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Optical Engineer II

Department: Brain AIx2 Management
Location: Seattle

Optical Engineer II, AIx2

The mission of the Allen Institute is to unlock the complexities of bioscience and advance our knowledge to improve human health. Using an open science, multi-scale, team-oriented approach, the Allen Institute focuses on accelerating foundational research, developing standards and models, and cultivating new ideas to make a broad, transformational impact on science.

The Allen Institute has been a leader in the field of neuroscience for over 17 years; in 2021 we are launching a new research division, temporarily named AIx2, to understand how dynamic neuronal signals at the level of the entire brain implement fundamental computations and drive flexible behaviors.

We are seeking an optical engineer to join a new research program studying dynamics and connectivity across various brain regions. To answer these questions, we will be employing a broad variety of microscopy, photometry and illumination techniques. The optical engineer will interface closely with scientists and other engineers to design, implement and analyze the optical components relevant to these methods. The ideal candidate will be focused on scientific and technical excellence, highly motivated, agile, and team-oriented.

The Allen Institute believes that team science significantly benefits from the participation of diverse voices, experiences and backgrounds. Progress in science benefits from multiple perspectives. We are committed to increasing diversity across every team and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for this role.

Essential Functions

  • Design and model optical systems for use in light-sheet and two-photon microscopy, spectroscopy, fiber photometry and optogenetic stimulation
  • Build and maintain multiple implementations of these systems across various experiments and configurations
  • Work with scientists and engineers to determine design specifications
  • Interface with contract manufacturers to fabricate custom optical components when necessary
  • Empirically test optical performance, and suggest improvements
  • Collaborate as part of an agile engineering team working to support instrumentation at AIx2

Note: Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This description reflects managementís assignment of essential functions; it does not proscribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.

Required Education and Experience:

  • 1+ years of experience designing optical systems
  • 1+ years of experience building optomechanical systems from commercial off-the-shelf components
  • 1+ years using optical design software: Zemax OpticStudio, Code V or similar
  • 1+ years of experience working with manufacturers on tolerancing and DFM of custom parts
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience in a relevant technical discipline

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Advanced Degree in physics, engineering, or a related field, with an emphasis on optics
  • 3+ years of experience designing optical systems
  • Experience with microscopy, fiber optics, and/or laser systems in the context of biological imaging
  • Fluency with data analysis software (preferably Python or MATLAB)
  • Familiarity with agile, team-based engineering methodologies
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Work Environment

  • Frequently required to sit, stand, walk, stoop, kneel, or reach
  • Possible exposure to chemical, biological, or other hazardous substances

Physical Demands

  • Fine motor movements in fingers/hands to operate computers and lab equipment

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Occasional evening and weekend hours required
  • This role is currently able to work remotely due to COVID-19 and our focus on employee safety. We are a Washington State employer, and remote work must be performed in Washington State. We continue to evaluate the safest options for our employees. As restrictions are lifted in relation to COVID-19, this role will return to work onsite.

Additional Comments

  • **Please note, this opportunity offers relocation assistance**
  • **Please note, this opportunity offers work visa sponsorship**

It is the policy of the Allen Institute to provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, the Allen Institute will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.





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