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NIF&PS Nonlinear Optics Laser Physicist

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Engineering | livermore, CA | 06/14/2024

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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 looking for individuals that demonstrate an understanding of working in partnership with team peers, who engage, advocate, and contribute to building an inclusive culture, and provide expertise to solve challenging problems.

Pay Range

$159,330 - $245,544 Annually

$159,330  - $204,636 Annually for the SES.3 level

$191,220  - $245,544 Annually for the SES.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 highly experienced Laser Physicist with strong expertise in nonlinear optics to independently guide the research, development, design, analysis, modeling, characterization, testing, and fielding of advanced laser technologies and systems.  This work chiefly involves novel laser devices and systems as well as extending the capabilities of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) where controlled laser fusion was demonstrated in the laboratory for the first time in 2022.  You will provide technical direction to an interdisciplinary team developing and deploying state-of-the-art high-intensity, long and short pulse laser systems for the Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This position is in the NIF&PS Directorate within the Laser Science & Systems Engineering (LSSE) group.

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 strategies and direct efforts of interdisciplinary teams that research, design, develop, integrate, and field or upgrade laser systems operating at high energies, high peak powers, and/or high average powers incorporating new physics models and new technologies to meet priorities of evolving missions.
  • Design and model chi-2 based bulk nonlinear optical devices for frequency conversion and optical parametric amplification including the specification of crystal cut angles, predictions of spectral/angular dephasing, and mitigating impacts of thermal loading.
  • Construct and experimentally test nonlinear optical devices guided by system engineering principles.
  • Conduct complex theoretical and numerical systems models needed to corroborate or anticipate experimental results that test advanced, coupled physics and modeling capabilities in collaboration with laboratory scientists and engineers.
  • Provide recommendations to leadership and technical team regarding project vision and strategy independently, under minimal supervision and influence technical direction for self and others, while providing technical and intellectual leadership on research and development projects.
  • Prepare and provide technical presentations and publications for internal and external audiences.
  • Advise senior management on involved technical strategies.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.4 level

  • Utilize highly advanced knowledge and expertise to guide and oversee research, design, and enhancement or development of state-of-the-art laser devices and systems including elements that are frequently not well defined and often involve uncertain factors.
  • Apply subject matter expertise and leadership in nonlinear optical devices and systems to further evolve existing missions and help guide the development of future programs.
  • Lead trade studies and design efforts to optimize laser systems incorporating nonlinear optical components.
  • Lead the specification, construction, and qualification of nonlinear optical devices and systems.


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • PhD in Laser Physics, Applied Physics, Optics or related field with demonstrated expertise in chi-2 nonlinear optics, short and long pulse laser physics, solid-state laser engineering, high average power laser technology, and/or thermal birefringence management, or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Advanced knowledge of and significant experience with complex analytical, numerical modeling and experiments needed to make recommendations and lead strategies for scientific and/or technical projects.
  • Significant experience in chi-2 nonlinear optical device physics modeling including designing and testing for component engineering.
  • Advanced knowledge and significant experience recommending, developing, and implementing solutions to a diverse range of difficult and complex problems.
  • Experience guiding, leading, and mentoring team members.
  • Advanced communication, facilitation, and collaboration skills necessary to present, explain, and advise senior management.

Additional qualifications at the SES.4 level

  • Substantial knowledge and subject matter expertise developing highly complex state-of-the-art laser systems in an R&D environment.
  • Expert level knowledge and highly advanced expertise in chi-2 nonlinear optical device physics modeling and component engineering.
  • Substantial experience developing and/or implementing highly complex nonlinear optical performance and/or propagation modeling codes from their theoretical aspect to their numerical implementation.

Additional Information

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




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 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. Also, all L or Q cleared employees are subject to random drug testing.  Q-level clearance requires U.S. citizenship. 

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.

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.

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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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