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Lead Operator Technical Associate

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Engineering | livermore, CA | 04/21/2022

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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 multiple openings for Lead Operator Technical Associates to work in our National Ignition Facility (NIF).  NIF is a large-scale, complex, and integrated facility comprised of the world’s most powerful and energetic laser.  Utilizing a prior technical facilities leadership background, coupled with a high-level of engineering expertise (laser experience not required), you will be trained and responsible for establishing scope of work, providing innovative technical expertise, leading laser facility experimental operations, facility and system maintenance, and serving as facility point of contact to support the National Ignition Facility’s (NIF) Shot Operations organization in the NIF & Photon Sciences Directorate. 

Due to the vast and varying types of experiments, NIF is a 24/7 operational facility and may require shift flexibility.  These positions are in the Laser Systems Engineering & Operations (LSEO) Division, within the Engineering Directorate.

In this role, you will

  • Lead a diverse technical team responsible for experimental operations, safety, and maintenance within NIF, a high-average power/energy laser system.
  • Provide technical advice and direction to mentor and lead technicians, making decisions using independent discretion and judgment.
  • Execute laser experiments and ensure facility operations procedures are performed in preparation of shot execution; review experimental data in partnership with the Shot Director to work through outcome of each experiment and plan next steps.
  • Independently lead troubleshooting of complex to highly complex technical problems, make technical recommendations for maintenance and repairs, provide oversight, and report results under general direction.
  • Participate in complex to highly complex laser systems operations, and maintenance strategies.
  • Participate in strategic planning of experimental projects, including reconfiguration and maintenance considerations, coordinating scheduled activities, and tracking project timelines in collaboration with senior staff.
  • Provide innovative technical expertise to scientists, engineers, and high-level technical personnel for laser systems.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • Bachelor’s degree in science, engineering, or related field or equivalent combination of education and extensive prior relevant experience.
  • Advanced skills, knowledge, and experience leading operations and maintenance activities in a large-scale, complex, and integrated facility.
  • Experience directing personnel performing complex to highly complex facility operations and maintenance activities.
  • Ability to make frequent decisions using independent discretion and judgment to provide original solutions for unique and challenging problems, while establishing or modifying guidelines, techniques, and procedures as needed.
  • Advanced technical and leadership skills including experience providing technical direction to others.
  • Experience working in a multi-disciplinary project environment with simultaneous commitments to technical projects  from inception through completion.
  • Advanced written and verbal communication skills necessary to effectively collaborate in a team environment and present and explain technical information.
  • Ability to work alternate work schedules to respond to facility needs which will include overtime, and/or weekends.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience in laser electro-optics and/or high average power/energy laser systems.
  • Experience in laser safety in a shot operations environment.
  • Experience interacting with and satisfying customer needs in a highly technical setting.

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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