Optical Design Engineer

STFC - The Science and Technology Facilities Council

About Us

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science and engineering.

STFC’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) is the national centre for the design and development of astronomical instruments, telescopes and systems for both ground-based and space-based astronomy programmes. Our customers are the leading observatories and astronomical organisations worldwide such as ESO, ESA and NASA.

About The Role

We now have a new opportunity for an experienced Optical Design Engineer to join the Applied Optics group within UK ATC, to support our growing, existing and future programmes.

The Optical Engineer will be involved in a number of projects, ranging in size from small design studies to large instrumentation projects, often involving multi-national collaboration. You will be expected to take a lead optical engineering role in a high profile instrumentation project and to represent STFC within the wider community. You may be involved at any stage of a project, from working with astronomers defining requirements and generating conceptual designs for new instrumentation through to commissioning of instruments at a telescope site. Your role will involve designing and analysing optical systems, testing optical components, supporting the integration and testing of instrumentation and commissioning of instrumentation.

Some travel will be involved to partner organisations worldwide, potentially including extended periods at remote telescope sites.

Successful applicants will be appointed at either Band D or Band E of STFC’s staffing hierarchy, depending on the strength of your skills, experience and qualifications.

About You

You will hold a Post Graduate qualification in a relevant science or engineering discipline, with PhD level qualification desirable.

You will have significant experience working in an optical engineering role, including experience of design of optical systems, along with experience of using Zemax/Optic Studio software in an optical design and analysis role.

You should also demonstrate experience in some of the following areas:

  • Design, construction and testing of optical systems for astronomical instrumentation.
  • Design and/or testing optics in a cryogenic environment.
  • Optical system analysis such as stray light analysis, opto-mechanical analysis, etc.
  • Design, construction and testing of optical fibre systems.
  • Hands on experience of other optical design software (e.g. Code V, TracePro).
  • Scientific data analysis software (e.g IDL, Python, Matlab).
  • CAD software (e.g. Autodesk Inventor or similar).
  • Team leadership and/or project management in an engineering environment.

Excellent communication, interpersonal and presentation skills are required.


An exceptional index linked pension scheme, 30 days leave allowance and flexible working are offered.

To Apply

Applicants are required to include a cover letter outlining their suitability for this role. Please also state where you saw this role advertised.

The closing date for applications is 30th October 2016, however, we encourage early applications as some candidates may be interviewed before this date.

Applications are handled by UK SBS; please visit our job board at http://www.topcareer.jobs/Vacancy/irc233249_6762.aspx .

Applicants who are unable to apply online should contact us by telephone on 01793 867000.

Share this job
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role: