Applications Specialist

Founded in 1989, Thorlabs has been serving the photonics industry for over 25 years. During that time, our worldwide presence has grown to include 15 offices in 9 countries with over 1500 employees. Each location provides a local presence within the community it serves. These local operations allow for customer dialogues that better inform our understanding of regional needs and how they fit within the worldwide picture. Today, our portfolio includes over 15,000 items, many of which are customer inspired.

Founded in Newton, NJ, the company still calls the town home today. Nestled in rural Sussex County, NJ, Thorlabs is within close proximity to New York City, the Delaware Water Gap, various lakes, state parks, and outdoor areas.

Thorlabs is privileged to play a role in the work of tens of thousands of researchers throughout the world through the products we provide. We are committed to building a company that achieves its competitive advantage from its fundamental understanding of the community of customers we serve.

Purpose of the Position

The Life Science Applications Specialist is responsible for the training and support of customers on laser scanning microscopy instruments, including confocal and multiphoton microscopes. An in depth knowledge of light microscopy, laser scanning microscopy and their biomedical applications is essential. The applications specialist will provide pre and post-sales support including system troubleshooting, applications development, and customer training during installation. The candidate will also provide technical and applications support at tradeshows, courses and demonstrations. 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:

  • Provide technical support and training on all laser scanning microscopy products over the telephone and in person.
  • Ensure a high level of customer satisfaction through timely resolution of issues.
  • Ability to install and upgrade systems in the field.
  • Collect and convey application information through interactions with customers and provide detailed feedback to product management and engineering
  • Interface with sales and engineering teams across multiple divisions within the company
  • Assist in the development of application targeted marketing collateral

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.

Physical Activities:

No physical demands required to perform duties.



  • Experience using laser scanning microscopes.
  • Hands on laboratory experience with microscopy imaging protocols. In-vivo imaging, electrophysiology or tissue engineering a plus.
  • Minimum of one year in a technical support role.


  • BS, MS, Ph.D. in Engineering (Biomedical, Mechanical, Electrical), Neuroscience, Biomedical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Biophotonics, Biophysics or Physics. Graduate degree preferred

Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • In-depth knowledge of light microscopy and digital imaging including, but not limited to, fluorescence microscopy, confocal microscopy, and nonlinear microscopy.
  • Knowledge of biomedical imaging protocols used in advanced research
  • Understanding of optical principles including lenses, filters, mirrors, fiber optics, and lasers (CW and Ultrafast).
  • Understanding of biological systems.
  • Experience providing technical support and education on advanced imaging equipment and scientific applications
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Excellent written, verbal, organizational and interpersonal skills.


Willingness for travel, including weekends, sometimes with short notice.

Organizational Relationships

Direct Reports:

This position has no direct supervisory responsibilities.

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