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Applications Specialist

Thorlabs, Inc., Sterling, VA, 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 Approximately 2,300 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 Life Science Applications Specialist is responsible for the training and support of customers on laser scanning microscopy instruments, including confocal and multiphoton microscopes. An in depth knowledge of light microscopy, laser scanning microscopy and their biomedical applications is essential. The applications specialist will provide pre and post-sales support including system troubleshooting, applications development, and customer training during installation. The candidate will also provide technical and applications support at tradeshows, courses and demonstrations. Although the location of the position is in Sterling, VA, from time to time it may be required to undertake duties at other Thorlabs locations.


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

  • Provide technical support and training on all laser scanning microscopy products over the telephone and in person.
  • Ensure a high level of customer satisfaction through timely resolution of issues.
  • Ability to install and upgrade systems in the field.
  • Collect and convey application information through interactions with customers and provide detailed feedback to product management and engineering
  • Interface with sales and engineering teams across multiple divisions within the company
  • Assist in the development of application targeted marketing collateral
  • Travel up to 50%
  • Update CRM (Dynamics) to track all customer interactions to manage cases and increase knowledge base
  • Use ERP (Axapta) for product information understand and components
  • Assist with customer demos and oversee Application Lab
  • Attend Tradeshows and courses as a Thorlabs representative

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.

Job Requirements



  • Experience using laser scanning microscopes.
  • Hands on laboratory experience with microscopy imaging protocols. In-vivo imaging, electrophysiology or tissue engineering a plus.
  • Minimum of 3-5 years in a technical support role.
  • 3-5 years lab experience acceptable



  • BS, MS, Ph.D. in Engineering (Biomedical, Mechanical, Electrical), Neuroscience, Biomedical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Biophotonics, Biophysics or Physics. Graduate degree preferred


Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • In-depth knowledge of light microscopy and digital imaging including, but not limited to, fluorescence microscopy, confocal microscopy, and nonlinear microscopy.
  • Knowledge of biomedical imaging protocols used in advanced research
  • Understanding of optical principles including lenses, filters, mirrors, fiber optics, and lasers (CW and Ultrafast).
  • Understanding of biological systems.
  • Experience providing technical support and education on advanced imaging equipment and scientific applications
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Excellent written, verbal, organizational and interpersonal skills.



Willingness for travel, including weekends, sometimes with short notice.


22 May 2023
21 June 2023
Bachelor's Degree
Optical Components, Lasers, Sensors