Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

  www.llnl.gov
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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Reviews

Updated August 28, 2014
Updated August 28, 2014
143 Reviews

3.6
143 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Bill Goldstein
12 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • interesting colleagues, important work, good work life balance, great location in Northern California (in 16 reviews)

  • get to work with cutting edge technologies, very intelligent people (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • Sometimes you have to deal with a whole lot of red tape and infrastructure (in 8 reviews)

  • Slow to change because of older employee base but they are changing (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Generally fair, highly dependent on your working group dynamic and their funding situation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Design Physicist  in  Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Design Physicist in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Friendly and generally supportive environment.
    Flexible schedules.

    Cons

    1.9% salary raise last year, and none so far this year. No bonuses unless you receive an award from your division, and you can estimate that to be $100-$300.
    Lots of red tape and politics.
    Too many meetings - it is hard to get work done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some managers are excellent, but there are just too many managers and that makes it harder to get anything approved. Please hire more young people instead and work on creating an effective mentoring program so that you retain them.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great place to develop technical skills and build a network (due to its proximity to silicon valley).

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cyber Defender  in  Livermore, CA
    Former Employee - Cyber Defender in Livermore, CA

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Excellent mentoring program. I was put into a group with which I didn't have much experience, and my supervisors were incredibly helpful in training me in the technologies I needed in order to excel.

    The compensation was really high, especially for an internship. Granted, Livermore is an expensive place to live, but I didn't have any trouble getting by during the summer.

    The project I worked on had a real-world use, and I was able to make a real contribution during my time there.

    They were very flexible with my schedule.

    Cons

    Working there as an intern, it was frustrating when the first 2 of the 12 weeks I was there were wasted waiting on getting access to start into my project. This is a necessity given their commitment to network security, but it still caused me to waste time.

    I had hoped to roll my internship over into a full-time position. Though my supervisors were very supportive of me continuing, the government shutdown made their budgets uncertain. This isn't the lab's fault, but the nature of government funded labs means that politics can affect your employment.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Incompetent Management. Excellent work challenges.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Quality Manager  in  Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Quality Manager in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Incredibly interesting unique challenging work

    Cons

    Management are narcissists and are inexperienced

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get experience and stop hiring incompetent narcissists

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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    retired

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Health & Safety Tech  in  Livermore, CA
    Former Employee - Health & Safety Tech in Livermore, CA

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    used to be interesting & worthwhile

    Cons

    evolved into unwanted division of Federal Government. Never was a good place for a woman.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Mechanical Engineering needs to be more pro-woman

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    World-class researchers and institute, too much overhead and poor managers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Researcher  in  Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Researcher in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Within 1 square mile are some of the world's best researchers in a variety of fields from nuclear weapons, to lasers, to biology, to energy security, and others. Everyone is easily accessible and willing to share insights. "Big science" projects are done here.

    Cons

    As one former director commented, LLNL has succumbed to a "culture of compliance", where managers are more worried about getting in trouble than the best work getting done. Most so-called managers have no idea how to manage, much less lead, and this should not be a surprise since management skills are often inversely proportional to scientific skills.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Identify actual managers, not scientists, to lead programs. Way too much of an old boys club (who you know/like seems to guide who becomes a manager, not who should actually be a manager).

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    A place ripe for change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Manager  in  Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - IT Manager in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Employee see the value of changing the way we do business. Younger employee base insisting on change

    Cons

    Slow to change because of older employee base but they are changing

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue with what Parney Albright started, don't go backward and think the "old" ways are good enough.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Management vs. Worker Bees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer  in  Livermore, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Livermore, CA

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    1. Office rich work environment
    2. If you’re a physicist, this is one of the few places you might actually be able to get a job
    3. I did some of the best work in my career there.
    4. There town west of Livermore is very nice, although expensive
    5. The current director seems to be a reasonably decent person.

    Cons

    1. Definitely two classes of people there. Management and worker bees.
    2. Ethics is completely about protecting management at all costs.
    2.1. if you challenged the company on ethical grounds, you will be crushed.
    3. The core mission of the company is basically impossible
    4. If you are a christian republican, you will be very uncomfortable
    5. the work there is all about empire building and empire maintenance. It has very little to do with anything that makes logical sense.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None - they do not listen

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Good people, poor culture and poor management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Pros

    Work can be cutting edge

    overall friendly people

    Cons

    Extremely slow to get things done,unexpected delays, many unnecessary management layers, non active working culture, less diversified culture

    The overall culture is not for young energetic people with great ideas who want to pursue cutting edge science and technology, not comparable to private companies and research universities. The culture is more for mid 40s to 50s people who want to raise family in a quiet neigborhood and enjoy a 9-5 job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Changing times at the lab and national interests in science

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Scientist  in  Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Scientist in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    The ability to do "big" science and collaborate with high quality scientists

    Cons

    Stifling restrictions that have increased costs and crippled the lab's personnel from executing their job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure it out. The lab's productivity and moral have been on a downward spiral. The attrition rate of high quality scientists is a clear signal that things need to be desperately change. Instead looking to Washington for answers, which will all know is pointless, find innovative solutions to cut cost and navigate DOE regulations to boost productivity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good people and an annoying bureaucracy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lawrence Scholar  in  Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Lawrence Scholar in Livermore, CA

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    There are great resources here, especially if you do computational work. The people are also very nice and helpful. One person told me that I must work in a magical dreamland when I mentioned how nice the people are.

    Cons

    The bureaucracy is very annoying. Lots of it's computerized, which makes things easier, but you need approval and to find the right magic words to get it for so many things. The DoE is also micromanaging lots of things, and congress passes new laws to "improve oversight and accountability" that make it very hard to get lots of things done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More like advice to DoE/congress: The privatization was a horrible idea and your "improved oversight and accountability" usually just make it harder to get work done without improving anything.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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