Sr. Design Engineer, Optical

Providing answers. From the extremes of the rain forests in South America to the harsh conditions of the Antarctic, and to cutting edge research laboratories around the globe, scientists rely on products from LI-COR Biosciences to provide answers to their questions.

LI-COR first introduced scientific instruments for plant science research and quickly grew to provide scientists tools for such diverse disciplines as atmospheric research and the study of how proteins interact at the cellular level.

LI-COR Biosciences is a global leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of high quality, innovative instruments, software, reagents, and integrated systems for plant biology, biotechnology, drug discovery, and environmental research.

Come see us at Photonics West January 31 – February 1!

This position will lead the optical design and development of world-class instrumentation for LI-COR’s Environmental product line, especially for laser-based gas analyzers.

Joining the Optical Group of the Engineering Department, this position will join a multi-disciplined, dynamic, concurrent development team of other highly talented engineers and technicians to create, design, specify, build, test, and support optical systems and subsystems from the component to the system level. The candidate will participate in the full range of product development, including: product requirements definition, optical system architecture development, component specification, system integration, optical design and development, testing, verification and production support. This position interfaces with many other departments in the company, including Marketing, Environmental Advanced R&D, Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing and Technical Support. This position may require travel to support field testing, trade show activities, customer visits.

Position Responsibilities

1. Technology Development

  • Develop new optical technologies and technological capabilities for use in LI-COR’s Environmental instrumentation products, especially related to systems utilizing gas-phase spectroscopy methods and techniques utilizing lasers, wide-band optical sources, and external cavities. This includes developing intellectual property, trade secret capabilities and new core competencies in optical technology and optical manufacturing methods.

2. Product Development and Current Product Support

  • This position will be an optical team leader in the design, specification, development and testing of optical components, subsystems and systems, for the development and support of instrumentation for the Environmental product line.

          They will:

  • Participate in product requirement definition.
  • Contribute to the optical architecture development.
  • Lead the design, development, specification, assembly, alignment, testing and documentation of optical components, sub-systems and systems.
  • Design and validate procedures for evaluating the performance of various optical components, subsystems and systems.
  • Interact with both internal and external manufacturers to support new product designs and current product manufacture.
  • Develop efficient optical alignment and performance testing procedures and fixtures for engineering and manufacturing.
  • Direct and/or perform system testing to ensure the product meets specifications and expectations.
  • Support the manufacture of both current and future LI-COR products.
  • Mentor and train other engineers.


  • B.S. or M.S. in Optical Engineering or Optical Sciences.


  • Minimum seven (7) years of industry experience in the design, development and manufacturing of commercial laser based instrumentation systems. Demonstrated knowledge and experience with laser diode based systems incorporating external cavities is highly preferred.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in production-centric laser alignment techniques.
  • Sustained record of independent creative design activity and expertise with optical systems and subsystems.
  • Sustained record of product development and problem solving experience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and creative abilities in the design and specification of optical systems and subsystems from the component level to the system level.
  • Demonstrated skills using optical modeling software tools such as OSLO and TracePro.
  • Ability to mentor and train others to accomplish technical goals.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of LabVIEW software is highly desired.


  • Demonstrated strong understanding of optical engineering fundamentals and principles.
  • Demonstrated strong understanding of optical design, component specification, development, testing, and design for manufacturability.
  • Demonstrated ability to make sound engineering decisions.
  • Demonstrated creativity and high insight, curiosity, problem solving ability, and attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated strong abilities in both verbal and written communications in English.
  • Demonstrated ability to listen and understand.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well in teams, with multiple disciplines and cultures.
  • Is a self-starter and self-motivated.
  • Demonstrated high ethics, integrity, honesty, perseverance.
  • Willingness to travel–to trade shows, technical conferences, customer sites. Occasional overnight and some international travel may be required.

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