Optical Engineer

Lorton, Virginia, US
Closing date
8 Feb 2023

Job Details

Who Are We?

We are a world-class team of professionals who deliver next generation technology and products in robotic and autonomous platforms, ground, soldier, and maritime systems in 50+ locations world-wide. Much of our work contributes to innovative research in the fields of sensor science, signal processing, data fusion, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and augmented reality (AR).

QinetiQ Inc.’s dedicated experts in defense, aerospace, security, and related fields all work together to explore new ways of protecting the American Warfighter, Security Forces, and Allies. Being a part of QinetiQ Inc. means being central to the safety and security of the world around us. Partnering with our customers, we help save lives; reduce risks to society; and maintain the global infrastructure on which we all depend.

Why Join QinetiQ Inc.?

If you have the courage to take on a wide variety of complex challenges, then you will experience a unique working environment where innovative teams blend different perspectives, disciplines, and technologies to discover new ways of solving complex problems.  In our diverse and inclusive environment, you can be authentic, feel valued, be respected, and realize your full potential. QinetiQ Inc. will support you with workplace flexibility, a commitment to the health and well-being of you and your family and provide opportunities to work with a purpose. We are committed to supporting your success in both your professional and personal lives.

Qinetiq Inc. in Lorton, Virginia has an opportunity for an entry level or early career optical engineer to join our engineering team supporting the design and build of prototype optical C5ISR systems.

Your Contribution to the Mission:

  • Working with senior engineering and scientific staff, contribute to the design, assembly and/or testing of new and legacy optical designs and optical systems from prototype to production;
  • Plan and carry out optical test, calibration and characterization with legacy instruments and procedures, carry out possible upgrades, and design and develop new instruments and methods as needed, for prototype and production;
  • Plan, test and characterize the performance of both legacy and new imaging systems;
  • Communicate, collaborate and operate within multidisciplinary teams, working with hardware and software engineers to design, develop, assemble, test and optimize function of the finished product;
  • Develop and write specifications, assembly and/or test procedures for optical components, modules and sub-systems to support product from lab to manufacturing;
  • Assist in maturing prototype designs into low-rate production
  • Work within customer driven performance, test, manufacturing, cost, and schedule constraints;
  • A good understanding of optics and physics, the ability to model optical sensor performance, from ray-tracing to radiometry to MTF and SNR.

To Land This Job, You Need:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Optical or similar engineering related discipline with 2-5 years’ related experience, or a Master’s degree in same with 0-2 years related experience;
  • Experience with lens and imaging system design, analysis, and/or assembly;
  • Ability to do the hands-on work of assembly and testing of optical devices, instruments and systems, from prototype to low-rate production;
  • Ability to transition optical devices, instruments and systems to manufacturing;
  • Some experience in optics manufacturing whether prototype or production;
  • Current experience with Zemax optical design software;
  • Current experience with Labview or similar instrumentation, data acquisition and analysis software;
  • An enjoyment for a wide variety of tasking, from design, analysis and technical writing to hands-on lab work.

Desired Additional Experience:

  • Experience in imaging science and analysis;
  • Experience with VIS, NIR, SWIR, MWIR and/or LWIR imaging systems;
  • Experience with imaging system assembly, test and/or calibration;
  • Experience with machining, mechanical design, electronics, electronic design and/or building scientific instruments;
  • Experience with lasers and/or a variety of optical components and instruments;
  • A passion for optical devices of all kinds, from large format cameras & microscopes to astronomical telescopes and/or heads-up displays.

No One Has Time for Long Job Applications!

We completely understand, that is why we have made the application process easy. We promise. This will be simple.


If because of a medical condition or disability you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please send an e-mail to staffing@us.QinetiQ.com or call (540) 658-2720 Opt. 4 and let us know the nature of your request and contact information.

QinetiQ Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All Qualified Applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, age, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.


QinetiQ image

QinetiQ is a company of scientists and engineers committed to listening, understanding and responding to our customers’ needs. This enables us to use our depth of experience, and our unique science and engineering expertise, to equip customers with powerful solutions to their most pressing challenges.

Why work for us
We understand that people want diversity from a career, so we’ve created a flexible working environment, where we offer opportunities to work on different projects and give people the freedom to innovate and try new things. Our peoples’ depth of expertise and their passion for defence and security makes the critical difference for our customers. We constantly encourage staff to think and do things differently, to always look for enterprising, agile ways to create real benefit. Collaborating with and learning from our world-renowned experts makes QinetiQ an exceptionally rewarding place to work; where no two days are the same.

Training and development
We encourage our people to challenge themselves, realize their full potential and to be proud to deliver outstanding performance for our customers. The QinetiQ Academy provides opportunities for further growth, and everyone are encouraged to develop technical skills and complete professional training.

Graduate schemes
Our two-year Graduate Development Programme gives graduates access to more than 250 rotational placements, unique facilities and a strong support network to help develop their career.

What we are looking for
We’re looking for outstanding technical people, creative and analytical thinkers, decision makers, influencers and excellent communicators. Working at QinetiQ is more than just a job – we’re making a difference in addressing some of society’s biggest technical challenges. Our purpose is to “save lives, protect sovereign interests, deliver where others can’t”. This is why we exist and the reason why we all get out of bed in the morning.


Number of employees

Positions recently recruited for
Physicists, optical scientists, systems engineers, software engineers, combat systems engineers, mission systems engineers, business analysts, project managers, data scientists, big data, dev ops, network, communications, training, synthetic environments and simulation engineers, cyber intelligence, cryptosecurity

Desired degree disciplines/class
Science degree or equivalent

Eligible to work in the UK or one of QinetiQ’s global businesses

How to apply
Visit careers.qinetiq.com

Closing date
All year round


Find Us
+44 (0)1252 392000
Cody Technology Park
Ively Road
GU14 0LX
United Kingdom

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