What Does an Optical Imaging Engineer Do?
An optical imaging engineer designs, develops, and maintains imaging systems that use optical technology. In addition to working with medical imaging equipment, cameras, and telescopes, they ensure that these systems are reliable and produce high-quality images.
Optical imaging engineers should be well-versed in optical technology and imaging systems, as well as software development, signal processing, and image analysis. In addition, they should be able to work well in a team environment and have excellent communication skills.
These 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 also crucial for success in this position.
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National Average Salary
Optical imaging engineer salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Optical Imaging Engineer is:
Optical Imaging Engineer Job Descriptions
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
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
- 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.)
- Polarization management
- Optical sensors and imaging components
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
Sample Interview Questions
- What inspired you to become an optical imaging engineer, and what imaging systems experience do you have?
- What tools do you use to develop imaging software, and what is your experience with software development?
- To ensure that image data is accurate and useful, how do you analyze image data?
- What steps do you take to ensure that imaging systems produce high-quality images based on your experience with optical technology?
- What techniques do you use to ensure that imaging systems are reliable and meet customer needs?
- To learn about new techniques and technologies, what resources do you use to keep up with new developments in optical technology?
- Is there a project that you worked on with other engineers that required collaboration? What was your role in the project?
- What approach did you take when troubleshooting an imaging system?
- What are your strategies for communicating effectively and professionally with team members, customers, and other stakeholders?
- Could you describe your experience with signal processing, and how do you ensure that signals are processed correctly?