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Staff Optical Systems Engineer


Thermo Fisher Scientific

Job Location

180 Oyster Point Blvd.
South San Francisco, CA 94080
United States


Join the forefront of innovation in genetic analysis for research & clinical applications. Our teams develop platforms, consumables, and reagents that help fight COVID-19 pandemic, bring criminals to justice, ensure reproductive health, accelerate disease research, advance methods for syndromic testing of infectious diseases and viruses, and keep the world’s food supply safe. As the leading provider of genetic analysis solutions and leveraging our resources, our technologies have great impact worldwide. As a member of our team, you can play a critical role in helping us fulfill our global mission of making the world healthier, cleaner, and safer.

Job Description

How will you make an impact?

Staff Optical Systems Engineers are key to developing instrument and consumable products in the Genetic Sciences Division. This individual leads system definition & system integration aspects of product development in collaboration with highly technical and specialized engineering professionals and scientists to develop instruments and applications for our world class qPCR, Capillary Electrophoresis, Rapid DNA, and Microarray platforms in both RUO and IVD markets.


What will you do?

Define, design, implement, and characterize the optical detection systems as a member of multidisciplinary R&D project teams developing new analytic instruments for molecular biology. Provide optical system design expertise to development teams in the following ways:

  • Specify system(s) of optics to either deliver excitation to samples or collect emitted radiation and transport it to detection region.
  • Perform optical analysis to demonstrate the optical detection concept compliance with specifications.
  • Establish tolerances for optics that balance cost and performance to meet cost and performance targets in instrument specification and schedule milestones in product development plan.
  • Work with mechanical engineer in design of optomechanical assemblies that meet the specification of the optical detection subsystem.
  • Assemble, align, activate, and test prototype optical systems in laboratory environment.
  • Develop optical alignment and other manufacturing procedures according to Product Development Guidelines.



  • B.S. in Optics or Physics and a minimum of 7 years of experience, M.S. in Optics or Physics and a minimum of 5 years of experience, or a Ph.D. in Optics or Physics and a minimum of 3 years of experience.
  • Experience in an R&D development environment focused on biological instrument design. Experience in the use of gratings, filters, mirrors, photodiode, CCD/CMOS, LED and other light sources.
  • Hands-on experience with optical systems in lab and manufacturing environment essential.
  • Intimate knowledge of optical modeling software packages such as ZEMAX, Code V, or OSLO, plus non sequential ray tracing tools.
  • Knowledge of mounting, bonding, and adjustment of optical components.
  • Familiarity with MatLab or other mathematical software tools packages is very desirable.
  • Excellent communication and documentation skills.
  • Strong problem-solving skills and the ability to respond quickly to changes in project requirements.

Preferred Experience:

  • Expertise in developing imaging based life science and diagnostics systems
  • Considerable experience in developing moderate complexity integrated life sciences or clinical instrumentation, consumables, and software in an IVD environment
  • Demonstrable expertise in systems engineering processes, from requirements gathering and risk analysis to statistical power in validation
  • A solid understanding of genetic analysis tools, workflows, and chemistry in at least one of these areas: CE Sanger sequencing, qPCR, microarray, or sample preparation
  • Demonstrated experience working across multi-disciplined teams / cross - functional teams –scientists, engineers and software personnel. Demonstrated success at networking across the company.
  • Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to efficiently evaluate, prioritize and handle multiple and changing programs/projects and priorities.
  • Experience in working with regulatory teams and knowledge of regulatory agency requirements. This includes, QSR - 21 CFR 820.30, 21CFR Part 11, ISO13485, ISO62304, and international regulatory requirements

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • Fosters collaborative relationships and builds credibility across functions/teams
  • Inspires, influences, and empowers employees across a global matrix to achieve goals
  • Able to decisively lead and empower teams to develop impactful strategies and plans

How to Apply

Please submit your resume on our website

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About Our Organization

About Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with annual revenue exceeding $30 billion. Our Mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. Whether our customers are accelerating life sciences research, solving complex analytical challenges, improving patient diagnostics and therapies or increasing productivity in their laboratories, we are here to support them. Our global team of more than 80,000 colleagues delivers an unrivaled combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and pharmaceutical services through our industry-leading brands, including Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, Unity Lab Services and Patheon. For more information, please visit