Optical Imaging Engineer Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions
Optical engineers are responsible for the research, design, and testing of devices that use cameras, lasers, microscopes, and refractometers. The devices they design and test are found in many of our modern technologies, including smartphones and computers. They control and manipulate light to use in high-tech devices. Optical imaging engineers work in agriculture, aerospace, lighting, textiles, and design. They design devices used in scientific instruments or optomechanical equipment. Some work with observatories, maintaining telescopes and other astronomical instruments. Optical imaging engineers must have excellent written and verbal communication skills as they write and communicate detailed procedures for operations and equipment use.
Optical imaging engineers should have in-depth knowledge of the properties of light and optics, and a strong background in mathematics and physics as pertains to light and refraction. Exceptional problem-solving abilities and excellent working knowledge of relevant software programs, such as MATLAB, CAD, GIS, DFMA, R Language, and C are crucial for this position. Optical imaging engineers need to stay current on new trends, technologies, and innovations regarding the principles of light.
Sample job description #1
The successful candidate must keep multiple records, be self-motivated, maintain a professional presence, and have the desire to take ownership of projects. If you are a technically strong, organized, confident, experienced, energetic multitasker with conceptual thinking skills, then you will find a rewarding and satisfying home with company ABC.
Create physical optic models of component/system designs and derive tolerances
Produce optical breadboards and present technical data to customers.
Support the production of prototypes and initial volume production work instructions
Assist in optical component sourcing
Prepare and present technical status reviews
M.S. (Ph.D. preferred) in Optical Science/Engineering, Chemistry, or Physics
Capable of basic optical physics hand-calculations and experience with ASAP, GLAD, Zemax, FRED, or other optical modeling software
Fluent in the production of optical breadboards using standard components
Understanding of optical component assembly/packaging processes desired
Strong verbal and written English communication skills
Sample job description #2
Duties and responsibilities
Assumes optical engineering responsibilities for optical component, module, or subsystem design from concept through final qualification
Coordinates with lead optical and opto-mechanical engineers and scientists in transfer to engineering prototypes
Performs component (active and passive) specification, design development, and qualification in the lab and on-system
Delivers qualification reports and makes recommendations for improvements and further work
Processes purchase requisitions, purchase change orders, and requests for quotes to suppliers
Interacts closely with development engineers, supply chain engineers, suppliers, and QA to resolve quality issues
Participates in preliminary and critical design reviews
Performs other duties as required
Education and experience
Master’s degree in applicable field (or bachelor’s with 2+ years work experience in relevant field)
Experience with sequential and non-sequential optical design and analysis software (such as: Zemax, FRED)
Experience with mathematical analysis tools such as MatLab and/or LabView
Experience with working in an optical laboratory and familiarity with optical metrology tools an advantage
Experience with the design and alignment of high-power laser systems and reflective focusing systems an advantage
Familiar with working in gated project development cycle (PDP) an advantage
Requirement to report on project progress with strong written and verbal communication skills
Skilled in using a variety of computer applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, e-mail) required
Solid theoretical and experimental background in some or all of
Optical system and component specification
Optical system design, analysis, and tolerancing
Stray light analysis
High-power NIR solid-state lasers and modulators (EOM, AOM, etc.)
Optical sensors and imaging components
Sample job description #3
Duties and responsibilites
Co-design, assembly, and test of optical systems. Examples of systems include flow cytometers, PCR systems, custom microscopes, and optical sensors requiring unique imaging and illumination systems
Ability to work within an interdisciplinary team
Work with the mechanical engineering team to define tolerances, and alignment methods and implement Optomechanical designs
Perform hands-on tests, with data collection, analysis, and presentation of data to project teams and customers
Provide guidance to manufacturing engineers
Ability to be onsite at our Sunnyvale location for optics testing and support troubleshooting efforts
A proven track record for troubleshooting problems
You need to be confident, capable of collaborating on multiple projects with interdisciplinary teams, and comfortable developing new and existing optics, both independently and in small teams
Your innovation is welcome and encouraged, but you must also be capable of working within project constraints and retaining compatibility with legacy designs
Minimum BSc in applied physics or chemistry with emphasis on optics
At least 2-5 years of experience in a relevant field
Work with senior staff to design optical systems
Assembly and test of imaging and illumination systems
Knowledge of ZEMAX or similar optical simulation packages
Experience with Solidworks preferred
Experience with optical solutions such as lens design, fiber optics, and non-imaging optics preferred
Development of optical systems from concept through prototypes to the introduction of manufacturing is preferred
Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly with interdisciplinary teams, both verbally and in writing
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for an optical imaging engineer is $92,800 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Sample interview questions
What is your experience with optical imaging engineering?
What are the pros and cons of using microscopes for imaging samples?
What are some of the qualifications necessary to be an optical imaging engineer?
How does the resolution of a microscope compare to that of a telescope?
What types of microscopes do you see in use more often, and why?
How would you go about determining whether or not an individual’s microscope is compatible with the software that someone uses?
How would you go about optimizing an optical imaging device for its intended use?
Who are some career figures in this field that people should be aware of?
How does optical imaging differ from electron microscopy?
What are the limitations of optical imaging devices when dealing with certain samples?
How can I ensure that my microscope is properly calibrated?
What is one field in which optical imaging is used more than any other?
Have you done any work with optical microscopes or other imaging devices before? If so, what kind and what was it used for?
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