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Senior Project Engineer Technical Leader-Laser Systems Engineering

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, California, US
Posting live until
16 Sep 2024

Job Details

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 who 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: $206,490- $318,216 annually

$206,490 - $265,188 annually for the SEL.4 level

$247,800 - $318,216 annually for the SEL.5 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 multiple openings for Senior Project Engineer Technical Leaders to lead multi-disciplinary teams in the development of high average power and advanced high energy laser systems at the Systems Engineer/Chief Systems Engineer level. This work will take place within the National Ignition Facility & Photon Science (NIF&PS) Directorate, home to the world’s most energetic laser. It is an exciting time to join the team that achieved fusion ignition in December 2022 (as well as multiple subsequent times), a historic moment in science, opening up new physics regimes and setting the stage for new fusion energy possibilities.

You will interact and collaborate with scientific and engineering personnel, lead staff, and partner with senior management to assure effective project execution from the planning and proposal preparation phase through project completion. These positions are in the Laser Systems Engineering and Operations Division of the Engineering Directorate and support 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

  • Lead a multi-disciplinary team including engineers, scientists, and technical staff to develop new and support current laser technologies in support of NIF programs, directing technical tasks and projects and influencing the technical direction of a broad team of scientists, engineers, and analysts.
  • Define laser system requirements flow-down from mission requirements to guide system design and risk mitigation activities, including determination and documentation of technical objectives and Concept of Operations requirements.
  • Collaborate with sponsors and stakeholders to address needs from the Subject Matter Expert perspective.
  • Establish business plans for program development and execution, costing and managing entire projects to budget.
  • Plan and oversee complex research and development activities and ensure the creation, maintenance, and enhancement of underlying core competencies while ensuring a safety, security, and quality management systems and standards are established and adhered to.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relations with collaborating program areas across NIF&PS and foster integration with relevant national and international scientific organizations and their activities.
  • Management responsibilities including staff training, development, and providing input on performance reviews.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SEL.5 level

  • Responsible for championing projects and for attracting and retaining project funding.
  • Develop strategies that enhance the ability of the lab to address new opportunities in photon sciences and laser-based applications.
  • Influence strategic technical decisions made by senior management and internal customers and serve as organization spokesperson by Laboratory management and/or external advisor by sponsors.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. Citizenship.
  • Master of Science degree in Laser Science Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, or related field, or the equivalent combination of education and previous relevant experience.
  • Technical expertise at the Technical Fellow/Senior Technical Fellow level in one or more areas of Laser Physics, Laser Engineering, Systems Engineering with proven record of scientific creativity, achievement, and leadership, as documented in publications, conference proceedings, and professional recognition.
  • Significant experience working with high average power and high energy laser systems either pulsed and/or CW (continuous wave).
  • Experience overseeing multiple phases of project life cycle management and rigorous engineering requirements.
  • Extensive experience developing, managing, and evaluating programs, projects, and personnel in a technically diverse organization, as well as managing financial activities, to ensure program and overhead accounts are properly maintained and overseen.
  • Experience working with third parties including transferring technologies to other organizations.
  • Expert communication, facilitation, collaboration, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills necessary to lead a diverse organization, guide innovative research, build cooperative multi-disciplinary teams, and interact with management and customers/sponsors. High degree of integrity, maturity, discretion, and judgement.
  • Supervisory experience including advanced ability to delegate effectively and to lead, motivate, and build complex interdisciplinary teams to work toward programmatic and institutional goals; including experience in development and implementation of performance reviews, ranking, and salary management; demonstrated ability to set clear goals and expectations, and communicate them to customers and division employees. Experience ensuring that security, ES&H, and quality management systems and standards are established and adhered to.
  • Ability to work with conflicting priorities including multi-tasking and managing deadlines.
  • Ability to travel to national and international programmatic and scientific meetings.

Additional qualifications at the SEL.5 level

  • Expert knowledge of laser high average power/high energy laser system development.
  • Extensive experience championing, leading, and developing innovative cutting-edge principles, theories, and concepts.
  • Extensive experience guiding and providing strategic direction for projects to a diverse group of engineers.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Ph.D. in laser science and engineering, physics, chemistry, or engineering.
  • Understanding of a diverse laboratory and national research environment, and the ability to work within that environment towards long-range goals.
  • Familiarity with DOE/NNSA programs and oversight of FFRDCs, as well as with programs and core capabilities relevant to DoD technology programs.

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.

To learn more about recruitment scams:

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.




LLNL digital

For more than 60 years, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has applied science and technology to make the world a safer place. Its defining responsibility is ensuring the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent. Yet LLNL’s mission is broader than stockpile stewardship, as dangers ranging from nuclear proliferation and terrorism, to energy shortages and climate change threaten national security and global stability. The Laboratory’s science and engineering are being applied to achieve breakthroughs for counter-terrorism and non-proliferation, defense and intelligence, energy and environmental security.

Why work for us
LLNL is a recognized Glassdoor Best Places to Work where we stress work–life balance, an excellent 401K, medical, dental and vision benefits, paid leave and flexible work schedules.

Training and development
LLNL’s Education Assistance Program offers support to qualified employees who wish to pursue an academic degree, job-related course work, or a certificate program in a field that is pertinent to the mission of the Laboratory. Support may include reimbursement for tuition, lab, and registration fees. Several on-site university programs make learning even more convenient for employees.

What we are looking for
We offer opportunities in a variety of fields in science and technology. We are home to a diverse population of professionals that includes staff and postdoctoral researchers.

Livermore, CA, USA

Number of employees

Eligible to work in the US

How to apply
Apply online at

Closing date
All year round


Company info
7000 East Avenue
CA 94550
United States

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