Research Scientist\Engineer

Date Posted: 
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Position Location: 
Bozeman, Mont.
Job Description: 

Research Scientist\Engineer
Spectrum Lab

Search Number 12227-33

Start Date As soon as possible upon completion of the search process

Appointment Full-time (1.0 FTE), renewable twelve (12) month contract dependent on funding, need and performance

Salary Commensurate with experience, education, and qualifications.

Benefits Eligible


Founded in 1893 as a Land Grant University, Montana State University (MSU) is composed of eight academic colleges and a graduate school and boasts a friendly, supportive faculty and campus environment. Currently, the University hosts an enrollment of over 14,000 students, including approximately 1,900 graduate students. MSU is classified as one of 108 U.S. Research Universities (very high research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation.

MSU is located in Bozeman, Montana, an extended community of about 70,000 nestled in the Rocky Mountains in southwest Montana. In addition to providing access to an extraordinary ecosystem for teaching and research programs, Bozeman is renowned for year-round recreational and cultural opportunities to include access to world class ski areas, multiple blue ribbon trout streams and the Gallatin National Forest. The local airport is served by four national airlines and is the second busiest airport in the state.

Named an All American City, Bozeman boasts high-quality medical facilities, a very low crime rate, many fine restaurants, acclaimed public and private schools, a symphony orchestra and choir, an annual opera, and nationally known events such as the Sweet Pea Festival of the Arts held in early August of each year. Powder Magazine identified Bozeman, with "three distinctly different" major ski resorts within an hour's drive, as the number one place to live and ski in its November 2010 Magazine. ranked Bozeman #2 on the list of American Dreamtowns - small towns that offer the best quality of life without metropolitan hassles. The K-12 educational system, growing reputation of Montana State University, and pristine natural environment of the area combine to make Bozeman one of America's most desirable university towns. Bozeman is located in the beautiful Gallatin Valley, 90 miles north of Yellowstone National Park.

Optics in Bozeman
Bozeman has approximately 30 optics-related companies, many with close connections to MSU. Optics makes up roughly 11% of the manufacturing base in Bozeman area. MSU departments have extensive research programs in optics, including in Electrical Engineering, Physics, and Chemistry. MSU’s Optical Technology Center (OpTec) coordinates weekly seminars and an annual optics conference.


Spectrum Lab is an interdisciplinary research center established in 1999 and reports to the Deans of the Colleges of Engineering and Letters and Science. It is dedicated to innovation in lasers and optics with a three-fold mission to:

Develop and help commercialize Montana grown opto-electronic technologies.
Transfer and develop technologies to Montana companies.
Provide enhanced educational, research, and employment opportunities for Montana undergraduate and graduate students.

Spectrum Lab’s location just south of the MSU campus in close proximity to two spin-off companies and other local industry facilitates its collaboration with MSU faculty and researchers and our local industry partners. The lab has several research grants and contracts in the areas of ladar\lidar and optical signal processing with annual funding exceeding $1M.

Spectrum Lab is seeking an entrepreneurially minded Research Scientist\Engineer to immediately contribute to current grant and contract research activities in the area of laser ranging and remote sensing. Additionally, the hire will be expected to write proposals and secure funding for projects developed by the hire and in collaboration with other Spectrum Lab personnel, MSU Faculty, or local industry. Within the first year the hire will be expected to develop into an independent project and team leader and to be a key member in the management of Spectrum Lab.

Duties and

Conduct, report, and publish scientific\engineering research in lasers and optics individually and as part of a team led by another professional research scientist\engineer or faculty member.
Lead teams of professional researchers, undergraduate and graduate student researchers on projects and portions of projects including assigning tasks, providing technical assistance and advice, and following up on task completion and reporting.
Develop new areas of laser and optics research including writing of research proposals as a Principle Investigator, interacting with program managers and funding agencies, and collaborating with MSU faculty and local companies toward the commercialization of laser and optical technologies.


Ph.D. degree in Optics, Physics, Electrical Engineering, or related field with documentation of original work in experimental optics, OR
Master’s degree in Optics, Physics, Electrical Engineering, or related field with a record as the Principle Investigator of a significant externally (e.g. federal government) funded research program in optics.


Secured funding for and successfully completed research and development projects as the Principle Investigator (PI) and\or Co-PI.
Record of scientific publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at technical conferences.
Successful record of research and\or professional experience in the area of laser ranging or remote sensing (ladar, lidar).
Successful record of possessing the ability to work cooperatively with research faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and private companies.

The Successful
Candidate Will

work productively independently and as a member of a team including the ability to collaborate successfully with faculty, staff, students, and colleagues in private companies;
possess excellent written and oral communication skills;
demonstrate the ability to build an innovative and externally funded research program;
possess leadership experience and capabilities;
be skilled in the use of technical computer software such as MATLAB and LabView;
be skilled in hands-on research including electronics, mechanics, and optics;
maintain effective attention to detail, meeting deadlines, and prioritizing competing demands.


You may not be eligible for this position if you are neither a U.S. citizen nor a permanent resident (green card holder), as required to work on Export Controlled projects.

In accordance with MSU policy, hiring will be conditional upon successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Deadline Screening of applications will begin on August 23, 2012 and will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.

In order to receive Veterans Preference during the application review process, it is highly recommended that the required forms are included at the time you submit your application materials. Click here for the forms and information regarding Veterans Preference. Important note: Your preference form is submitted to a different location than your application materials. A DD214 is not a required document.

Posted 08/01/12ank


To apply, submit the following:

  1. a letter of application addressing all of the above required and preferred qualifications, and
  2. a curriculum vitae, and
  3. the names, addresses, telephone numbers and email address of three (3) current professional references.

Electronic submissions in PDF format are preferred, and must have the applicant's signature on the letter of application. For electronic submittals, please indicate "Applicant - Search 12227-33" in the subject line of the email.
Submit materials to:

Sue Martin
Research Scientist\Engineer Search
Spectrum Lab
Montana State University
PO Box 173510
Bozeman MT 59717-3510