Optical or Photonics Engineer

Do you enjoy working with state-of-the-art optical communications and sensing systems on highly multi-disciplinary teams? Are you motivated by challenging and impactful work of national importance?

As part of the Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems (EO/IR) and Technologies Group you will contribute to the research, design, development, and testing of advanced optical communications and sensor systems and instrumentation. The breath of these projects includes optical, electrical and RF subsystems for applications in free-space optical communications and EO/IR sensing. You will have opportunities to formally document work in sponsor briefings and reports, academic journals, and conference presentations.

Duties (Listed in order of importance with the estimated amount of time spentat each task):

1. Research, design, develop, test, and conduct systems engineering activities of advanced prototype instrumentation and systems. Evaluate optical, opto-mechanical, electrical, and RF hardware through laboratory testing using test instrumentation including imaging systems, active laser systems, spectrum analyzers, and other test equipment (40%).

2. Develop algorithms, models, simulations and/or software for concept evaluation, data analysis, experiment automation and/or subsystem control and testing (30%).

3. Support field integration and testing activities of prototype optical and photonic systems and sensors (15%).

4. Document results of development and testing. Provide both written documentation and oral presentations, including sponsor briefs, publication of conference proceedings, and journal articles (15%).

Required Qualifications:

  • B.S. degree in electrical engineering, optics, physics, or closely related field with 3 years of experience in these fields
  • Experience with laser beam control systems, EO/IR sensors, laser communications systems, atmospheric modeling, adaptive optics systems and/or fiber optics
  • Experience with optical and RF test and measurement equipment and laboratory tools
  • Familiarity with Matlab, Python, C/C and/or LabView
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to support travel for meetings or field tests locally and out-of-state
  • Ability to obtain and maintain Secret or higher clearance


You'll go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you have:

  • M.S. degree with 3 years of experience or Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering, optics, physics, or closely related field
  • Experience with the design, development, integration, testing, and systems engineering of complex optical communications and/or EO/IR sensor systems
  • Desire to contribute to the development of programs focusing on innovative laser communications and EO/IR systems and sensors.
  • Experience with complex data analysis, system modeling, experiment automation, algorithm development and/or software development in Matlab, Labview and/or C.
  • Top Secret or higher clearance


Why work at APL?

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation's most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. With a wide selection of challenging, impactful work and a robust education assistance program, APL promotes a culture of life-long learning. Our employees enjoy generous benefits and healthy work/life balance. APL's campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities atwww.jhuapl.edu/careers.

APL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

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