Optical Engineer

Penn State University

Electro-Optics Center in Freeport, PA
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
Job Number:
Level/Salary Band:
  • 03 – N – Exempt
  • 04 – O – Exempt
  • 05 – P – Exempt
Work Unit:
Office of The Director
The Electro-Optics Center
Full/Part Time:


The Electro-Optics Center (EOC) at The Pennsylvania State University (PSU), located in Freeport, PA, is seeking an experienced, hands-on optical engineer to support High Energy Laser (HEL) weapon system development programs. This position works closely with other engineers and scientists at the EOC and at DoD customer laboratories in the design, development, integration, and test of optical systems. Responsibilities include: Design and optimize optical systems utilized for HEL collimators, beam expanders, and imaging systems; integration, alignment, and test of optical systems used in HEL weapon systems; design and develop multi-wavelength optical coatings for shared aperture HEL/imaging applications; analyze and troubleshoot image quality, stray light, and radiometric line of sight; model sensor performance in real world optical conditions (atmospheric transmissivity, turbulence); and atmospheric propagation modeling and analysis. A Master’s or PhD in Optics, Physics, Photonics, Imaging Science, or Electrical Engineering is desired. Experience in HEL optical system design and specification, as well as experience specifying and integrating components for laser weapon system development is preferred. Required experience areas include: Zemax or an equivalent optical design software package; use of HEL diagnostic equipment, to include power meters, beam profiling, thermal imaging, wavefront sensors, etc.; image analysis; understanding of opto-mechanics specifically related to military and optical systems; specification of components and subsystem level requirements for vendors; and knowledge of current optics fabrication techniques and limitations. You should possess strong written and verbal communication skills. Eligibility for TS/SCI is also necessary. Candidate selected will be subject to a government security investigation. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply. Employment with the Applied Research Laboratory will require successful completion of a pre-employment drug screen. Typically requires a Bachelor's degree or higher in an Engineering or Science discipline (Master's degree preferred) or higher plus five years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. This is a one-year, fixed-term renewable appointment.

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088