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Technical Writer

Thorlabs, Inc., Sterling, VA, 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

The position’s primary responsibility is to strengthen Thorlabs’ position as a leading manufacturer of Imaging System products through the development of effective product presentations for our website, catalog, and tradeshows based upon information from Engineering and Business Unit Leaders. Create and update technical documentation on products for the web and for the catalog. Create and maintain technical presentation material, white papers, and other collateral. In addition to writing will supply technical support to the customers, verbal or written. Create sales synergies between the product lines by being an integral part of the Thorlabs Technical Sales network. This position requires a high degree of drive, interaction, and communication with customers, sales, engineering and business leaders. Although the location of the position is in Sterling, VA, 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:

  • Develop and maintain user documentation, including user manuals, application notes, installation manuals, assembly instructions, and other customer-focused materials, to aid customers and users in learning and operating new products.
  • Write scientific and technical specifications, marketing materials and user instructions and manuals for products, processes and services for internal and external use that include but are not limited to the following: mechanical drawings, optical diagrams, wiring diagrams, images and illustrations.
  • Interact with SMEs to gather product requirements, detailed functional specifications, and design descriptions, to make sure that new products and product enhancements are adequately defined, well-understood, and approved.
  • Perform feature, functionality, and user experience testing for the contents of the documentation of new products. Quickly identify, capture, and resolve action items that might affect new product introduction.
  • Ensures and maintain documentation in a standard format following established guidelines.
  • Photograph consumer products. Creates or Edit Illustrations/Images using Photoshop, Illustrator.
  • Review new product presentations, web page updates, and other marketing materials created by technical marketers, ensuring they follow Thorlabs’ standards and are technically sound
  • Assist other non-technical writer team members on any documentation tasks

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

  • Interface with a variety of teams to introduce new products in the market. Team include research, engineering (mechanics, optics, electronics, firmware, software), manufacturing, marketing and sales.
  • Introduce new products into the market after project has been transferred from engineering.
  • Facilitate the developments of documentation, instructions and procedures that improve manufacturability of new products.
  • Provide customer-orientated presentations and documentation to ease use of product
  • Propose and support development of new products or improvement of existing products
  • Support all other NPI Team members in order to meet project timelines
  • Document all project inputs and outputs in ECRO process
Job Requirements



  • 0-3 years’ experience in related area
  • Prior photonics lab experience is desirable.


  • Bachelor's, Master's or Ph.D in Biology, Imaging, Physics, Optics, Lasers, or a related field

Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Strong interpersonal skills for working in a team environment.
  • Willing to constantly learn new technologies, new applications and new developed products. Strong organizational and planning skills.
  • Able to multitask, be detail oriented, solve problems, and can work under time constraints
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills in English.
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Work in multi-disciplinary team
  • Madcap Flare, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, SolidWorks, AXAPTA


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.

06 April 2021
06 May 2021
High School
Editor / Technical Writer
Optical Components, Lasers, Sensors
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