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Mechanical Technologist, Cryogenic System Operator for NIF&PS

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Engineering | livermore, CA | 05/24/2022

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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

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is seeking talented and self‐motivated Mechanical Technologists to install targets and gas bottles and provide operational support for the Cryogenic Target Systems Group supporting complex and critical NIF experiments. In this role, you will provide advanced maintenance and operational support on the NIF target positioners and target gas manifolds, working with vacuum, x-rays, and pressurized gas systems for the targets that support the critical operations of the world’s most energetic laser system. The primary responsibilities include exchanging high value targets, gas bottles, reservoirs, and operations and maintenance on cryogenic and gas filled systems using remote complex computer-based equipment. This position requires work with hazardous materials in a radioactive environment, and active participation in task specific safety meetings.

NIF is the world’s most powerful and energetic laser and is a 24/7 operational facility requiring operators to typically work on a rotating 3 day per week/12hr and 4 day per week/12hr schedule to support operations, with the last two hours of each shift being paid at an overtime rate. The dayshift work hours are from 06:30-19:30 and the owl shift hours are from 18:30-07:30. Dayshifts work either Sunday-Tuesday and every other Wednesday, or Thursday to Saturday and every other Wednesday. Owl shifts work either Sunday to Tuesday and every other Saturday night or Wednesday to Friday and every other Saturday night.

These positions are in the Laser Systems Engineering and Operations (LSEO) Division, within the Engineering Directorate.

In this role, you will

  • Install, align, and prepare hardware in the Target Area in support of NIF Shot Operations while working under general supervision.
  • Install precision and high-value targets using well understood methods that you will be trained on.
  • Operate, troubleshoot, and maintain cryogenic, vacuum, x-ray, and pressurized gas systems, including identifying process improvements as appropriate.
  • Operate various systems and equipment remotely using a graphical user interface (GUI) computer-controlled system.
  • Provide technical support to engineering tests, physics experiments, and program operations, working closely with project leaders, technicians, designers, and engineers.
  • Provide input for documentation of system operation and test procedures.
  • Follow and adhere to written, operational, and safety procedures while completing job assignments.
  • May occasionally work in Beryllium or radiation contaminated areas or other hazardous areas requiring a respirator.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • Associate’s degree in Mechanical or Electrical Technologies or a combination of education and previously relevant experience or previous military experience working on cryogenic/vacuum systems.
  • Fundamental knowledge of and experience with various moderately complex mechanical maintenance practices including plumbing, hardware and electrical as it relates to vacuum system operation and maintenance, including installation work.
  • Ability to learn technical use of computer control and data acquisition systems or similar large systems.
  • Experience working with a multi-disciplinary team in a technical environment with various levels of staff.
  • Ability to adapt to system changes, upgrades and processes to complete experiments while working independently on well understood tasks.
  • Experience in safe work and business practices.
  • Must be able to use a respirator, work in confined spaces, lift and push 50 pounds, use portable ladders with a max 300-pound weight limit, and work from various heights.
  • Effective written, verbal, and presentation communication skills necessary to convey highly detailed procedures and verbally discuss technical information with personnel.


Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience with operations and maintenance of vacuum systems and associated hardware.
  • Experience with precision mechanical assembly, alignment, and testing.
  • Experience working within a nuclear, military, or highly technical laboratory environment.
  • Experience and ability to work on complex systems including optical, electrical, and mechanical.

Additional Information

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

Position Information

This is a Career Indefinite position. Lab employees and external candidates may be considered for this position.

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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