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Optical Fabrication - Research Scientist

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 02/06/2022

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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 essential to innovation and creativity for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Job Description

We have an opening for an Optical Fabrication Scientist to develop and fabricate novel full scale optic prototypes such as phase plates, freeform optics, and system wavefront correctors. You will work with advanced optical fabrication techniques to push the state of the art in fabrication methods to enable new and higher precision optical components for LLNL missions as well as for technology transfer to industry. This position is in the National Ignition Facility (NIF) Optics & Target Materials Group within the Materials Science Division.

This position will be filled at either the SES.3 or SES.4 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 

  • Define and perform cutting edge fabrication routes using multi-axis computer numerical control (CNC) grinders and polishers, magnetorheological finishing (MRF) polishing, and novel interferometric metrology methods.
  • Design and manufacture state-of-the-art optics to meet the ever-increasing demands of advanced laser and imaging systems.
  • Provide solutions to unusual, complex, and/or sensitive issues/problems where the solution path is not known ahead of time.
  • Develop solutions that require engineering rigor and consultation with management to meet strategic needs and actively participate in immediate project planning.
  • Collaborate with technicians, management, and other scientists in a multidisciplinary environment to achieve project goals.
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific or technical journals and present results at external conferences, seminars and/or technical meetings.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.4 level

  • Provide broad consultative/strategic direction for projects.
  • Lead the application and development of optical fabrication principles, theories, and concepts beyond the current state of the technology.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance, which requires U.S. Citizenship.
  • MS in Physics, Chemistry, or Engineering discipline with emphasis on optics or related field, or equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Advanced knowledge and technical experience in the use of CNC sub-aperture tool grinders, CNC sub-aperture tool polishers, and/or MRF polishing
  • Significant experience in optics design, manufacturing, and metrology, including interferometry.
  • Significant experience with materials interactions during grinding and mechanical & chemical polishing
  • Significant experience in developing process flow work instructions using measured data
  • Significant experience in measuring and evaluating optic specifications (scratch/dig, wavefront, power spectral density (PSD), roughness, and Zernike terms)
  • Advanced written and verbal communication skills necessary to deliver presentations and prepare written reports, explain technical information, and provide advice to management and external stakeholders.
  • Advanced interpersonal skills necessary to interact with a diverse set of scientists, engineers, and other technical and administrative staff within a collaborative research and development environment.

Additional qualifications at the SES.4 level

  • Expert knowledge in optical fabrication techniques. 
  • Significant experience working independently and ability to provide technical leadership to guide projects to completion.

Qualifications We Desire

  • PhD in Physics, Chemistry, or Engineering discipline with emphasis on optics or related field, or equivalent combination of education and related experience.

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Position Information

This is a Career Indefinite or At Will appointment. Only Laboratory employees with Career Indefinite or At Will status may apply for this position. If final candidate is an At Will employee, At Will status may be maintained based on funding considerations.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

  • Included in 2022 Best Places to Work by Glassdoor!
  • Work for a premier innovative national Laboratory
  • Comprehensive Benefits Package
  • Flexible schedules (*depending on project needs)
  • Collaborative, creative, inclusive, and fun team environment

Learn more about our company, selection process, position types and security clearances by visiting our Career site

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

LLNL demonstrates its commitment to public safety by requiring that all new Laboratory employees be immunized against COVID-19 unless granted an accommodation under applicable state or federal law. This requirement will apply to all new hires including those who will be working on site, as well as those who will be teleworking.

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. In addition, all L or Q cleared employees are subject to random drug testing.  Q-level clearance requires U.S. citizenship.  For additional information, please see DOE Order 472.2

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position will be required to 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.

Equal Employment Opportunity

LLNL is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer that values and hires a diverse workforce. 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.

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please submit a request via our online form

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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