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Optical Engineer II

DRS Daylight Solutions, San Diego, CA, United States
Employer Description

DRS Daylight Solutions business provides industry-changing mid-infrared laser light technology for government and commercial markets, including: defense and security; life sciences; and industrial process control. As a mid-IR technology pioneer, Daylight Solutions has delivered more mid-IR systems to more applications world-wide than any other company.

Headquartered in Arlington, VA, the Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leonardo S.p.A. which employs more than 70,000 people worldwide. We offer a competitive compensation package and a business culture, which rewards performance. For additional information on DRS, please visit our website at www.drs.com.

DRS Daylight Solutions is a subsidiary of Leonardo DRS. Our mission at DRS Daylight Solutions is to be a leader in developing molecular detection, imaging and illumination systems for use in scientific research, life sciences, industrial process control, and defense applications. Mixed Generation Infrared Countermeasure Laser Systems. Multi-Spectral Beacons for Combat Identification. Sensors for Real-Time Liquid & Gas Phase Analysis. Mid Infrared Chemical Imaging.

Job Description

At DRS Daylight Solutions, you will be eligible for competitive pay, great benefits, including Medical, Dental, Vision, 401k match, 9/80 work schedule, and Tuition Assistance. Our Daylight family-oriented culture allows you to receive hands-on training, professional development, career advancement and exposure to the latest and greatest technology, where our motto is "To protect with Light". Come join the family! 

The Optical Engineer at Daylight will develop novel laser components and systems and transition them into products. The incumbent may act as a technical lead, while at the same time contributing to the analysis, modeling, design, prototyping and testing of laser components and systems. As individual contributor, this person will be responsible for requirement flow-down, optical design, interface with critical component suppliers, planning and execution of integration and test. Additionally, this person will be solving complex problems requiring deep understanding of material science and laser technology and excellent problem-solving skills across the company and contribute to IP, publications and business development.

Job Responsibilities

  • Optical design and tolerance analysis using Zemax
  • Design, build and align optical bench setups for prototype and production design verification testing.  Develop alignment procedures.
  • Individually responsible for major portions of complex development projects 
  • Serve as the laser and optical lead for the laser systems and EO sub-systems ranging from early concepts to product prototypes to initial production units with emphasis on optical and opto-mechanical aspects
  • Responsible for evaluation of failure modes, conducting root cause analysis and implementation of corrective actions for the company products with emphasis on optical and opto-mechanical aspects
  • Interact effectively and efficiently as part of a multi-member, multi-function team, as well as with customers and suppliers, write reports and contribute peer reviewed publications and invention disclosures
  • Communicate clearly (written and oral) with manufacturing, supply chain, program management and the customer as required
  • Support, communicate, reinforce and defend the mission, values and culture of the organization
  • Attend appropriate engineering, customer or business meetings


The ideal candidate will have:


  • Knowledge of semiconductor laser technology, laser and optical design and modeling, optical components and materials from UV to IR, optical metrology and measurement equipment preferred. 
  • Proficiency of Zemax OpticStudio.  Working knowledge of both sequential and non-sequential simulations and scripting for design automation.  
  • Laser optical system design experience preferred
  • Experience with optical fibers / fiber lasers
  • Experience with laser metrology and designing beam characterization instrumentation
  • Experience and safety knowledge associated with high power laser systems
  • Understanding of mechanical, thermal, electrical, and optical designs and components, and their interactions in a system to meet performance requirements
  • Proficiency in Programming skills: Matlab, Labview, Python or C++
  • Hands-on experience in the development, prototyping, testing or transfer to production of complex EO/Mechanical systems
  • Appreciation and practice for engineering process rigor appropriately applied based on product/process maturity
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DoD Security Clearance
Job Requirements

Bachelor’s degree in engineering or related technical field or equivalent experience and a minimum of 2 years of experience, preferably in laser/optics.

The expected pay scale for this position is $92,789/year - $132,689/year. Should the level, location, or scope of the position change during the hiring process, the pay scale may be modified accordingly. When extending an offer of employment, DRS Daylight Solutions considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position; any Federal Government contract labor categories and contract wage rates, the candidate’s relevant work experience, education/training, certifications, and key skills; internal equity; and market and business considerations.

Leonardo DRS, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates are equal opportunity employers and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

23 January 2024
22 February 2024
Bachelor's Degree
Optical Components, Lasers, Sensors