Laser Performance Engineer-National Ignition Facility | Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Nov. 30, 2022

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 Laser Performance Engineers on the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world’s largest laser driven high energy density and inertial confinement research facility for supporting the Department of Energy’s Science Based Stockpile Stewardship program. NIF uses 192 high energy and power precision lasers to accomplish its experiments.  You will be part of the Beam Line Integrated Performance (BLIP) team that is responsible for the physics and performance analysis of the laser system.  You will work with experimental physicists to set up the lasers to meet the goals of the experiments, review the results, analyze and monitor laser performance, and develop and maintain laser models and analysis tools. This position is in the Laser Systems Engineering and Operations (LSEO) Division in the National Ignition Facility and Photon Science (NIF&PS) Directorate.

These positions 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

  • Be the responsible BLIP team member for interfacing with target physics scientists on the laser shot review process.
  • Collaborate with other BLIP team scientists on reviewing and approving the laser configuration to ensure machine safety and the protection of the NIF laser and its optics.
  • Perform analysis of post-laser shot performance including trending data to validate performance against models and goals, track long-term laser performance, provide early identification of emerging issues, and work with the laser engineering and operations teams on resolutions.
  • Collaborate with a team of computer scientists to define priorities for development and deployment of state-of-the-art object-oriented scientific software, real-time data visualization systems for device startup and control, and database methods for data archiving, retrieval, display, and trending. 
  • Be responsible for providing support to the NIF operations team during shot sequence; since NIF is a 24/7 user facility, some amount of off-hours support will be required.
  • Support training new team members on BLIP procedures and software tools.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.3 level

  • Develop and lead complex experimental campaigns to enhance NIF performance.
  • Work to resolve problems that may be complex and involve factors that are not well defined.
  • Perform complex laser modeling involving ray tracing and/or beam propagation codes. 


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship
  • Master’s degree in Physics, Optical Engineering or Electrical Engineering or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Broad understanding of lasers including short-pulse, high peak power systems.
  • Comprehensive problem solving, decision making, and analytical skills, necessary to anticipate, analyze, advise, recommend, and approve appropriate actions and implement solutions to moderately complex to complex issues or laser operations.
  • Experience with data analysis software including MATLAB, IDL and/or Python.
  • Proficient written and verbal communication skills necessary to author technical and scientific reports and publications, deliver scientific presentations, and interact with diverse groups.

Additional qualifications at the SES.3 level

  • Advanced knowledge and significant hands-on experience in short-pulse laser physics and nonlinear optics as applied to laser applications and operations.
  • Advanced problem solving, troubleshooting, decision making, and analytical skills necessary to independently analyze and implement solutions to complex issues.
  • Familiarity with ray tracing and/or beam propagating codes used in modeling laser systems.
  • Significant experience with scientific research and development with a record of accomplishments.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience in planning and directing work with technical objectives, estimating effort, setting milestones, and managing within a designated budget.

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

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 equal opportunity employer that is committed to providing candidates and employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. We value and hire a diverse workforce as it is a vital component of our culture and success. 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.

LLNL invites you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Reasonable Accommodation

At LLNL, 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 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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