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Senior Optical Engineer

At SA Photonics, we specialize in the design, development and manufacturing of complex, state-of-the-art communications imaging, and display systems for military, space and commercial applications.  SA Photonics has a small team of highly experienced engineers and scientists and we are currently seeking a Senior Optical Engineer with the ability to develop complicated optical system designs to implement lasercom, LIDAR, head-mounted display, and hyperspectral imaging systems in the visible and infrared spectrum.


  • Support our lasercom, LIDAR, hyperspectral imaging and class-leading HMD designs by generating innovative technical solutions for these state-of-the-art systems
  • Design and analysis of optical systems, including developing optical architectures, analyzing system performance and selecting key optical components.
  • Simulating and characterizing optical designs and performing tolerance analyses using ZEMAX and/or other tools.
  • Support integration of complex systems involving optics, fiber optics, electronics, software, firmware, and mechanical sub-assemblies.
  • Support the mechanical engineering and system engineering leads with the opto-mechanical system design.
  • Oversee the development of optical component, subassembly, and system inspection and test methodology and support transfer to production personnel.
  • Interface with optical component suppliers and support the quote and order process during prototype development.
  • Support new business proposals with preliminary optical designs ideas and performance simulations

  The successful candidate will have most, if not all, of the following qualities/experience:

  • MS or Ph.D with 10+ years’ experience in the development of optical systems, or BS with equivalent experience.
  • Strong background in developing both active and passive optical systems.
  • Expert level experience with ZEMAX or other optical design tools.
  • Experience in tolerance analysis, stray light analysis, environmental analysis
  • Hands-on and laboratory skills in building, testing, validation, and troubleshooting of optical, fiber optic, electrical, and/or mechanical subsystems.
  • Familiarity with beam steering and beam control systems a plus.
  • Familiarity with free-space optical communication systems a plus.
  • Space-based hardware experience a plus
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to manage small programs and small technical teams
  • Self-motivated and self-directed individual, with little supervision necessary


SA Photonics is headquartered in Los Gatos, which has easy reverse commute access to HWY 85 and HWY 17.  SA Photonics provides competitive salaries, a comprehensive benefit package, matching 401k, Employee stock ownership plan and a flexible work schedule.  Our employees enjoy our small teams of very motivated engineers, working on state-of-the art projects.

This will be a full-time, regular position


Due to the nature of much of the work we do, this position is restricted to U.S. Citizens or permanent residents only.

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