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Manufacturing Engineer, Optics

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

This position is responsible for the daily support of one or multiple manufacturing teams producing Optics, Fiber Optics, and/or Opto-Mechanical assemblies as well as completing projects related to the assigned area(s). Working within the Manufacturing Engineering system the key goals are: Product line and defect rate quality, on time delivery and schedule attainment, and profit optimization.

Although the location of the position is in Newton, NJ, from time to time it may be required to undertake duties at other ThorLabs locations.


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

  • Knowledge of assigned area(s) manufacturing and metrology skills to provide daily support.
  • Data collection and analysis using centralized database system for Statistical Process Control.
  • Problem solving: responsible for identifying problems, and providing solutions for manufacturing issues.
  • Participate in design reviews with engineering department to help identify and discuss proper procedures and potential issues with newly developed products prior to releasing for production.
  • Develop new processes and equipment in support of R&D and Product Development teams.
  • Training and collaboration with production personnel to continue improving on existing manufacturing and testing processes throughout the division.
  • Collaborate with the RMA and service departments to help inspect and disposition customer returns from the field. Identify, and assist in implementing root cause analysis and corrective actions to prevent future failures.
  • Collaborate with shop floor technicians and assembly personnel to create or make necessary revisions to manufacturing documentation for Optics division products.
  • Create necessary jigs and fixtures to improve production efficiency or reduce component damage and waste.
  • Help create and maintain production routing steps and timing for newly released and existing products.
  • Keep current with newest manufacturing techniques within the industry and look for opportunities to implement.


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 complies 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.


Physical Activities:

The employee must frequently lift or move objects up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift or move objects up to 25 pounds. The noise level in the work environment can be what is expected on a manufacturing shop floor where heavy machinery and tools are used.


Job Requirements



5 years of work experience in a related field or education level stated below.


Minimum Bachelor’s Degree in Physics, Materials Science, Engineering (Optical, Mechanical, Manufacturing, Industrial, etc.), or equivalent

Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Basic computer knowledge and Microsoft Office skills.
  • Experience with 3D modeling, Drafting, and/or GD&T using programs like SolidWorks a plus.
  • Experience with programming software and databases for modeling and building applications to support manufacturing using programs like MatLab, LabView, Visual Basic, and Access a plus.
  • Experience with quality improvement tools and techniques (i.e., Lean, Six Sigma, Process Control, and Failure Mode & Effects Analysis).
  • Technical and/or Manufacturing knowledge in the field of Optics, Fiber Optics, and/or Opto-Mechanics.
  • Experience with metrology equipment such as calipers, microscopes, interferometers, and spectrophotometers.
  • Hands on experience in a lab or manufacturing environment.
  • Strong ability to work well in a group atmosphere, and comply with high quality standards.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Flexibility.

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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