Optics and Photonics Research Assitant


The Research Assistant in Optics and Photonics will assist in the advancement of technological capabilities for future astronomical instrumentation – initial projects include development of adaptive optics for the Lowell Discovery Telescope (LDT) and laboratory testing of photonic OH suppression technologies for ground-based infrared observing. This position will be part of the Lowell Observatory Instrumentation Group and will be supervised by the Head of Instrumentation. 

The Research Assistant will work closely with the scientists of the Observatory’s Optics and Photonics Applications Laboratory (OPAL) – specifically, LDT Telescope Scientist Stephen Levine and Director of Technology Kyler Kuehn. 

This position is full-time for an initial period of 3 years, with the possibility of a longer-term appointment, contingent upon successful job performance and continued funding.  This position is ideal for an early-career scientist considering a career in astronomy/astronomical instrumentation, but who has not yet committed to a PhD program.


The Research Assistant will work in collaboration with Drs. Levine and Kuehn, as well as other project team members, on the application of cutting-edge optics and photonics technologies to astronomical instrumentation. The Research Assistant will focus on advancing OPAL’s adaptive optics test stand to the point where that technology can be integrated with the instruments on the 4.3-m Lowell Discovery Telescope. In addition, the Research Assistant will contribute to laboratory-based testing of photonic technologies designed to suppress atmospheric OH emission, thereby improving the performance of ground-based infrared instruments.


The Research Assistant will possess, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in a relevant technical field such as astronomy, physics, optical engineering or related discipline.  Successful applicants will have experience with the application of optics and or photonics to technical/scientific problems, either through undergraduate laboratory coursework or relevant employment.  Regular meetings with project team members and supervisors will take place to guide the Research Assistant’s efforts, but in general they will be encouraged to work independently. They must be able to prioritize tasks, set schedules, troubleshoot problems, and complete complex tasks on time and within deadlines.

Applicants should specify in their cover letter why they are interested in this position and how it may fit with their long-term career plans.

Apply Here: https://spiecareercenter.org/jobs/5377316