Optical Systems Engineer

Company Details

To build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system

The Optical Systems Engineer’s responsibilities include:

  • Develop project requirements and conceptual system designs
  • Modelling of optical performance (e.g. radiometry, spatial & spectral resolution)
  • Detailed optical design, optimisations and tolerancing of optical systems
  • Stray-light modelling and the design of baffling systems
  • Specification and procurement of optical components and supporting opto mechanical systems
    Assembly, alignment, testing and verification of optical systems
  • Design and construction of optical test and calibration equipment.
  • We require an Optical Systems Engineer with proven track record who can ‘hit the ground running’ as you will be expected to be the main optical engineer on designated projects.

RAL Space is a highly multi-disciplinary environment, so engineers are expected to liaise with other specialists to ensure that performance is maintained during the development of the electronics, mechanical and thermal aspects of instruments. You will need to be capable of presenting and justifying designs to scientists and engineers, both in internal team meetings, project consortium meetings, instrument design reviews and public conferences.

This role can also offer the opportunity to travel and work outside of the UK for short periods per government regulations.

About You


  • Degree (or equivalent) in optics, physics or a related discipline
  • Proven track-record in the design, optimisation, analysis, tolerancing, procurement, building and testing of optical systems
  • Experienced in optical alignment and measurement techniques
  • Experienced in the use of industry standard optical design tools (e.g. CodeV, Zemax, ASAP)
  • Demonstrate an ability to interact with supporting engineering and science disciplines
  • Demonstrate an understanding of stray-light analysis and control
  • Ability to explain technical concepts effectively
  • Authored conference and/or refereed papers.


  • Experienced in imaging and spectrograph design
  • An understanding of the design challenges of instruments operating under severe environmental conditions
  • Experience with projects involving the UK and international space or astronomical communities
  • Ability to stimulate and nurture collaborations with academic and industrial partners
  • Ability to research and utilise new technologies or novel optical design
  • Team leadership skills
  • System engineering experience
  • Project management experience.
  • What we can offer you
  • A whole host of family friendly benefits including;
  • An exceptional index linked pension scheme,
  • 30 days leave (pro-rata) plus 10 public holidays,
  • Christmas shut down
  • Flexible working,
  • An onsite subsidised nursery
  • Access to employee shopping/travel discounts – Salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme.
  • Social and sporting activities and societies

We are committed to developing our staff, and training will be provided in relevant areas.
Plus many more benefits and wellbeing initiatives that enable our employees to have a great work life balance.

Tagged as: zemax, codev

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