Principal Optical Engineer | MKS Instruments | Newport

Date Posted: 
Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Industrial Affiliates Employer Icon

Position Location: 
Santa Clara, CA
Job Description: 

US citizens and permanent residents only

MKS Instruments, Inc. is the parent company of Newport Corporation®, Spectra-Physics® and Ophir®, leaders in photonics, optics, lasers and motion/vibration control. MKS is a worldwide leader in technology solutions for thin film, process and industrial manufacturing, environmental monitoring, defense and security, life sciences and research.

Spectra-Physics has an excellent opportunity for a Principal Laser Engineer to join its innovative product development Engineering team to develop cutting edge laser systems. The ideal candidate will contribute to the optical design and prototype assembly of free-space and fiber-based lasers.  


  • Serve as a technical expert for the optical design of fiber-based and free space lasers.  Execute experiments to test conceptual designs and to document optical system performance. Use software computational tools to aid in the design and analysis of optical system performance.  Work with mechanical and electrical engineers to assist in evaluating and documenting opto-mechanical and electro-optical specifications.  
  • Define test strategies, build, test and document system prototypes:  measure optical and opto-electronic parameters and evaluate results, create test reports and generate design documentation including optical diagrams, drawings, and optical components specifications.  
  • Work with optical component vendors for component procurement, and to complete performance and reliability evaluation.  
  • Work in a multi-disciplinary team and interact with Electrical, Mechanical, Software and Manufacturing Engineers on new product development and to transfer the design to production.  
  • Guide and train technicians on newly developed processes and optical measurement techniques.  

Required skills and experience:

  • MS degree and 5+ years industry experience or PhD and 2+ years industry experience  
  • Hands-on experience in free-space beam and optical cavity alignment for CW and pulsed laser systems  
  • Experience with Gaussian beam propagation software tools (Paraxia and/or others)
  • Familiar with optical non-linear processes (SHG, SPM, SBS, Raman etc.)   
  • Familiar with sub-picosecond pulse generation, measurement and characterization.  
  • Hands-on experience with operating and characterizing acousto-optic and electro-optic modulators and pulse selectors  
  • Proven ability to independently define opto-electronic measurement procedures, set up and perform the measurements, evaluate the results and clearly communicate the conclusions to peer engineers and management
  • Proven experience with optical measurement instruments: beam parameters analyzers, power meters, auto-correlators, fast opto-electronics, oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers and spectrometers, scanning interferometers   
  • Ability to work self-directed and as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • Excellent communication skills and advanced ability working with MS Word, Excel, Power Point and other MS Office programs.  

Preferred skills and experience:  

  • Experience in troubleshooting and failure analysis of optical modules and systems
  • Experience with high power pulsed fiber laser design and testing.  
  • Experience with harmonic generation and nonlinear crystals (SHG, THG, SFG).  
  • Hands-on experience with ultra-fast laser development and relevant technologies (mode-locking, CPA, etc.) and characterization (auto-correlator/FROG)
  • Ability to model basic harmonic generation processes using SNLO, Matlab and/or other suitable software tools
  • Familiarity with ray-tracing analysis software (ZEMAX, FRED and/or others)  
  • Experience with automated measurement and control methods (Python)

MKS Instruments, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. We solicit and hire applicants regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, veteran status, or any other protected category. Our policy is to employ the most qualified applicants. We conduct background checks and drug screens, in accordance with company policies and federal and state guidelines.

Globally, our policy is to recruit individuals from wide and diverse backgrounds.  However, for positions requiring access to export-controlled goods and technical data that are subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or Export Administration Regulations (EAR), MKS Instruments. Inc. may have to obtain an export license from the U.S. Government. As such, applicants for these positions, except “U.S. persons” (generally defined as U.S. citizens, noncitizen nationals (holder of a US Passport), lawful permanent residents (or, green card holders), individuals granted asylum, and individuals admitted as refugees), may be subject to an export license review process. Employment is contingent upon issuance of the license.