Senior Staff Engineer - Optical Systems

Job Location: 
San Diego, CA
Base + Bonus + RSUs


Job Description: 

This position in Illumina’s R&D department will contribute to the development of new, industry-leading genetic analysis platforms for life sciences and clinical markets: Provide optical engineering expertise and best practice to innovative optical system design, implementation, testing, and analysis. Work in an interdisciplinary team environment to develop industry-leading genetic analysis instrumentation products.


• Develop innovative, robust, low cost, and miniaturized optical designs and implement in Illumina’s instrumentation product family
• Design and build breadboards to prove concepts
• Model and develop complex custom optical components and modules; manage vendors to achieve all technical specs
• Manage optical tolerance budget; conduct optical troubleshooting, testing, and analysis
• Provide solutions to manufacturing issues of custom optical design and yield improvement during volume ramp-up
• Lead thermal, vibration, and other stress tests of optical system
• Design and implement optical alignment automation to reduce manufacturing cost
• Collaborate with other cross-functional teams (mechanical, electrical, software, fluidic, etc.) to meet system level performance specs


Required Skills & Experience:

• MS or PhD in Optical Engineering or related discipline
• 7-10 years' hands-on experience with optical design and implementation; participation in a concept through production cycle of a successful optical instrument with aggressive project timelines and performance/cost targets
• Familiar with both component-level and system-level optical specification and design
• Familiar with both imaging optics and illumination optics design and implementation
• Proficiency in design, analysis, and tolerancing using ZEMAX or similar software
• Familiar with optical alignment methodologies and equipment
• Familiar with optical test methodologies and equipment
• Familiar with opto-mechanical tolerance analysis
• Demonstrated experience in leading optical design and implementation in a commercial product
• Familiarity with microscope lens design and manufacturing is a plus
• Excellent analysis and communication skills

Illumina is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

About Our Organization: 

About Illumina
Illumina ( is a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of life science tools and integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and function. We provide innovative sequencing and array-based solutions for genotyping, copy number variation analysis, methylation studies, gene expression profiling, and low-multiplex analysis of DNA, RNA, and protein. We also provide tools and services that are fueling advances in consumer genomics and diagnostics. Our technology and products accelerate genetic analysis research and its application, paving the way for molecular medicine and ultimately transforming healthcare.