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Sustainable Packaging Engineer

Thorlabs, Inc., Newton, NJ, United States
Employer Description

Founded in 1989, Thorlabs seeks to accelerate the forward movement of scientific discovery and advancement! As a vertically integrated manufacturer of photonics components, instruments, and systems, our vast product portfolio includes over 20,000 items, ranging from optics and optomechanical positioning components to imaging systems, many of which are customer inspired.

Photonics is the foremost technology driving innovation in science and engineering. As the number of technological innovations has grown, Thorlabs has extended its core competencies in an effort to play an ever increasing role serving the Photonics Industry at the research end, as well as the industrial, life science, medical, and defense segments.

Headquartered in Newton, NJ, Thorlabs has grown to over 1800 employees with manufacturing and sales offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, China, and Brazil. As light-based technologies push into new markets, Thorlabs plans to enter early with the products and services required to ensure the ultimate success of our customers.

Job Description

Purpose of the Position

Thorlabs is seeking a Packaging Engineer with intimate knowledge of environmental impact to lead our green packaging efforts. This individual will design and develop solutions for the packaging of delicate photonics equipment of diverse shapes, sizes, and compositions. This individual will work directly with engineering, production, inventory, and distribution to improve the way we deliver product to our customers.

Essential Job Functions include the following, but are not limited to:

  • Designs, tests, and upgrades finished product packaging in line with Thorlabs’ green packaging efforts to deliver products to customers safely while minimizing the impact on the environment.
  • Understands the required degree of cleanliness and protection that impacts yield, returns, and quality.
  • Analyzes and upgrades existing packaging materials and designs for optimal performance and aesthetics while minimizing environmental impact.
  • Manages a library of acceptable packaging solutions.
  • Stays informed of the latest packaging trends within and outside of the photonics industry.
  • Provides expertise and assistance to engineering and production managers to guide packaging design.
  • Operates testing equipment to understand the impact of material changes to packaging designs.
  • Provides technical support to the supply chain for packaging related issues.
  • Analyzes how packaging characteristics affect manufacturing quality and throughput.
  • Employs techniques for space efficiency and equipment compatibility.
  • Finds opportunities to reduce waste, costs, and increase the useful lifetime or recyclability of materials.
  • Assists in complete support of package handling. Includes aid in tooling, jigs, storage locations, handling tools, and processes.
  • Works with incumbent and new vendors to identify and evaluate novel materials and packaging formats.
  • Manages technical timelines, provides timely communication, raises issues and risks, and develops plans to development packaging solutions.

In addition to the essential functions and duties listed above, all positions are also responsible for:

  • Meeting company standards pertaining to quantity and quality of work performed on an ongoing basis, performing all work-related tasks in a manner that is in compliance with all Company policies and procedures.
  • Adhering to Company policies, procedures, and directives regarding standards of workplace behavior in completing job duties and assignments.

The Company retains the right to change or assign other duties to this position.



  • 1-3 Years
  • Experience with Solidworks or other CAD software for creating technical Drawings
  • Understanding the environmental impact of different materials
  • Understanding shipping conditions/environments and how to test for effectiveness.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Materials Science, Packaging Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Industrial Design, Logistics, Science, Engineering, Design, or related fields

Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Problem solving skills for packaging design and modification.
  • Ability to interact with vendors.
  • Familiarity of the nuances between different sustainable materials and how to work with them.
  • Conceptualizing flow from vendor to customer.
  • Familiarity with vacuum sealing and outgassing is a plus.
  • Tool and fixture design experience is a plus.
  • Machining experience is a plus.
  • Injection molding experience or knowledge is a plus

Thorlabs values its diverse environment and is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified individuals will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status. Job descriptions are not intended as and do not create employment contracts. The organization maintains its status as an at-will employer. Employees can be terminated for any reason not prohibited by law.

22 February 2021
24 March 2021
Bachelor's Degree
Optical Components, Lasers, Sensors
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