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Embedded Firmware Engineer

Thorlabs, Inc., Jessup, MD, 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

Thorlabs is seeking an embedded firmware engineer to participate in the development of next generation scientific instruments. We are seeking an insightful, talented, dedicated engineer to contribute to our fast paced and dynamic R&D environment within Thorlabs’ Quantum Electronics Division. The successful candidate will plan, design, develop, and implement real-time firmware for microcontrollers to be used in complex instruments. The candidate is also expected to develop basic software and user interfaces as well as SDKs. Activities include design documentation, prototype verification and debug, test development and transfer to manufacturing. This position requires troubleshooting of complex electronics and system problems, and being committed to customer satisfaction. Preference will be given to candidates with a broad range of interests and skills.

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

  • Responsible for generating all necessary embedded firmware and software for product development, product launch, and support.
  • Design and support documentation including, but not limited to: firmware theory of operation, SDK definition, source control and revision tracking, test procedures, and end user’s manuals.
  • Developing and testing next generation embedded software / firmware and electronics for driving and controlling advanced laser imaging products.
  • Interfacing with researchers, other design engineers, and production staff to develop robust, producible systems that adhere to regulatory and compliance requirements
  • Support migration of systems from design phase to manufacturing phase
  • Complies with safety regulations and maintains clean and orderly work areas



  • 5+ years’ experience with embedded software / firmware and electronics design for high performance scientific instrumentation


  • MS or BS in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering or related field

Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Strong ability to work well in a group atmosphere, and comply with high quality standards
  • Proven expertise in troubleshooting and resolving electronic issues in instruments using oscilloscopes, DVM's, logic analyzers, and other standard lab test equipment.
  • Exposure to version control software, preferably Git or Perforce
  • Proficient in KEIL Development Environment
  • Direct experience and ability to read PCB schematics.
  • Exposure to interfacing with FPGA fabric (experience with system on a chip technology a plus)
  • PID control implementation in Firmware.
  • Interest and/or experience in digital feedback controller design, real-time embedded operating systems, simulation and implementation a plus.
  • Significant experience and detailed working knowledge of embedded hardware, such as microprocessor and microcontroller based control and monitoring circuits.
  • Direct experience with writing FW on small MCU's e.g. processors based on the ARM Cortex-M4F such as the STM32 F4
  • Proficient in C/C++ for embedded systems development
  • Proficient in using electronic measuring test tools, designing methods for testing "real time" performance of HW/firmware timing.
  • Experience with developing firmware for real-time I2C, SPI, USB protocols.

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.

07 November 2019
07 December 2019
Bachelor's Degree
Advanced Manufacturing