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Draper Principal Optical Physicist (Laser & Fiber Optics) in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Draper is an independent, nonprofit research and development company headquartered in Cambridge, MA. The 1,800 employees of Draper tackle important national challenges with a promise of delivering successful and usable solutions. From military defense and space exploration to biomedical engineering, lives often depend on the solutions we provide. Our multidisciplinary teams of engineers and scientists work in a collaborative environment that inspires the cross-fertilization of ideas necessary for true innovation. For more information about Draper, visit

Our work is very important to us, but so is our life outside of work. Draper supports many programs to improve work-life balance including workplace flexibility, employee clubs ranging from photography to yoga, health and finance workshops, off site social events and discounts to local museums and cultural activities. If this specific job opportunity and the chance to work at a nationally renowned R&D innovation company appeals to you, apply now

Equal Employment Opportunity

Draper is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. We understand the value of diversity and its impact on a high-performance culture. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information.

Draper is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. To request reasonable accommodation, please contact

As a member of the technical staff in the Sensors and Imaging Systems Group, you will play a role in the development of Optics and Photonics hardware. You will work closely with a team of engineers and physicists to develop, prototype, and test cutting-edge sensor and imaging systems. You will be heavily involved with building prototypes and demonstrating minimum viable technology, as well as modeling, characterizing, and optimizing their performance. This is a hybrid position, with the expectation to spend time in the lab, performing hands on tasks with development hardware, as needed. Development hardware is often tested off site with customer oversight and the candidate will be expected to support this type of test program. You must be willing to work collaboratively, across multidisciplinary teams, and be able to communicate complex ideas to non-technical audiences.

  • MS or PhD in physics, optics, or related discipline plus 10 years of experience required

  • Experience in fiber coupling, wavefront propagation, lasers, &optical communication is required

  • Laboratory experience and experience with electrical and optical test and measurement equipment such as oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, function generators, free space and fiber coupled optic it preferred

  • Competent in a programming language such as, but not limited to, Zemax POP, MATLAB, C++, Python, or R-soft etc. and be capable of writing software routines to run laboratory experiments including data collection, storage, and basic data reduction is required

  • A highly self-motivation level and preference for failing fast is preferred

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills are required

Applicants selected for this position will be required to obtain and maintain a government security clearance.



ID: 2022-6347

External Company Name: The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc