Senior Optical Engineer

· College Park, Maryland
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Experienced

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IonQ is developing the world's first fully expressive, full-stack quantum computer based on trapped-ion technology. We are pushing past the limits of classical physics and current supercomputing technology. These computers are poised to unlock the staggering potential of the quantum realm and help remake industries like medicine, materials science, simulation, finance, strong A.I., machine learning, cryptography, high-performance supercomputing, and more.

Quantum computers are a revolutionizing technology — they will transform business, society, and the planet for the better, and IonQ is at the forefront of this revolution. We’re proudly supported by high-quality investors like Amazon Web Service, Columbia Capital, NEA, ACME, and more.

We’re looking for a Senior Optical Engineer.  As a Senior Optical Engineer, you’ll be part of a cross-functional team whose mission is to lead IonQ on its journey to define and enable the world’s best quantum computers and keep IonQ at the forefront of the industry.


  • Close collaboration with physicists, as well as mechanical, electrical, and software engineers to define optical needs and solutions.
  • Complex optical system design, modeling, and tolerancing.
  • Work deeply and in close conjunction with mechanical engineers to realize high-performance, integrated, and custom solutions.
  • Hands-on laboratory experience, implementing prototypes, bench tests, and utilizing advanced testing and analysis equipment and techniques.
  • Full life-cycle development of solutions, taking ideas from conception to design to prototyping to deployment, and fast-cycle development for high levels of innovation.

The ideal candidate will have experience leading or contributing to multiple simultaneous product development efforts, projects, and initiatives. You’ll be able to balance technical leadership and savvy with strong business judgment to make the right decisions about technology choices. You’ll strive for simplicity and demonstrate significant creativity and incisive judgment.

Required skills/education:

  • Bachelor's degree or higher in optical engineering, or relevant field and/or experience
  • 10+ years experience working in the fields of optics, lasers, or imaging systems.
  • Deep technical expertise in high performance and complex optical systems.
  • Experience with laser systems, interferometers, high-NA imaging systems, and optical alignment techniques.
  • Proficient in Zemax or equivalent optical modeling software.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • A love of collaborating in an interdisciplinary environment.

Desired skills:

  • Experience with design for manufacturability, assembly, and serviceability.
  • Project leadership and project management skills.

Location: Given the nature of our business, we will maintain our headquarters which are located down the street from the University of Maryland. Our office is bright and open and a fun, collaborative environment, where we value each other’s unique qualities. IonQ is a five-minute walk to the Metro, which takes just twenty minutes to get to Washington, DC. Currently, we are encouraging work-from-home with office and laboratory visits only as needed. 

IonQ reflects the globally diverse audience that our products and technology serve. We believe that in addition to hiring the best talent, a diversity of perspectives, ideas, and cultures leads to the creation of better products and services. We hire people with a broad set of skills who are ready to take on some of humanity’s greatest challenges and make an impact on millions, if not billions, of users.

If this sounds like a good fit for you, we encourage you to apply.

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  • Location
    College Park, Maryland
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience