Optical Engineer | MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory
September 7, 2023
December 6, 2023
Lexington, MA
Job Type
IA Member?
Job Focus
  • Optics
  • Optomechanical Engineering
Student Standing Desired
  • MS
Citizenship Desired or Required
  • US Citizen


About MIT Lincoln Laboratory:

The Advanced Lasercom Systems and Operations Group develops, builds, tests, and operates prototype laser communications systems for a variety of applications and environments. Lasercom offers dramatically increased data rates and enhanced physical security relative to microwave-based communications systems. The Group has expertise in communications; optics; electro-optics; optomechanics; optical turbulence mitigation; precise pointing control systems; embedded systems; digital and analog design; command, control, and telemetry; test set design and fabrication; data analysis; modeling; and simulation. The Group also runs and maintains the nation’s leading independent lasercom interoperability testing facility.

Job Description:

The Advanced Lasercom Systems and Operations Group seeks a highly motivated, full time staff member with optics and optomechanics experience. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to be a part of one of the world’s leading laser communications groups, playing key roles in developing unique prototypes and test assets. You will design, assemble, align, and test a broad range of complex prototype optical systems requiring precision tolerances and robustness to vibrations. You will work with other optics personnel as needed, but will have the ability to work independently, coordinating with team members with complementary skills. Because of the hands-on nature of the work, this job will be primarily on-site, although exceptions may be authorized when performing tasks that can be effectively performed remotely, such as design, documentation, component research/specification/ordering, modeling and analysis.

You will grow into your career working on a broad range of optical problems, including (but not limited to) system conceptual design; ray tracing and tolerance analysis; component selection, specification and oversight of optical component fabrication; inspection and testing of received components; optical system alignment and testing; data analysis; as well as documentation of designs, specifications, laser safety plans, test procedures, and test results. Most of the work will involve bulk optic reflective, refractive, and diffractive components and mounts, and robust coupling of lasers to optical fiber. General laboratory maintenance and stocking of supplies, maintenance of equipment and spares, and periodic calibration of test equipment are also part of the job.

We are seeking candidates who have some experience working with optical hardware and/or test equipment, or have exposure to optical design/modeling tools. The candidate should enjoy working in collaborative teams, and be eager to learn and contribute.

Working as part of a lasercom team offers growth opportunities, as you will be interacting regularly with subject matter experts on communications and pointing, acquisition, and tracking (PAT) of laser beams. As a member of the team, you will be encouraged to look for ways to improve the efficiency of our processes and testing, and to help other members of the team with miscellaneous tasks such as hardware reconfiguration and troubleshooting.


  • Master’s degree in optical engineering or a related field with significant coursework or experience in optics
  • Minimum GPA: 3.5
  • Preferably, the candidate has experience with optical alignment and characterization instrumentation such as interferometers, autocollimators, alignment telescopes, theodolites, profilometers, wavefront sensors, high-speed infrared cameras / focal plane arrays. Familiarity with fiber optic test equipment and components is not required, but would be beneficial
  • Preferably, the candidate has worked with Zemax or CODE V optical design software
  • Preferably, the candidate is capable of performing incoming inspection on a variety of procured optical components and has some knowledge of optical fabrication specifications and safe optics handling procedures. Experienced engineers at the Laboratory can expand the candidate’s knowledge in this area
  • Experience with MATLAB® is highly desirable
  • Familiarity with some subset of the following disciplines is advantageous but not required: stray light modeling / FRED software, integration & test, test automation, optical test equipment, communications system fundamentals, optical communications simulation software - numerical simulation and analysis tools, scripting languages, atmospheric science, aero-optic effects, optical scattering (Rayleigh, Mie, geometric), multi-disciplinary physics/engineering – thermal, optical, mechanical (e.g. COMSOL experience)
  • Strong communication skills, both verbal and written. Ability to work well in a team

For Benefits Information, click http://hrweb.mit.edu/benefits

Selected candidate will be subject to a pre-employment background investigation and must be able to obtain and maintain a Secret level DoD security clearance.

To safeguard our health and well-being, MIT Lincoln Laboratory requires COVID-19 vaccination for all employees.  Individuals may request exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reason.

MIT Lincoln Laboratory is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, veteran status, disability status, or genetic information; U.S. citizenship is required.

Requisition ID: 39583 #CJ

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