Optical/Laser Engineer

Sept. 22, 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 experienced Optical/Laser Engineers. You will be responsible for optical systems design, modeling, analysis, and engineering for multiple challenges including high energetic laser systems, diagnostics, and high-fidelity optical systems. Your scope of work will involve parallel tasks with broadly defined priorities. These positions are in the Optical Design and Engineering of Laser Systems Engineering and Operations division. The Laser Systems Engineering and Operations (LSEO) division is a part of the LLNL Engineering 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

  • Design and model moderately complex to complex optical systems such as high energy lasers and diagnostics including both linear and nonlinear design.
  • Design, analyze, and document complex optical subsystem and system specifications.
  • Contribute to the design and analysis of state-of-the-art optical/laser systems capable of measuring conditions found nowhere else on the planet.
  • Understand the system-level big picture, diagnose complex problems, and propose solutions while working under limited direction.
  • Integrate with projects from concept to operations.
  • Define moderately complex to complex optical requirements from physics requirements.
  • Present and explain technical information to a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, technicians, and designers.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.3 level

  • Lead teams of engineers, technicians, programmers, and physicists to develop state-of-the-art laser and optical diagnostic systems.
  • Pursue solutions with minimal direction in situations that may not be well-defined.
  • Perform conceptual, preliminary, and final designs and lead design reviews of complex optical systems.


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • Master’s degree or equivalent combination of education and previously relevant experience in Optical Engineering, Physics, or a related field.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of and broad experience with laser, optical design, as well as nonlinear optics.
  • Thorough understanding of geometrical optics and lens design principles.
  • Ability to interpret moderately complex to complex optical and mechanical specifications.
  • Experience interfacing with customer requirements while working under limited direction.
  • Familiarity and some proficiency with MATLAB, Python and/or similar tools for data processing and simulation.
  • Strong technical motivation to help ensure projects have sound strategy and minimized risks while working to resolve moderately complex to complex engineering issues.
  • Strong technical and non-technical communication skills.
  • Strong interfacing and brainstorming skills as a team member.

Additional qualifications at the SES.3 level

  • Advanced optical system design skills and small to moderate size project leadership experience.
  • Significant experience applying advanced physical optics knowledge under minimal direction.
  • Experience with systems engineering and project management including involved problem solving.
  • Previous experience in the design of complex laser and optical systems.

Qualifications We Desire

  • PhD degree or equivalent combination of education and experience in Optical Engineering, Physics, or related field.
  • Ability to understand complex problems and simplify them to a top-level generalization/parameterization.
  • Leadership skills for leading and managing small, multidisciplinary teams.

Additional Information


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.

Apply here