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Optical Design Scientist Or Engineer

About the Role
NPL is seeking an experienced Higher Research Scientist based in Teddington to plan and deliver a number of technical activities to take our research to the next level. This full-time Research Scientist job comes with a generous salary and benefits package.

As a Higher - Research Scientist, you'll be expected to acquire new knowledge to find solutions to advance our research. Also, if commercial opportunities arise from your work, you'll need to flag these – as this is how new products and services are born. At NPL, we learn from each other, respect each other, and work together to do better for ourselves and our customers.

Your primary responsibilities will include:

●Sharing your learnings so that we all benefit and mentoring those with less experience than you
●Developing partnerships to strengthen our capability
●Acting as an ambassador for our work externally and being willing to promote what we do
●Providing technical support for any bids, we may be undertaking
About You
We are seeking to recruit a talented Optical Instrumentation Design Engineer/Scientist to join our world-leading Optical Radiation Measurement Group. The work area will involve the design, assembly, development and testing of optical and instrumentation (source and detection systems) operating in the UV, visible and near-IR for a range of demanding laboratory and field application including the pre-flight and in-flight calibration, characterisation and validation of satellite instrumentation. The role will develop bespoke state-of-the-art optical systems that directly or indirectly facilitate the robust traceable calibration and validation of the next generation of Earth Observation missions through the development of methods and capability at NPL.

This exciting role will provide the opportunity to work with academic and industrial partners both in the UK and internationally, attend and present at international conferences and lead and contribute to peer-reviewed publications in a range of sectors related to metrology & remote sensing applications.

We are looking for candidates who have a passion for experimental research and can demonstrate self-motivated ingenuity, innovation, drive and creativity.

Candidates should have as a minimum, a degree in a relevant technical subject (e.g. Physics, Engineering, Mathematics) and be educated to Masters Level or higher in Optics / Applied Physics / Engineering or similar relevant discipline with experience within academia or the space/aerospace industry in research-based optical instrument design, assembly and testing.

Excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential. The successful candidate will be encouraged to pursue continual professional development, further academic qualifications, membership of professional bodies (which will be subsidised), and they will receive extensive on-the-job training and support.


Optical design and optimisation (UV-VIS-NIR) including concept feasibility, cost effectiveness and design for manufacture.
Optical Analysis (modelling & verification testing).
Optical component assembly & testing.
Calculations of radiometric properties against specification.
Instrumentation operation in clean room & vacuum environments.
Work closely with fellow team members (scientists, mechanical and system engineers) within the business including advisory and consultancy roles.
Work closely with suppliers, collaborators and customers.
Reporting and contributing technically to bids & proposals.
Essential Skills/Experience

A high level of understanding of optics and the principals of optical design.
Demonstrable extensive experience in research-grade optical instrument design, assembly and testing.
Masters Level or higher in Optics / Applied Physics / Optical Engineering or similar relevant discipline
Relevant experience with laser systems.
Analytical programing skills in a high level language (such as Matlab, IDL or Python).
Enthusiastic, with strong verbal and written communication skills & comfortable working closely with partners and customers.
Excellent team working skills.
Excellent problem solving skills, turning requirements into feasible technical solutions.
Fluent English spoken and written, IELTS 6.5 or equivalent
Desirable Skills/Experience

A PhD in a related field (Applied Physics, Engineering, Earth Observation instrumentation.)
Formal training in optical design and optical design software (e.g. Zemax).
An understanding of the system engineering (thermal & mechanical etc.) implications of the use of optical systems in clean room and vacuum environments.
Experience with fibre optic-based optical systems and optical material selection in the UV-VIS-NIR.
Programing skills in laboratory instrument control (e.g. Labview)
The successful candidate may be required to work for extended periods at customer sites in the UK and Europe.

Candidates must be eligible to work in the UK.

Keywords: Optics, Optical design, Zemax, Metrology, Space, Climate

Please note: Applications will be reviewed, and interviews conducted throughout the duration of this advert therefore we may at any time bring the closing date forward. We encourage all interested applicants to apply as soon as practical.
About The Company
NPL and BEIS have strong commitments to diversity and equality of opportunity, and welcome applications from candidates irrespective of their background, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or age, providing they meet the required criteria. Applications from women, disabled and BAME candidates in particular are encouraged. All disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy the minimum criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview under the Disability Confident Scheme.

We’re transforming. As a national laboratory, we’re exploring even more commercial routes to market and that’s presenting us with greater opportunity – for you and us. Our success relies on the diversity and talent of our people, we strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued and supported to excel in their chosen field. This value is at the core of our organisation.

We believe in a culture of fairness by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, background or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work. At NPL we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Flexible working and social activities are embedded in our culture to create a positive work-life balance, along with a broad range of benefits. NPL’s values are at the heart of what we do and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.

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