering Division (DTED), respectively.

This position may offer a hybrid schedule, blending in-person and virtual presence. You may have the flexibility to work from home one or more days per week.

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

  • Provide supervision to a Flight Test Group, with a heavy emphasis on optics and high-speed imaging.  Responsible for hiring and on-boarding, staff/career development, staff coordination, performance management activities for group personnel, and participation in the DTED ranking and salary processes.  Monitor performance required to meet programmatic milestones and deliverables, leading corrective actions where necessary.
  • Assign work and remain cognizant of the technical goals, solution approaches, and progress of all projects within the group, while also contributing to programmatic deliverables as an individual team member.
  • Provide technical, safety, security, oversight, and flight mission planning leadership to a diverse group of personnel supporting a broad scope of work across the flight test program.  This includes supporting mission pre and post-analysis, mission logistics, design reviews, execution, overseas deployment, ship-based locations in the broad ocean area, field equipment setup, equipment teardown, and subsequent retrieval of data collection and processing from the field.
  • Propose design solutions to optimize data collection in the field. Maintain logs of equipment issues, necessary troubleshooting steps, and compile lessons learned at the end of each mission to share with the broader LIDSS team.
  • Coordinate with LIDSS leadership to develop long term initiatives and product development plans that provide solutions for stakeholders, and report on project progress both internally and externally as appropriate.
  • Generate optics plans for mission support, review drawings, software, schematics, studies, and technology reports to ensure appropriate engineering rigor is upheld and that stakeholder needs are being met.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the TSL.4 level

  • Influence strategic decisions made by senior management and external sponsors/customers.
  • Lead, develop, and implement advancements in cutting edge capabilities, technologies, and programs that may have impact beyond the Laboratory.
  • Function as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for LIDSS in the area of optics, high speed imagery, and to provide highly advanced technical leadership, including developing innovative methods to present solutions to highly complex problems.
  • Work with LIDSS leadership and sponsors to identify areas for continued technology development.
  • Provide mentorship to junior staff.


  • This position requires an active Department of Energy (DOE) Q-level clearance or active Top Secret clearance issued by another U.S. government agency at the time of hire.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, related field, or equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Advanced knowledge and significant experience in photographic sciences, general optics, high speed data capture, and image processing. 
  • Experience with proven ability to lead, mentor, coordinate, and oversee technical teams in executing programmatic goals across organizational lines to meet system requirements with confined schedules and budgets.
  • Advanced problem-solving and decision-making skills necessary to independently advise, counsel, recommend, and develop solutions on a wide variety of technical and programmatic issues.
  • Advanced written and verbal communication skills to effectively collaborate in a team environment and present and explain technical information and provide advice to management.  
  • Ability to travel to meet programmatic requirements.  Mission support can be at remote locations in excess of two weeks per mission multiple times throughout the year.

Additional qualifications at the TSL.4 level

  • Significant experience developing and monitoring performance required to meet programmatic milestones and deliverables.
  • Expert level verbal and written communication skills to present, explain, advise, and influence senior management and stakeholders, and to positively represent the program and the laboratory externally.
  • Extensive experience making independent decisions regarding highly variable technical problems and ability to interact effectively with people at all levels using presentation skills to communicate these decisions in slide presentations or Word Documents.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Advanced experience developing conceptual designs of mechanical/electronic/optical systems, testing prototypes and associated diagnostics, and experience with optical modeling packages and image processing tools.

Additional Information


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 an active Department of Energy (DOE) Q-level clearance or active Top Secret clearance issued by another U.S. government agency at time of hire. 

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.

Pre-Placement Medical Exam

A job related pre-placement medical examination may be required.

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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