SPIE Career Center
NOTE: You will be creating an SPIE user account. After the account is created you will be redirected back to the Career Center to sign in.
Browsing Job 56 of 69
In order to Apply for this job you must be signed into your user account. New users can register by selecting Create an Account.
Save Job
In order to Save this job you must be signed into your user account. New users can register by selecting Create an Account.

Principal Research and Development Engineer R8657

MKS Instruments Inc., Irvine, CA, United States
Employer Description

Photonics Solutions Division (PSD)

Spectra-PhysicsOphir and Newport are brands within the MKS Instruments Photonics Solutions Division.  Spectra-Physics combines groundbreaking laser technologies with deep application expertise to deliver industry leading lasers for precision industrial and scientific research applications. Ophir specializes in laser and LED measurement products, including laser power and energy meters and laser beam profilers. Ophir also provides high-performance IR thermal imaging lenses and optical elements as well as optics for CO2 and high-power fiber laser material processing. Newport provides a full range of solutions including precision motion control, optical tables and vibration isolation systems, photonic instruments, optical and opto-mechanical components. MKS PSD solutions enhance our customers’ capabilities and productivity in the semiconductor, industrial technologies, life and health sciences, research and defense markets. As of July 15, 2021, PSD is happy to welcome Photon Control to the team. 

The Equipment Solutions Business is now part of the Photonics Solutions Division. 

Globally, our policy is to recruit individuals from wide and diverse backgrounds.  However, certain positions require access to controlled goods and technologies subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or Export Administration Regulations (EAR).  Applicants for these positions may need to be “U.S. persons.”  “U.S. persons” are generally defined as U.S. citizens, noncitizen nationals, lawful permanent residents (or, green card holders), individuals granted asylum, and individuals admitted as refugees.

MKS Instruments, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. We solicit and hire applicants regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected category. Our policy is to employ the most qualified applicants. We conduct background checks and drug screens, in accordance with company policies and federal and state guidelines.

Job Description

Excited to grow your career?

We value our talented employees, and whenever possible strive to help one of our associates grow professionally before recruiting new talent to our open positions. If you think the open position you see is right for you, we encourage you to apply!


Our people make all the difference in our success.


The Integrated Solution Business (ISB) Group of MKS Instruments is growing very rapidly with significant strategic investments in the development and fabrication of cutting-edge, high precision optics and opto-mechanical assemblies deployed into high-volume manufacturing and life-science applications. To manufacture these products, ISB is seeking individuals like you to join our team as a Principal Research and Development Engineer.  In this position, you will provide technical leadership in the design and development of complex optical systems by coordinating cross-functional development activities. If you have a passion for working with cutting-edge technology, this is the role for you!


What you will do is:

  • Lead or support a wide range of CIP engineering activities including cost-reduction, reliability improvement, and performance enhancement
  • Plan, conceptualize, design, test, document, release to production, and support CIP for complex, high-precision opto-mechanical/electro-optical products
  • Interpret requirements from customer input, define system interfaces, develop application prototypes, and resolve design weaknesses
  • Track and report technical hurdles and progress to management
  • Develop cost estimates for systems, testing, development labor, etc.
  • Work cross-functionally with Project Managers, Optical Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Electrical Engineers, and with Reliability and Manufacturing teams to ensure successfully achieving project objectives and customer success




Compensation and Benefits:
Salary Pay Range: $108,850 to $202,150 per year. This range is a good faith estimate of the expected salary range for this position, based on a wide range of factors including qualifications, experience and training, operational and business needs and other considerations permitted by law.   At MKS, it is not typical for an individual to be hired at or near the top of the range for the role.


Bonus: This position is eligible for a discretionary annual bonus, in an amount to be determined by MKS [or as applicable]. 


Benefits: MKS offers a comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance coverage (medical, dental and vision), 401(k) with company match, life and disability insurance, 12 paid holidays, sick time, 15 paid vacation days, [6 weeks fully paid] parental leave, adoption assistance and tuition reimbursement [and for participation in any stock programs, signing bonus, etc.]. 


MKS is an equal opportunity employer, including disability, veteran status and all categories protected by law. Please review our EOE statements for additional details.  

Job Requirements

What you will bring to the team is:

  • A Masters or PhD in Optics, Photonics, Engineering, Physics or other related technical discipline
  • 8+ years of complex systems design experience
  • A broad range of expertise is preferred including familiarity with: optical and photonics systems design, CAD, board layout, signal processing, high power and short pulse lasers, FEA, FMEA, error budgeting, digital processors, real-time embedded software, firmware, and calibration techniques
  • Experience developing and implementing verification and validation procedures
  • Hands-on experience in assembling, aligning, and testing optical and electronics systems
  • A deep understanding of state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and metrology


We are interested in a qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we will not be sponsoring work visas for this position, at this time.

23 January 2024
22 February 2024
Masters Degree
108850 – 202150
Research and Development