HEAF Explosives Research Experimental Lead

California, US
May 15, 2024
Posting live until
Aug 13, 2024

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 important for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Pay Range

$110,700- $142,128 Annually for theSES.1level

$132,810- $170,556 Annually for the SES.2 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 Explosives Research Experimental Lead in the High Explosives Applications Facility (HEAF). You will lead experimental activities involving the use of high explosives and other energetic materials supporting the stewardship of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, conventional weapons design, counterterrorism efforts, and commercial partnerships. This position is in the Explosives Performance Research and Technologies (ExPRT) group within the Energetic Materials & Design (EMD) section of the Materials Science Division, supporting the Energetic Materials Center (EMC).

This position will be filled at either the SES.1 or SES.2 level depending on your qualifications. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if you are selected at the higher level.

You will

  • Work under guidance to research, evaluate, design, and test explosive systems and materials for multiple projects.
  • Support research efforts by adhering to the highest standards of personnel and facility safety while supporting the execution of high-energy, multi-hazard experiments.
  • Plan, execute, diagnose, analyze, and interpret limited complex to moderately complex data from explosively driven experiments in collaboration with diagnostics operators, other scientists, and technical personnel, under limited direction at HEAF. Document and report results, identify problems, plan projects to solve problems, and communicate lessons learned.
  • Prepare safety and engineering documentation and reports required for the safe, compliant, and efficient execution of experiments.
  • Contribute original scientific/engineering solutions to the design of explosive experiments.
  • Develop experimental requirements and oversee the implementation of the various components of the experiment. Monitor and participate in the assembly of the experimental hardware to ensure that the explosives assemblies meet specifications.
  • Support explosives production supply chain to ensure samples are produced on schedule and to the quality needed to support experiments.
  • Perform technical quality assurance checks on these experiments including performing or directing others to perform the setup, alignment, and execution of the confirmatory dry-runs to ensure that the expected data returned on the experiment will be of the highest quality possible within funding targets.
  • Present and disseminate research results to sponsors and document experimental setup and results in open and classified environments. Participate in formal and informal design reviews and analyses and present design materials to internal and external audiences.
  • Travel minimally based on needs of projects.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.2 level

  • Manage and oversee multiple parallel experiments at different stages of development including the arming and firing of these experiments.
  • Identify, advocate, and facilitate the addition of advanced diagnostics and data analysis techniques for explosively driven hydrodynamic experiments. Work with diagnostic designers to develop and integrate new capabilities.
  • Lead moderately complex to complex projects requiring careful planning and execution in concert with effective teamwork.


  • Bachelor’s degree in physics, engineering, a related field, or equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Fundamental to Comprehensive understanding of a specific area of science or engineering applicable to explosives characterization or safety testing.
  • Experience performing hands-on experimental science in bench top and/or test facility environments and familiarity with experimentation in a highly regimented and regulated environment.
  • Fundamental knowledge of hazardous material supply chain logistics, including planning, production, transportation, usage, and waste management.
  • Experience managing small to medium-sized technical projects.
  • Demonstrated self-motivation and initiative in addressing challenging problems, and innovative skills to identify/develop creative solutions.
  • Experience working effectively independently and in a multi-disciplinary, team-based research environment to achieve goals.
  • Interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence necessary to work effectively with a wide range of personalities in both one-on-one and team environments.
  • Sufficient written and verbal communication skills necessary to explain, negotiate and advise on experimental design including proficiency in standard office computing software.

Additional qualifications at the SES.2 level

  • Broad knowledge of physics, engineering, mathematics, mechanical, aerospace or nuclear engineering or a related field.
  • Broad experience and demonstrated ability to lead and mentor a multidisciplinary team.
  • Demonstrated record of completing and/or leading top-quality research in relevant areas of physics and engineering.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience working in an explosive or equivalent high-hazard operational area and the ability to work safely around explosives.
  • Experience using computer-aided design tools.
  • Experience managing other personnel in a team environment.
  • Experience with any of the following topics: dynamic radiography, high-speed photography, Photonic Doppler Velocimetry, radiometry, pulsed power (flash lamps, fire sets), system generated EMP, grounding and shielding.
  • Knowledge of the LLNL weapons program and/or explosive hydrodynamic experimentation.

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

None required. However, this position involves U.S. Export Control; this work must be performed by a U.S. person (U.S. citizen, U.S. lawful permanent resident, U.S. national, or U.S. protected individual (e.g., refugee, asylee)).

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.

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: https://www.llnl.gov/sites/www/files/2023-05/LLNL-Job-Fraud-Statement-Updated-4.26.23.pdf

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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