Principal Optical Engineer | Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

Date Posted: 
Monday, February 19, 2018

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Position Location: 
Boulder, CO
Job Description: 

Job ID: 663219

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Regular

Who We Are:

Ball Aerospace leads the way in designing, developing and manufacturing innovative aerospace systems.  We take on some of the most complex and exciting challenges in the universe--from space and Earth science to national security and intelligence programs.

We produce spacecraft, instruments and sensors, RF and microwave technologies, data exploitation solutions, and a variety of advanced aerospace technologies and products.  In addition, we pioneered the development of the commercial remote sensing market, producing spacecraft and imaging systems that helped spawn a market-driven demand for imagery.

Our success is built on more than products or systems.  Our team of more than 3,000 engineers, scientists, technicians and support staff drives all the achievements at Ball Aerospace.  Whether contributing to a better understanding of the universe or helping keep our nation safe, our people bring their diverse backgrounds, perspectives and skills together to achieve a common mission.


Principal Optical Engineer

What you'll do:

  • Exercise a high degree of technical as well as leadership capability and experience in the development of space based optical systems.  Contribute to optical system development from initial business development activities through final system test.
  • Work with other engineers in a collaborative cross-disciplinary environment to develop and implement novel state of the art and innovative optical systems for space based applications designed for science, defense, intelligence, and commercial customers.
  • Work with new business development to define top level optical system architectures, as well as performing detailed optical design and analysis.
  • Support Advanced Program development by writing and briefing proposals, responding to RFIs, writing white papers, and participating in proposal reviews.
  • Lead teams of engineers during optical sub-system development.
  • Participate in and present at design reviews.
  • Lead the procurement and validation of state of the art optical components.
  • Will occasionally work hands-on with optical hardware, as well as performing analytical work and technology and hardware development.
  • Maintain a regular and predictable work schedule.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships within the department, the Strategic Business Units, Strategic Support Units and the Company.  Interact appropriately with others in order to maintain a positive and productive work environment.
  • Perform other duties as necessary.

What you'll need:

  • BS degree or higher in Optical Engineering or a related technical field is required plus 12 or more years of related experience. 
  • An advanced degree in Optical Engineering or a related technical field is preferred.
  • Proven technical and leadership experience.
  • This position is for an experienced lead optical instrument engineer with a strong background in space based optical systems from initial concept development through delivery.  Experience in system requirements development, architecture definition, design, assembly and integration, and characterization of completed systems is required.
  • Proven ability to define architecture for new payloads.
  • Proven track record of detailed optical design skills.
  • Proficiency in Code V, Zemax, or other optical design code.
  • Proven track record in producibility of designs with cost, budget, and schedule constraints for self and others is essential.
  • Ability to develop relationships with key customer, program, and engineering personnel from Government and academia.
  • Proposal writing experience. Awareness of system-level issues and their impacts on system architectures is necessary.  New business development experience, including successful customer interaction.
  • Knowledge of modeling tools and techniques to predict and budget optical system performance.
  • Experience in instrument prototyping development and demonstration.
  • Excellent presentation and writing skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • In addition to the typical educational and experience requirements, a demonstrated capability to adequately perform the essential functions and responsibilities of the position and exhibit the skills and competencies of the grade level should be considered.  Each higher-level degree, i.e., Master’s Degree or Ph.D., may substitute for two years of experience. Related technical experience may be considered in lieu of education. Degree must be from a university, college, or school which is accredited by an agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education, US Department of Education.

Working Conditions:

  • Work is performed in an office, laboratory, production floor, or clean room, outdoors or remote research environment.
  • May occasionally work in production work centers where use of protective equipment and gear is required.
  • May access other facilities in various weather conditions.
  • Travel and local commute between Ball campuses and other possible non-Ball locations may be required.

Security Clearance:

Successful applicant for this position must be eligible to obtain a DoD clearance. A current DoD clearance is not required to be eligible for this position, however the successful applicant will be required to obtain a DoD clearance within a reasonable time after the offer is extended and must be able to maintain the applicable clearance.  * US Citizenship is Required


Relocation for this position is Available

EEO Statement:


Equal Opportunity Employer

Minority, Female, Disabled, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Veterans.