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Photonics Learning Specialist II

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 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 Photonics Learning Specialist II is responsible for overseeing the setup and presentation of educational efforts across Thorlabs’ virtual and in-person platforms to ensure quality and consistent educational experiences. This role applies education and outreach with the ability to communicate to learners across a diverse range of educational backgrounds both in breadth and depth. The Photonics Learning Specialist II will collaborate with the support staff to ensure the necessary equipment and supporting materials are delivered, maintained, setup, and presented successfully at each event. The Photonics Learning Specialist II will also work closely with the content strategists to continuously improve and expand the educational portfolio based on event feedback and observations.

Although the location of the position is in Newton, NJ, 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:

  • Teach educational content in person, including the ability to clearly and concisely describe the background, process, and expected results while being able to answer user questions.
  • Present lab techniques and best practices and be able to speak to the pros and cons of alternatives.
  • Collaborate with internal experts to learn techniques and principles beyond the expected presentation to ensure explanations originate from a place of understanding, are clear and concise, and maintain the highest levels of accuracy.
  • Train support staff to setup, tear down, and present demonstrations and maintain quality standards.
  • Collect and curate digital content for marketing and educational initiatives in collaboration with event support staff and Marketing team.
  • Collaborate with Marketing team to provide feedback on materials used by event participants and ensure the appropriate amount of material is available for each event.
  • Setup and break down all equipment, furniture, and accessories required for each event.
  • Establish and manage key relationships at universities and other institutions to present educational offerings, determine optimal events, and follow up to collect feedback and quantify event impact.
  • Create, manage, and report key performance indicators (KPIs) of events.
  • Provide feedback to Content Specialists to ensure they are aware what approaches and content is and is not working.
  • Propose new and alternative demonstrations to expand the portfolio of learning content.
  • Remain knowledgeable of learning initiatives, newly released products, product presentations, lab activities, and published content to recognize new educational content opportunities.
  • Extensive travel to event locations.


In addition to the essential functions and duties listed above, all positions are also responsible for:

  • Meeting company standards pertaining to quantity and quality of work performed on an ongoing basis, performing all work related tasks in a manner that is in compliance with all Company policies and procedures.
  • Adhering to Company policies, procedures, and directives regarding standards of workplace behavior in completing job duties and assignments.

The Company retains the right to change or assign other duties to this position.


Physical Activities:

This role may have physical demands including, but not limited to, lifting, bending, pushing, pulling and/or long periods of walking and standing. Drive a commercial pickup truck and trailer between events. Setup and breakdown of educational events. Lift objects weighing up to 50lbs.



Thorlabs values its diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants 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



  • 3+ years of experience working with photonics equipment.
  • 3+ years of experience educating engineering/science students.
  • 3+ years of experience providing technical presentations.

Experience driving and parking trucks and trailers preferred.



  • Bachelor’s required, Master’s or Ph.D. in a science or engineering discipline. Concentration in a photonics related field preferred.


Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Clearly and effectively present photonics concepts, principles, and applications to train students using various methods such as verbal, written, and visual communication.
  • Provide lectures, trainings, and demonstrations in person and virtually to large groups.
  • Successful development, deploy, and maintain photonics demonstrations that are consistent with learning themes.
  • Strong Emotional Intelligence to understand and relate to students.
  • Ability to identify and address issues or obstacles that may hinder the learning process and find effective solutions.
  • Awareness and respect for the cultural and diverse backgrounds of students, ensuring an inclusive and equitable learning environment.
  • Efficient use of time during lessons to cover necessary content and meet educational goals within provided timelines.
  • Relationship management to create and maintain contacts to establish and follow up on existing/future events.
  • Development and tracking of key performance indicators and metrics.
  • Strong interpersonal skills for working in a team environment.
  • Willing to constantly learn new technologies, applications, techniques, and released products and be able to successfully disseminate their information to people across various educational backgrounds.
  • Strong organizational and planning skills and ability to adapt and work independently.
  • Able to multitask, be detail oriented, and solve problems as they arise.
  • Obtain a commercial driver medical certification and present a clean driving history.
  • Drive and park a pickup truck and 5-ton trailer.
  • Ability to fluently write and speak English.



  • Travel to learning events up to 50%.


29 January 2024
28 February 2024
Bachelor's Degree
Optical Components, Lasers, Sensors