Lead Engineer for Large Scientific/Optical Projects

Website advlightsource Advanced Light Source (ALS)

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s (LBNLEngineering Division has an opening for a Lead Engineer for Large Scientific/Optical Projects to join the team.

In this role, you will oversee engineering aspects of scientific construction projects in LBNL’s Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics (ATAP) Division. This position will be responsible for projects on the development of laser systems, compact accelerators, and applications to produce radiation ranging from particle beams (positrons, muons, protons, electrons) to photon sources. The flagship BELLA facility is the BELLA PW (PetaWatt), which delivers laser pulses with petawatt peak power at a repetition rate of 1 Hz. It is used to explore particle acceleration with acceleration gradients orders of magnitude higher than those found in conventional radio frequency (RF) accelerators, and holds the world record for energy gain in a laser based accelerator. This kind of accelerator has the potential for enabling a variety of applications in fields such as medicine, nuclear security, and fundamental particle physics.

The Lead Engineer for Scientific / Optical Projects is a technical leadership and project management position with personnel supervision responsibilities. The position is responsible for design, effort scoping, and baseline planning of scientific construction projects in the LBNL ATAP Division, including mechanical and electrical oversight. Strong R&D and engineering skills are necessary in addition to management experience. The position will closely interface with ATAP Division management and project scientific leadership. Responsibilities will evolve as projects mature and advance through different project execution phases.

The primary job duties will include strategic planning and translation of scientific requirements into engineering designs as well as core project management functions. This includes development of project cost and schedule documents as well as quality assurance and risk mitigation plans. Management techniques will be adapted according to project phases and project risks will be tracked throughout execution. ATAP Division projects are part of large international scientific collaborations which require travel and can complicate project management coordination. The ability to flexibly interface with multiple stakeholders is essential.

What You Will Do:

  • Lead cross-functional and geographically dispersed project teams including engineers and scientists, manage the day-to-day operations, and serve as the primary internal point of contact for the project.
  • Oversee engineering, procurement, fabrication, construction, assembly, and pre-installation effort for a complex optical system. Work closely with project procurement teams on acquisition planning and effective execution of procurements.
  • Direct the technical integration of subsystems. Develop, identify, and manage requirements, interfaces and risks.
  • Create and implement project plans and oversee their successful execution. Develop and manage project timelines, budgets, and financial forecasts. May have control account responsibilities. Apply project management best practices. Report on budget and schedule, including earned value management systems (EVMS).
  • Clearly communicate project status, issues, and successes to project teams and senior management. Coordinate presentations at meetings of appropriate committees. Oversee preparations for reviews; organize technical reviews. Report at regular team meetings, advisory committee meetings, and other venues.
  • Coordinate with EHS and management on work safety and ensure that work performed by the teams follow safe work practices.
  • Recruit, hire, organize, and manage staff.
  • Represent LBNL to the outside world in engineering through, for example, participation in design reviews, workshops and conferences.
  • Author or contribute to conference presentations and publications.

What is Required:

  • Advanced degree in Applied Physics or Mechanical or Electrical Engineering or related field and five (5) or more years of relevant experience or equivalent level of demonstrated knowledge.
  • Experience leading and overseeing scientific, aerospace, or equivalently technical construction projects.
  • Demonstrated project management experience.
  • Proven experience in presenting conceptual and completed designs through design reviews and documentation.
  • Experience estimating project costs and resource requirements, generating project schedules, and tracking progress to meet deadlines.
  • In-depth knowledge of the typical development process (requirements, design, fabrication, integration, and test) suitable for high-level scientific or engineering developments (e.g. high energy physics, microelectronics, laser optics, aerospace, etc).
  • Demonstrated strong written and verbal communication skills in authoring technical and scientific reports and publications.
  • Ability to perform in a team atmosphere involving multidisciplinary personnel, as well as experience in advanced problem-solving and decision-making skills necessary to independently solve problems and make appropriate decisions.
  • Familiarity with project management and tracking tools and methods.
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to collaborate with other engineering staff, scientific staff, external collaborators, and the highest levels of LBNL management.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Established connections and reputation with the national and international community in areas of particle accelerators, beamlines, detectors, telescopes, or similar large-scale scientific endeavors.
  • Knowledge and understanding of particle accelerators, beamlines, detectors, or similar large-scale scientific equipment.
  • Knowledge and understanding of optical and/or optomechanical analysis techniques.


The full salary range of this position is between $11,085 to $18,707 per month and is expected to pay between a targeted range of $12,472 to $15,242 per month depending upon the candidate’s skills, knowledge, and abilities, including education, certifications, and years of experience.


  • This is a full-time 2 year, term appointment with the possibility of extension or conversion to Career appointment based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds and ongoing operational needs.
  • This is a matrixed position that will provide opportunities for changing assignments/projects as work is completed or as project/program scope changes.
  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.
  • Work will be primarily performed at: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

Based on University of California Policy – SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program and U.S. Federal Government requirements, Berkeley Lab requires that all members of our community obtain the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible. As a condition of employment at Berkeley Lab, all Covered Individuals must Participate in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program by providing proof that vaccination requirements have been met or submitting a request for Exception or Deferral. Visit covid.lbl.gov for more information.

Berkeley Lab is committed to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) and strives to continue building community with these shared values and commitments. Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We heartily welcome applications from women, minorities, veterans, and all who would contribute to the Lab’s mission of leading scientific discovery, inclusion, and professionalism. In support of our diverse global community, all qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status.

Equal Opportunity and IDEA Information Links: Know your rights, click here for the supplement: Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law and the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision under 41 CFR 60-1.4.

To apply for this job please visit jobs.lbl.gov.