Optical Instrument Engineer

Company Details


For those who dream of advancing our space in the Universe and on Earth, we’ll take you there.

Job Details


For those who dream of advancing our space in the Universe and on Earth, we’ll take you there.

Serving the world from our Canadian home and our global offices, MDA is an international space mission partner and robotics & space operations, satellite systems and geointelligence pioneer with a 50-year story of firsts on and above the Earth. Today, we’re leading the charge towards viable Moon colonies, enhanced Earth observation, communication in a hyper-connected world, and more.

We’re fueled by a pioneering spirit that carries us beyond. And together we enable highly skilled people to continually push boundaries and tackle big challenges requiring solutions that endure and inspire.

Are you ready to launch the next stage of your career in the new space economy? We would love to hear from you!

We’re on the hunt for a Optical Instrument Engineer on our Satellite Systems team at our Didcot, UK office. (Harwell Campus)

MDA’s international footprint in the UK creates opportunities to work with some of the most exciting space industrial players in the country. Delivering all three business area capabilities in Geointelligence, Robotics & Space Operations, and Satellite Systems, our UK team provides support to our European-based customers while specializing in the development of advanced space sensors for exploration missions as well as space-based communication technology. As our presence grows overseas, so does our need for new ambitious team players to help us advance our place in the Universe and beyond.


This role provides an opportunity to join a small and enthusiastic UK team developing equipment and sub-systems for multiple space missions. The successful candidate will be an experienced engineer, able to apply technical theory to practical tasks. Familiarity working with optical instruments and sensors, preferably in the space industry, is considered a strong asset.


  • To support the manufacturing, assembly and integration of optical instruments and sensors
  • To support verification and validation of instruments including functional, performance and environmental tests
  • To design and analyze systems in visible, near and far IR bands
  • To work with mechanical, electrical and systems engineers developing instruments and sensors to produce fully working systems
  • Image analysis
  • To produce documentation relating to designs and testing
  • Working with bespoke and COT’s suppliers of optical components and products
  • To work with the Laser Safety Officer to ensure safe conditions in test and manufacturing facilities

 Required Skills:

  • University degree in Physics or Engineering, preferably with an optical emphasis
  • Proficiency in one or more software related to optical design and analysis, preferably Zemax
  • Experience in design and analysis of free space optical systems
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Awareness of engineering standards (preferably ECSS)
  • Understanding of the environmental constraints for flight systems



  • Hands on experience Manufacturing, Assembly and Testing
  • Test specification, plan and procedure development
  • Experience with lasers
  • Proficiency with Python and MATLAB
  • Knowledge of ESA ECSS standards
  • Experience working in the space industry
  • Providing technical interface to customers and subcontractors
  • Ability to perform straylight analysis & tolerance / sensitivity analysis on free space optical systems
  • Experience processing test images using systems such as Imatest


We’re a dream team of purpose-driven, collaborative and passionate people, and we are constantly looking for others to join #TeamMDA to ignite new and innovative approaches to problem-solving that push us forward to improve life on and above Earth. If you’re excited to expand our place in space and driven to inspire the next generation, we’ll take you there.

We have entered a new era of exploration and development, and MDA welcomes all who yearn to suit up and be part of it. An equal opportunity employer prizing diversity, integrity and collaboration, we are committed to growing MDA’s and Canada’s leadership in this next golden age.

Comments/Special Considerations:

Successful candidates must obtain and hold security clearance.

Benefits statement:

MDA provides competitive compensation and benefits packages for its employees at all locations. As a team member of MDA, you and your qualified dependents are eligible to participate in a benefit plan that ensures a comprehensive level of protection through competitive health care including; extended healthcare and flexible drug plans, dental and vision benefits, disability income protection, life insurance, group retirement savings plans; and an employee and family assistance program.

Equal opportunity statement:

MDA is an equal opportunity employer prizing diversity and inclusion. We are committed to treating all employees and applicants for employment with respect and dignity. If you require assistance and/or reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please feel free to notify us.

COVID statement:

COVID-19 Hiring Update: Strengthening our workforce is more important than ever to meet our customers’ mission-critical needs. We are continuing to hire many talented people, and we are closely monitoring COVID-19 to ensure safe hiring practices are used. This includes limiting onsite candidate interviews and prioritizing video interviews.


Tagged as: zemax, verification and validation, optical design

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