PLM System Engineer

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 Approximately 2,300 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.

The Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) System Engineer will be responsible for supporting Thorlabs’ PLM system. This individual will support the PLM environment including user support, data migration, CAD integration and developing a test framework. The successful candidate will be responsible for collaborating with Engineering, IT (Information Technology), Dynamics ERP (Axapta/D365) and technical staff to implement, maintain and improve the quality and efficiency of our PLM system and its connections, such as ERP and CAD with the support of the PLM Process Manager. The PLM System Engineer will be responsible for providing technical support for the PLM system and will need to be intimately knowledgeable of the system.

This position will report into Corporate Headquarters in Newton, N.J. but may be located in NJ, CO, MI, MD, VA, SC, or NH This position may require travel.

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

  • Act as the first point of contact for problem resolution and resolve key systemic issues

Onboard new PLM users.

  • Support end users in installing PLM with the support of IT.
  • Support various user issues like workflow issues, PLM-CAD integration issues, import/export issues, with the support of IT.
  • Work with business users to document, implement and test PLM and CAD releases prior to production rollouts including regression testing on all updates.
  • Develop and maintain PLM system documentation, including user manuals, standard operating procedures, and training materials.
  • Identify and implement PLM configuration changes to improve performance, data quality, and user experience.
  • Plan and execute, with the help of Thorlabs’ ERP and IT teams, data conversion and bulk uploads of CAD, document, item, and bill of material data.
  • Review, load and maintain templates, standard notes and standard parts within PLM CAD libraries.
  • Work with the Thorlabs ERP team to ensure maintenance schedules are pre-approved and acknowledged by impacted business teams.
  • Verification of Privileges, Workflows, Roles, Users and User Groups, Attributes and classes in the PLM application.

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

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.


  • Experience:
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in engineering related ERP functions.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience with CAD software
  • Skilled in analyzing process and data flows.
  • Ability to navigate ambiguity, resolve user issues, and work autonomously to solve problems.


  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, Computer Science, or related field, or equivalent industry experience.

Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Understanding of problem-solving skills and lean process improvement methodologies
  • Familiar with training business users with new processes and technologies
  • Proficiency in CAD software
  • SolidWorks or Altium knowledge a plus.
  • Familiarity in Bluestar PLM a plus
  • Experience of ERP systems
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 experience a plus

Physical Activities: The employee is occasionally required to stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl. The employee must frequently lift and move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and move up to 25 pounds.

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