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Laser Physicist, Advanced Photon Technologies

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, California, (US)
Closing date
21 Mar 2023

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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 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

$148,650 - $200,328 Annually for the SES.3 level

$178,410 - $240,384 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 an experienced Laser Physicist to independently guide laser technology-related research and development efforts and provide technical direction to interdisciplinary teams that will perform design, analysis, modeling, construction, and testing and commissioning of state-of-the-art high energy, high peak power, and high average power laser systems for DOE missions and applications. 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, a historic moment in science, opening up new physics regimes and setting the stage for new fusion energy possibilities.

This position is in the Advanced Photon Technologies (APT) group in the High Energy Density and Photon Systems Program. APT specializes in developing high repetition rate Petawatt-class laser systems, like the High-repetition-rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System and the Dual-mode Energetic Laser for Plasma and High Intensity science upgrade for the MEC end-station at SLAC. The group is a dynamic environment developing next generation laser technologies for high-energy, high average power lasers tailored to applications including Inertial Fusion Energy.

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

  • Lead efforts and strategies for interdisciplinary teams that research, design, develop, integrate, and field or enhance performance of advanced, high-energy laser systems, high peak power lasers and high average power laser technologies.
  • Guide systems design and apply system-level engineering principles to a wide variety of advanced laser design and analysis projects using novel approaches to develop operational, system, and subsystem solutions.
  • Lead integrated experiments in the fields of nonlinear optics, long & short pulse, high power and high energy laser physics.
  • Develop complex theoretical and numerical system models needed to corroborate or anticipate experimental results that test advanced, coupled physics and modeling capability 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 yourself 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.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities at the SES.4 level:

  • Utilize highly advanced knowledge and expertise to propose, guide, and oversee research, design, and enhancement or development of state-of-the-art laser technologies or systems, including elements that are frequently not well defined and often involve uncertain factors.
  • Apply subject matter expertise and leadership in Joule-class to multi-hundred Joule-class shaped nanosecond (long pulse), CPA, OPCPA, and frequency conversion systems that account for polarization, thermal, and/or birefringence effects, nonlinear optical effects, and other linear or nonlinear effects that may degrade the final output.
  • Design and lead teams to perform highly complex, intricate, and integrated laser performance experiments, perform analysis of these extensive, highly intricate, and/or integrated laser performance experiments, and effectively communicate findings to both broad technical audiences and other subject matter experts.


  • PhD in Laser Physics, Applied Physics, general solid-state laser engineering, high average power laser technology and thermal, birefringence management techniques, short and long pulse laser physics, and/or nonlinear optics as applied to laser development, modeling, applications, and operations or related field or the equivalent combination of education and previous relevant experience.
  • Significant experience with high energy solid state lasers.
  • Significant hands-on experience working safely and through the full engineering lifecycle with commercial or custom-built pulsed laser systems in a laboratory environment.
  • 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.
  • 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 and using high energy lasers for experiments and/or industrial applications.
  • Substantial experience leading interdisciplinary teams, particularly related to laser design, construction, or commissioning activities.
  • Expert level knowledge and hands-on experience with Joule-class to multi-hundred Joule-class and/or 10s to 100s W average power shaped nanosecond (long pulse), CPA, OPCPA, and/or frequency conversion systems and their respective modeling.
  • Substantial experience developing and utilizing highly complex laser performance and/or laser propagation modeling codes from their theorical aspect to their numerical implementation potentially in massively parallel high-performance computer systems.


  • Extensive hands-on experience with Joule-class and above pulsed lasers in a laser development or operational environment.
  • Significant experience in systems design for advanced laser design and analysis projects.
  • Formal or informal systems engineering or systems architecting training or experience.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE L or Q clearance.

Additional Information


Position Information

This is a Career Indefinite position, open to Lab employees and external candidates.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

Security Clearance

None required. However, if your assignment is longer than 179 days cumulatively within a calendar year, you must go through the Personal Identity Verification process. This process includes completing an online background investigation form and receiving approval of the background check. (This process does not apply to foreign nationals.)

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.

Pre-Placement Medical Exam

A job related pre-placement medical examination may be required.

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.


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is the go-to laboratory for science and technology solutions to the toughest and most important problems affecting national and global security. If you are interested in contributing to pushing the frontiers of knowledge to build the scientific and technological foundation that will be needed to address national security issues, then we invite you to apply.

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