Optics Engineer

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Archive Date: 
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Engineering
Institution Classification/Type: 
W. M. Keck Observatory
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Are you ready to join a dynamic and dedicated team that develops and optimizes Adaptive Optics systems for astronomical science?

The W. M. Keck Observatory (WMKO) operates two 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes and an associated suite of advanced instrumentation, including laser guide star adaptive optics facilities. These telescopes have been extremely productive scientifically and have allowed the WMKO science community to play a leading role in understanding the universe from our solar system, to exoplanets, black holes, the earliest galaxies, and dark matter and energy.

This position leads engineering efforts in optimization, development, integration and operations of the Keck I and Keck II telescope optics. The optics engineer is responsible for the overall delivered image quality to the science instruments. Current development activities include upgrades and improvements to the telescope phasing, the primary mirror active control system and telescope focus maintenance.

Principal activities include:

  • Play the lead role in optimizing the optical performance of the Keck telescopes to:
  • Understand and reduce the telescopes’ overall wavefront error budget.
  • Support the overall optical optimization and efficiency of the science instruments with the telescope.
  • Perform data acquisition, data evaluation, and database management for the purpose of monitoring and optimizing the telescope optics and instrument performance.
  • Play a lead role in the maintenance of the health of the telescope optics through monitoring, developing safe handling procedures and providing optical expertise in all activities related to the repair of the telescope optics.
  • Perform a role in the commissioning of new science instruments or capabilities and in upgrading existing science instruments and facilities to assure maximum optical performance.

Required Qualifications include:

  • Masters of Science level degree in optics, physics, or engineering, or equivalent experience.
  • Five (5) years' experience in optical engineering with practical experience in the alignment, testing, and optimization of telescope and/or instrument optics.


Apply to join a skilled and deeply committed team of professionals who enable exciting and important astronomical discoveries. Go to: https://keckobservatory.applicantpro.com/jobs/

About Us

Read about us, our science and our mission and submit a cover letter and resume telling us how your background and passion relate to this position. WMKO is a private 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and in a scientific partnership of the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and NASA.

EEO Employer

Included Benefits: 

Keck Observatory offers a robust rewards package which includes: a competitive salary; a broad benefits bundle including a 403(b) plan; a highly regarded tuition assistance program for dependent children (K-12 grade); and an unmatched focus of excellence all while working on the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, September 21, 2018
Selection Deadline: 
Friday, September 21, 2018
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Jeannette Mundon
Talent Management Administrator
W. M. Keck Observatory
Department Name: 
Human Resources
Street Line 1: 
65-1120 Mamalahoa Hwy
United States of America
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Jeannette Mundon