Director, Optical System Engineer | Applied Materials

Applied Materials
October 18, 2023
January 16, 2024
Santa Clara, California
Job Type
IA Member?
Job Focus
  • Image Science
  • Optics
  • Optical Engineering
  • Optical Physics
  • Optomechanical Engineering
  • Photonics
  • Quantum
Job Field
  • Research and Development
Student Standing Desired
  • Alumni
Citizenship Desired or Required
  • International Student
  • Permanent Resident
  • US Citizen


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The Optical System Engineer is responsible for the architecture, the system design for the optical integrated products of the connectivity solutions for Applied Materials. The Optical Systems Engineer is a very senior engineer that is coming up with initial blue-prints of the products & solutions and is pulling the different engineering practices together to form a great engineering team. The optical system engineer is also a trusted partner of the customer, and will get insights about product gaps and needs that will be shared with Product Marketing to help define the Product Roadmap.

Key Responsibilities

  • Partner with the customers and the industry & suppliers to come up with a blueprint and eventually a prototype of the products and solutions we consider to build
  • Identifies the need for engineering capabilities, pulls engineers together and forms a team to drive prototyping, approvals and development of products
  • Drives jointly with the rest of the engineering team the product development approval (through an NPI)
  • Partner with the customer to help them integrate AMAT’s products into their systems. Quickly solve technical issues by working with the customer, engineering and product marketing.
  • Partner with the engineering team to deliver on customer commitments
  • Partner with the customer to understand future needs and communicate these to product marketing and engineering. Partner with product marketing to help define products and roadmaps
  • Discover and develop new applications of our technology.

Functional Knowledge

  • Track record of designing and bringing complex optical systems to production that required cross-functional collaboration across many technical fields
  • Excellent communication skills, including active listening and questioning
  • Fluent English language and experience communicating with people from different countries. Excellent presentation skills
  • Ideally candidates from the optics industry or other industries with high speed connectivity
  • Ideally candidates with academic experience in optics and related fields
  • candidate must understand the key drivers and applications for interconnections in data centers and telecommunications world
  • Ideally the candidate has experience with common modeling and simulation tools of optical and electrical systems
  • Ideally the candidate has experience with designing optical systems with typical passive and active components e.g. fiber attachment, fiber routing design, optical component placement (e.g. modulators, waveguides, laser, RX/TX), their packaging and also high speed electronics
  • Ideally the candidate has experience with design for manufacturing including risk tolerance analysis
  • Experience influencing action without owning resources
  • Experience in managing customer projects together with the engineering team

Decision Authorities and Budget:

  • Decide on technical priorities within owned development projects

Primary Deliverables:

  • To ensure proper roadmaps items and prototypes for adding value to our customers.


  • Team player – do what is best for the business
  • Honors commitments – do what you say you will
  • Self starter, proactive
  • Friendly, Outgoing personality – likes developing relationships with people
  • Empathy with customers
  • Action oriented
  • Partnering mentality
  • Solution oriented
  • Flexible and and adaptable mindset

Factors of Complexity (used to determine Capacity for Complexity)

  • Work with co-located team to define and execute on projects
  • Daily interactions with manager and team
  • Manage projects that require collaboration of many technical fields (e.g. semiconductor, high speed electronics, mechanical & thermal, active and passive optical components, packaging and certification of end products)
  • Manage multiple projects with customers in different countries, and time zones
  • Comfortable driving results through influence, no direct resources

Accepts Role Requirements

  • The role requires the person to work as part of a team, working to the overall objectives of the business
  • The resources executing the customer technical projects are shared among all projects, so decisions on one customer project impact another. Will need to balance all activities
  • The main point of the engineering center and the demo center is in Santa Clara
  • Customers are in USA, Asia and Europe. Customer calls may be in am and pm on some days
  • International travel required, 10%

Key Performance Metrics

  • Identification and landing of products that are of value to the customer
  • Successful demo experiences
  • Accountable for hitting agreed upon engineering milestones together with the team

Applied Materials is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to diversity in the workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran or military status, or any other basis prohibited by law.

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