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Supplier Quality Engineer

Thorlabs, Inc., Newton, NJ, United States
Employer Description

Founded in 1989, Thorlabs seeks to accelerate the forward movement of scientific discovery and advancement! As a vertically integrated manufacturer of photonics components, instruments, and systems, our vast product portfolio includes over 20,000 items, ranging from optics and optomechanical positioning components to imaging systems, many of which are customer inspired.

Photonics is the foremost technology driving innovation in science and engineering. As the number of technological innovations has grown, Thorlabs has extended its core competencies in an effort to play an ever increasing role serving the Photonics Industry at the research end, as well as the industrial, life science, medical, and defense segments.

Headquartered in Newton, NJ, Thorlabs has grown to over 1800 employees with manufacturing and sales offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, China, and Brazil. As light-based technologies push into new markets, Thorlabs plans to enter early with the products and services required to ensure the ultimate success of our customers.

Job Description

The Supplier Quality Engineer for the Mechanics group is responsible for, but not limited to, managing and growing the supply chain for custom precision machined components to meet the current and future needs of the company. This individual will maintain and enforce the high quality manufacturing standards of Thorlabs’ components and products. They will uphold vendor relations by utilizing manufacturing experience and machining knowledge to provide technical support, training, guidance, evaluations, issue resolution, and price negotiations.

The ideal candidate should be highly organized with a vast attention to detail bringing knowledge, energy, enthusiasm, and a continuous improvement mindset to deliver the best value to our customers. This position works under general supervision within a manufacturing team environment. Although the location of the position is in Newton, NJ, it will be required to travel to vendor facilities (mainly local) and possibly at other Thorlabs locations.

Essential Job Functions include the following, but are not limited to:

  • Management of vendor capacity, quality and on-time performance for critical suppliers.
  • Ensure suppliers meet Thorlabs’ Manufacturing Standards and performance expectations.
  • Conduct supplier visits, audits, and evaluations.
  • Research, develop, assist, and review new machining vendors providing samples, training, and best practices.
  • Troubleshoot and resolve vendor related issues and concerns.
  • Create, manage, and complete corrective action measures when necessary.
  • Coordinate and log product quotes, perform price negotiations, and recommend primary suppliers.
  • Control cost of goods; Review price increases, organize product quotations, and price communications.
  • Develop and implement any process or system improvements required to efficiently and effectively manage and maintain the existing and future supply chain.
  • Support and continuously improve the manufacturing supply chain for production precision components through growth, quality performance, capacity, value, and cost of goods review.
  • Be aware of critical inventory conditions and product urgencies as well as production, manufacture, and supply concerns, providing alternate sources and options when necessary.
  • Provide feedback to Engineering for blueprint issues and improvement ideas, including production machining and manufacturability suggestions on design standards.
  • Review product margins and designs for cost reduction opportunities and strategies.



  • Minimum 5 years related experience in Supply Chain Management or Production Manufacturing.
  • Machine Shop experience a plus.


Minimum high school diploma, trade school, or relevant certification.

Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Computer proficiency and knowledge of, but not limited to, Microsoft products, ERP software, and Solidworks.
  • Knowledge of CNC Lathes, Vertical and Horizontal Milling, and various machine shop equipment.
  • Knowledge of finishing equipment.
  • Complete understanding of blueprint interpretation, geometric dimensions and tolerancing, classifications of fit.
  • Knowledge of standard inspection methods and tools.
  • Demonstrated assembly, problem solving, and decision-making skills.
  • Strong ability to work independently within a team environment.
  • Strong leadership, attention to detail, and multi-tasking skills.
  • Strong sense of ownership and work ethic.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Thorlabs values its diverse environment and is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified individuals will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status. Job descriptions are not intended as and do not create employment contracts. The organization maintains its status as an at-will employer. Employees can be terminated for any reason not prohibited by law.


10 January 2019
09 February 2019
High School
Advanced Manufacturing