Chief Engineer – Engineering Division Leader (LCLS)

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The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is an internationally preeminent science facility, operated by Stanford University at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory on behalf of the Department of Energy, Office of Science. This facility provides world-leading scientific capabilities to a global user community, covering a very broad research portfolio that includes the development of advanced materials and chemical catalysts for clean energy systems; drug discovery for modern pharmaceuticals; and fundamental studies of astrophysical phenomena.

We are seeking a candidate to fill the position of both LCLS Chief Engineer and LCLS Engineering Division leader.  The successful candidate will help drive a dynamic and exciting environment, leading the engineering development and operation of a broad array of scientific instruments that operate at the frontier of science.

Major upgrades to LCLS are currently underway, representing well over a billion dollars of investment. Over the next five years, LCLS will design and deliver a new suite of science instruments to transform this field, taking advantage of the orders-of-magnitude increase in X-ray beam power as the pulse repetition rate is increased from 120 pulses/second to 1 million/second. This drives the need for entirely new capabilities in X-ray optics, beam diagnostics, cryogenics, ultra-high vacuum assemblies, and precision opto-mechanical systems. In addition, a major multi-year project is underway to upgrade the LCLS facility with a Petawatt laser, enabling high peak power optical and x-ray photons to combine on target, providing world-leading capabilities in the field of fusion science.

The successful candidate will join the LCLS senior management team and will report directly to the LCLS Director.  As Chief Engineer and Engineering Division Leader, the successful candidate will contribute to strategic decisions in support of the laboratory’s mission.

Your specific responsibilities include:

  • Serve as a core member of the LCLS senior management team, contributing to new initiatives that advance X-ray experiment technologies;
  • As Chief Engineer, establish and maintain processes and policies that are consistent with the SLAC and LCLS Conduct of Engineering, meeting the need for rigorous design and delivery of precision scientific equipment;
  • As Chief Engineer, ensure a level of systems engineering and project management rigor that delivers and maintains required capabilities to the LCLS facilities and operations within appropriate cost and schedule boundaries;
  • As Engineering Division Leader, ensure appropriate engineering staffing levels with the necessary skills to meet the needs of LCLS projects and operations;
  • As Engineering Division Leader, provide appropriate leadership to maintain a high level of engineering morale, addressing career development, and ensuring access to adequate growth opportunities and technical training;
  • Provide oversight and expert input for technical scope, schedule, cost and quality assurance through design reviews and standardized engineering practices.

To be successful in this position you will bring:

  • BS in Mechanical Engineering or related field and at least ten years of experience in engineering and engineering management.
  • Demonstrated experience leading and managing large-scale (multi-$M, multi-year) engineering projects from conception to implementation.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced and collaborative work environment.
  • Ability to influence and establish effective working relationships in a diverse environment, and motivate and mentor staff.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills necessary to communicate effectively with both staff and senior management.
  • Demonstrated ability to resolve complex issues quickly and make decisions that meet objectives in a collaborative, respectful, diverse culture.

In addition, preferred requirements include:

  • A Master’s degree or PhD in Mechanical Engineering or related field and ten years of relevant experience similar to those listed above.
  • Formal training in systems engineering
  • Generating and interpreting optical ray-trace.
  • Design of vibration and thermal isolation for complex mechanical systems.
  • Creating complex 3D CAD model parts, assemblies & beamline layouts.
  • Experience with design, operation, and maintenance of UHV vacuum systems.
  • Demonstrated skill with FEA tools (ANSYS) and Matlab.
  • A multidisciplinary background in an R&D environment.

SLAC manager competencies:

  • Results Through Others: Achieves expected results by effectively delegating and managing the work of others.
  • Aligns Priorities: Ensures planning and prioritization of resources and work efforts; ensures alignment of direct and matrix reports to support organizational goals and business plans.
  • Applies Lab Acumen: Maintains understanding of lab efforts and direction as well as current research and trends, considers technology and customer impacts, and contributes relevant, informed ideas to lab growth.
  • Navigates Complexity: Demonstrates effective problem-solving and decision-making in complex situations; manages a multitude of information and circumstances to discern what is most important; takes appropriate action, even with conflicting data or in difficult situations.
  • Communication: Ensures effective information flow to various audiences and creates and delivers clear, appropriate written, spoken, presented messages.
  • Relationships: Builds relationships to foster trust, collaboration, and a positive climate to achieve common goals.
  • Self-awareness: Seeks feedback from others and takes ownership of, and actions to address what is learned; recognizes impact on others and adjusts as needed; pursues continuous learning opportunities; implements a meaningful development plan.
  • Team Effectiveness: Effectively motivates team members and fosters a diverse and collaborative environment; leverages individual members’ strengths for overall team effectiveness; incorporates insights to improve team operations.
  • Purpose & Vision: Articulates a clear vision of expected outcomes; inspires others to execute work plans and feel a sense of purpose and ownership for the mission.
  • Attracts & Develops Employee Talent: Plans for, attracts, and hires the right talent for current and future organizational needs; operates with a focus on growing internal talent through organizational and staff development; values and encourages continuous growth development through a blend of work experiences, coaching, and formal learning; aligns individual development with organizational needs and objectives.

Physical requirements and working conditions:

  • The University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job.

Work Standards:

  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for environment, safety and security; communicates related concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.  Meets the applicable roles and responsibilities as described in the ESH Manual, Chapter 1—General Policy and Responsibilities:
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,


  • Classification Title: Research Technical Manager 3  (RTM3)
  • Job code: 4988, Grade N
  • Duration: Regular continuing

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