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Materials Scientist / Engineer - Staff Scientist

Entry Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 05/19/2022

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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 a Materials Scientist/Engineer to support research activities associated with the development and deployment of optics used in laser systems including the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and other high power laser systems.  As part of a multi-disciplinary team, you will conduct experiments, help develop and implement chemical processes, and perform surface and materials characterization on projects that aim to advance the next generation of technology in optical materials fabrication, processing, coating, and finishing.  This position is in the Optics & Target Materials group within the Materials Science 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.

In this role you will 

  • Conduct wet-chemistry laboratory experiments, including activities such as etching, coating, slurry preparation, bonding, thermal processing, and grinding & polishing.
  • Identify necessary supplies; measure optical and material properties; operate, maintain, and commission laboratory instruments and equipment.
  • Perform wet etching and chemical processing of optics in a clean room environment.
  • Maintain an accurate and detailed laboratory notebook; generate, organize, and analyze experimental data; and participate in research and project planning.
  • Provide technical support to engineers and scientists in research and development projects.
  • Develop, define and prepare operating procedures while maintaining laboratory safety standards.
  • Prepare progress reports and presentations to supervisor/mentor and project teams.
  • Serve as a key team member in cutting-edge optics research and development.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.2 level

  • Provide engineering solutions or independent technical analysis to resolve moderately complex to complex technical issues.
  • Select methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria to obtain results based on analysis of multiple factors.
  • Collaborate on the development of technology in optical materials fabrication; perform research guided by multiple primary investigators.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry, Materials Engineering or related field or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Experience performing wet-chemistry processes or experiments in a general chemistry laboratory, industrial, or cleanroom setting.
  • Experience performing optical or materials characterizations such as ellipsometry, spectrophotometry, dynamic light scattering, microscopy or interferometry.
  • Experience operating computers to collect, analyze, and document scientific results.
  • Organizational skills to maintain a safe laboratory and to keep datasets managed and accessible.
  • Verbal and written communication skills necessary to document research results.
  • Interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively in a collaborative research environment as part of an inclusive and multi-disciplinary team.

Additional qualifications at the SES.2 level

  • Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry, or related field or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Broad experience identifying, defining, and executing multi-disciplinary experiments or solving multi-disciplinary problems in a timely, cost effective manner.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of laboratory operations or chemical/material process development and the ability to meet schedule deliverables for multiple concurrent projects with a range of priorities.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience with wet etch processes, thermal processing, and clean room protocols and associated equipment.
  • Familiarity with optical fabrication or Chemical Mechanical Planarization processing, and characterization techniques, and associated equipment.
  • Familiarity with materials and surface characterization tools (White light interferometry, indentation, particle size measurement, optical microscopy, profilometry, scanning electron microscopy).

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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