Optical Engineer IV

  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Pasadena, CA
  • Mar 21, 2019

Job Description

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Optical Engineer IV


Job ID: 2019-10361
Type: Regular Full-Time
# of Openings: 1
Category: Engineering


New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission—your opportunity—is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL.

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.


The Wavefront Sensing & Control Group works on cutting-edge concepts and instruments for Earth-observing and astrophysical missions. People in the group work on design, analysis, implementation and testing of complex optical systems that use active and adaptive optics to compensate for changes in the intervening optical medium and/or in instrument environment. These systems lie at the core of instruments intended to provide high-resolution imagery and isolation of terrestrial and astronomical objects, e.g. propagation of seismic waves during earthquakes and planets orbiting other stars.

As a member of the Optics Section’s Wavefront Sensing & Control Group, you will support and lead optical design, analysis and delivery efforts on existing JPL projects, e.g. WFIRST Coronagraph, and also participate in design and development of optical systems for future NASA and other Government agency missions. Specific responsibilities will include: leading optical design teams; development of requirements and error budgets for optical instruments; image-based analysis as a means of assessing instrument performance; design, fabrication, integration and alignment of optical components and systems; and conceptual design and planning for future active/adaptive optics-based instruments.


  • Bachelors degree in Optical Engineering, Physics, Aerospace or related technical discipline with typically a minimum of 9 years of related experience; Masters degree in similar disciplines with a minimum of 7 years of related experience; or PhD in similar disciplines with at least 5 years related experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to apply principles, tools and practices of image analysis
  • Demonstrated proficiency Zemax, CODE-V, or comparable optical design tool
  • Experience leading and managing small technical teams
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Having one or more of the following skills would be beneficial:

  • Experience with air- or space-borne optical instruments
  • Experience with one or more of the following: high contrast imaging; wavefront sensing and control; active optics using deformable mirrors
  • Proficiency in one or more of the following: Solidworks, IDL, Matlab, LabVIEW

Caltech/JPL is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action employer. It is the policy of Caltech/JPL to provide equal employment opportunities, actively recruit, and include for employment consideration all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.