Principal Optical Scientist/Engineer - EOSL | Georgia Tech Research Institute

Date Posted: 
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

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Position Location: 
Atlanta, GA
Job Description: 

ID: 496991
Type: Researchers
Location: Atlanta, GA
Categories: Algorithm Development, Artificial Intelligence, Image Processing, Lidar, Machine Learning, Modeling/Simulation, Sensors Integration, Signal Processing, System Engineering, Testing, IR, Sensors/Optics, Data Analytics/Science, ISR & Tactical Systems, Space Systems, Undersea Systems


The Principal Optical Scientist/Engineer in the Electro-Optical Systems Innovation Division (EOSID) leverages knowledge and skills from the fields of optical sciences and optics manufacturing to research, design, model, analyze, assemble, integrate, and test complex EO-IR systems for applications in imaging, remote sensing, and telecommunications. The optical scientist/engineer gathers system requirements and translates them into optical specifications, tolerances, and error budgets based on performance/capability objectives and system lifecycle.

The optical scientist/engineer is responsible for deriving requirements which reflect environmental and platform challenges and constraints such as temperature, vibration, shock, humidity, etc. In addition, the optical scientist/engineer must be able to perform sensitivity analysis, link budgets/radiometry, pointing stability, and stray light analysis through leveraging modeling and simulation tools that enable an analysis of alternatives and trades studies activities. The optical scientist/engineer determines sources for commercial and custom optical components including lenses, mirrors, holographic optical elements, mounts, lasers, fiber-optics, adaptive optical elements, optical scanners, and metrology equipment. The optical scientist/engineer designs end-to-end optical layouts, optical alignment procedures, and characterization procedures in support of implementation into final systems.

EOSID specializes in the complete optical imaging and remote sensing chain, from the analysis, design, development, integration, test and evaluation of imaging and sensing systems, to the processing, exploitation, and visualization of data and imagery. EOSID also specializes in modeling and simulation (M&S) of high-energy laser (HEL) propagation, engagements, and effects. EOSID makes critical contributions to national defense in the domains of Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR), directed energy (DE), and undersea warfare (USW).


  • Develops novel solutions to large, complex problems and pursues internal/external funding to support research & development
  • Leads medium-large teams of junior and senior researchers spanning multiple technical disciplines to ensure completion of deliverables for major projects
  • Provides technical vision and engineering recommendations to guide sponsor decisions on R&D and program investments
  • Manages schedule and budget for tasks and projects
  • Recognized as a Subject Matter Expert in the technical and sponsor community
  • Documents work in memorandums, sponsor briefs, conference proceedings, and journal articles
  • Develop and present technical presentations for senior leadership, sponsors, and other stakeholders
  • Primary lead on engagement of sponsors and potential sponsors
  • Programmatic and technical lead of project presentations, publications, and technical reports
  • Maintains a large professional network through membership and/or leadership positions in professional organizations, government science boards, and/or government advisory panels. Through this network, influences future R&D programs.
  • Participate in business development efforts by contributing to white papers, Request for Information and Request for Proposal (RFI/RFP) responses, sponsor briefs, and by proposing new research areas suitable for internal research and development (IR&D) funding
  • Perform other duties as assigned


<10% travel


Principal Research Engineer/Scientist/Technologist/Associate

  • A Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Optical Engineering, Optical Sciences, Physics, Mathematics, or related technical field and eleven (11) years of relevant full-time experience, or
  • A Doctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Optical Engineering, Optical Sciences, Physics, Mathematics, or related technical field and seven (7) years of relevant full-time experience.


  • Experience with optical design and analysis including optical subsystem assembly and alignment
  • Experience with detector technologies (i.e., Focal-Plane Arrays (FPAs), Avalanche Photo Diodes (APDs), Photomultplier Tubes (PMTs))
  • Experience with Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) imaging systems and electro-optical signal processing
  • Experience with optical analysis (radiometry, stray-light, sensitivity, link budget, error budget, pointing stability, etc.)
  • Documented experience in capturing and leading Department of Defense (DoD) Research & Development (R&D) programs involving the application of EO/IR systems and technologies


  • Active DoD security clearance
  • Experience with Fourier optics
  • Experience with Coherent optical techniques (i.e., interferometry, vibrometry, holography, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT))
  • Experience with Hyperspectral Imaging (HSI)
  • Experience with Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing (GD&T) and manufacturing of both optics and machined components
  • Experience with Zemax or similar Free Space Optics (FSO) design/analytical software
  • Experience operating laboratory equipment such as oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, and/or data acquisition hardware/software tools
  • Experience with computational tools such as Matlab, Octave, and/or Interactive Data Language (IDL)
  • Experience with one or more programming languages such as Python and/or C++


Due to our research contracts with the US federal government, candidates for this position are required to be US Citizens.


Candidates must be able to obtain and maintain an active security clearance.


Comprehensive information on currently offered GTRI benefits including Health & Welfare, Retirement Plans, Tuition Reimbursement, Time Off, and Professional Development, can be found through this link:


Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) at Georgia Tech Research Institute aims to enhance the Institute’s mission of solving the world’s most complex technical problems by creating a workforce with a shared appreciation for diversity, raising awareness around inclusiveness, and fostering a sense of belonging and appreciation for all members of our community.


Georgia Tech Research Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans and actively seeks diversity among its employees. Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law.

Posted: 10/18/2021
Closes: 01/17/2022