Contrary to popular belief, Alan never worked for Los Alamos. He was working at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque (presumably part of the current Directed Energy Directorate) when he formed Plasmatronics.
He was working on his PhD at UM Ann Arbor, and working at Lear Sigler on a CO2 laser to be used for piercing of all things baby bottle nipples. He discovered the reason that CO2 lasers of that day could not put out much meaningful power, when the govt seized his notes and classified them.
His adviser, Peter Franken, told him to go to work for the government as it would be the only way to continue his work.