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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

This position is for an individual who has an optics, physics, or engineering background. The Quality Engineer’s primary focus will be on optics product line maintenance and improvement. The engineer will be responsible for managing quality systems, customer returns, and various improvement projects. Although the location of the position is in Newton, NJ, it may be required to travel to various locations including other Thorlabs entities and customer/vendor locations.

Job Requirements

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

  • Identify opportunities for product improvements through the testing and evaluation of customer returns
  • Perform root-cause analyses and implement corrective actions for process related concerns and customer complaints.
  • Implement product improvement initiatives within optics manufacturing, inspection, and assembly, with the goal of improving product quality.
  • Quarantine and evaluate inventory in the case of a product failure, and initiate stock pulls across global inventory.
  • Work with the RMA and Quality groups to coordinate returns, replacements, and product recalls.
  • Document product failures through Corrective Action and Non-Conformance Reports.
  • Participate in weekly meetings to discuss product evaluations and updates on improvement projects.
  • Interact with production personnel to define and solve manufacturing/design issues and implement solutions.
  • Interact with Quality and Assembly teams for product/process corrections and trainings.
  • Assists drafting, lab testing, manufacturing, quality, and planning as required.
  • Perform liaison function between engineering team and all manufacturing operations for any related issues, problems, or improvements.
  • Prepare technical data such as qualification test procedures, acceptance test procedures, reports, component maintenance manuals, etc.
  • Interact with vendors and purchasers concerning nonconforming products.
  • Coordinate as required with other internal groups including Sales, Accounting, Fabrication, Technical Marketing, Technical Support, OEM Team, Management, Planning, and Assembly.
  • Advise supervisor of work status, workload, problems, and progress, as related to work assignments.
  • Develop a strong technical familiarity with the Optics product line.
  • Establish an understanding of manufacturing capabilities, product use and functions, and common applications.
  • Assist in direct correspondence with customers when required.
  • Ensure production processes within the Optics Business Unit are compliant with quality management system and production standards. (ISO 9001:2015)
  • Act as an auditor for other business groups within the organization.



  • Some industry experience or related coursework in the field of optics and photonics is desired, but not required


  • Bachelor’s degree in Physics, Engineering, Optics/Photonics, Quality, Statistics/Mathematics or equivalent work experience

Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Experience with SolidWorks, CAD, or other modeling software and ability to understand technical drawings
  • Familiarity with Visual Basic, C++, Python, Labview
  • Familiarity with Zemax and TFCalc, CODE V, Essential MacLeod, Filmstar, OSLO, etc.
  • Demonstrated technical background and hands on experience in such fields as optics, opto-mechanical design, laser optics, polarization, microscopy, and telecommunications.
  • Hands on experience with optics including alignment, measurement, and testing
  • Knowledge of optics theory, design, fabrication, assembly, and test techniques
  • Experience using metrology equipment including calipers, interferometers, spectrophotometers, microscopes, lab setups, and other devices
  • Background in Six Sigma, Lean Quality Control, or SPC
  • Strong project Management skills with a deep sense of ownership, ability to take initiative, and flexibility/adaptability in a fast-paced & dynamic environment.

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

02 September 2020
02 October 2020
Bachelor's Degree
Optical Components, Lasers, Sensors