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Photonics 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

This position supports the development and manufacturing of next-generation semiconductor lasers, namely, state-of-the-art MEMS-VCSEL swept-source tunable lasers for use in optical coherence tomography (OCT) applications. Responsibilities include contributing to the R&D process to develop initial prototypes and taking a laser product from prototype into manufacturing through the development of product design features, production processes, and test equipment. This position will require design, assembly, and testing of R&D prototypes, as well as support of both hardware and software for manufacturing assembly and test. This position involves working with a multi-disciplinary team of engineers including mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, software/database engineers, manufacturing personnel, and other electro-optic engineers to ensure that designs and manufacturing techniques will yield products that meet the customer’s specifications.


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

  • Conceptualize and design photonic products, production processes, and test systems based on system and operational requirements
  • Prototype, develop, and characterize new laser products
  • Prototype and develop new production processes and test systems, including both hardware and software for use in production of semiconductor lasers.
  • Support new product introduction into manufacturing
  • Create budgets and schedules for these new developments
  • Maintain documentation for the product/system development process
  • Create and present engineering reports for performance/qualification analysis
  • Create assembly and test work instructions; train production personnel
  • Specify and purchase parts and equipment required for R&D prototype development
  • Specify and purchase parts and equipment for production systems; interact with vendors
  • Analyze device test performance for continual improvement and new requirements


Job Requirements


  • Hands-on experience in the photonics industry, laser, or physics lab working with and aligning optical components.
  • Experience developing and testing semiconductor lasers
  • Experience automating various pieces of test equipment and/or motion control.



  • Master’s degree (or higher) in Electrical Engineering, Physics or related field(s) is required.


Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Problem resolution skills for debugging new designs and optical assemblies
  • Manual dexterity to assemble and align precision opto-mechanical systems including interferometers and single-mode fiber coupling
  • Experience interfacing software with photonic test equipment for data acquisition
  • Knowledge of OCT or a related optical imaging/sensing laser application a real plus.
  • Experience with data analysis software (JMP, SQL, Matlab, Python)
  • Knowledge of semiconductor lasers
  • High attention to details
  • Flexibility/adaptability in a fast-paced & dynamic environment
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment
  • Effective written and oral communication


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 June 2021
02 July 2021
Masters Degree
Optical Components, Lasers, Sensors