Engineer, Optical Electrical

Agilent Technologies, Inc. - San Diego, CA4.2

Full-timeEstimated: $110,000 - $150,000 a year
Agilent inspires and supports discoveries that advance the quality of life. We provide life science, diagnostic and applied market laboratories worldwide with instruments, services, consumables, applications and expertise. Agilent enables customers to gain the answers and insights they seek - so they can do what they do best: improve the world around us. Information about Agilent is available at

The Agilent Genomics group is an established leader in providing robust reagents and analysis solutions to the next-generation sequencing (NGS) market. Our team remains committed to offering our NGS customers cutting-edge products and workflow solutions through our continued development efforts. We are looking for new team members excited to join our cross-functional program focused on expanding Agilent NGS capabilities. This is your opportunity to actively contribute in a fast-paced environment that encourages learning and expertise in this high-growth industry.

We are seeking an experienced Principal Scientist to act as the technical lead for the optical and electrical subsystem design and build of our high-throughput DNA sequencing instrument. The scientist will direct internal teams of engineers and external vendors to develop an instrument that meets high-level performance requirements while remaining manufacturable, cost-competitive and reliable. The role requires an architectural understanding of the entire instrument as well as a deep expertise in optical specifications, design and testing. The ideal candidate must be able to specify instrument requirements to complement the biochemical properties of our proprietary DNA sequencing system and design experiments to validate that the requirements are met. As such, the candidate will have the opportunity to bridge the scientific and engineering concepts of sequencer development.

The Principal Scientist will lead system integration efforts encompassing hardware elements and instrument control software. Day-to-day activities will range from hands-on development and troubleshooting work in the lab to deep dive data analyses. An emphasis will be placed on reviewing and prioritizing work of internal and external team members, developing new metrology methods, communicating overall progress to management and assisting with long term strategy. The position offers ample opportunity to mentor engineers, scientists and data analysts. It is expected that the candidate will have a substantial role in building, nurturing and energizing the hardware team while influencing the development of a complex instrument with clear applications to human health.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Lead the design and build of optical and optoelectronic subsystems; display technical leadership skills and mentor peers about the domain and related technology.
2. Design and implement experiments for research, product development, and design validation.
3. Make decisions on complex issues affecting the team to include making trade-offs and partitioning product requirements across multiple disciplines.
4. Derive a systems design to include architecture definition and platform concepts based on top-level commercial requirements.
5. Act as domain technical lead in program activities such as risk management, cross-functional trade-off reviews and design reviews.
6. Develop and manage execution of a systems integration plan
7. Develop and manage execution of a systems V&V strategy.
8. Contribute to patent portfolio and strategy development.
Display effective leadership skills and influence cross-functional team across dotted reporting lines to find best solutions for systems design & requirement

Additional Expectations:
Analytical - Synthesizes complex or diverse information; Collects and researches data; Uses intuition and experience to complement data.
Technical Skills - Assesses own strengths and development areas; Pursues training and opportunities for growth; Strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; Shares expertise with others.
Planning/Organizing - Prioritizes and plans work activities; Uses time efficiently. Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time. Follows instructions and responds to management direction.
Quality - Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Accepts and applies feedback to improve performance; Monitors own work to ensure quality.
Communication - Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Responds promptly to questions and requests from other team members
Adaptability - Able to adapt to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands. Changes approach or method to best fit the situation. Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.
Ethics -Treats people with respect; Inspires the trust of others; Works with integrity and ethically; Upholds organizational values
Ph.D. in Physics, Biophysics, Optical Engineering, Electrical Engineering or similar disciplines, with 5+ years of relevant experience; M.S. with 8+ years of experience considered.
Direct experience in all medical device product development process phases (concept to product launch & lifecycle mgt), preferably in systems engineering role
Experience with high-NA and microscope-like systems to include optics, opto-mechanics, opto-electronics, image processing, mechanics, electronics, firmware and software
Deep understanding of architecture design, requirements and risk management, medical device V&V, reprocessing, and single-use devices.
Proficiency with industry standard tools and methods for optical and electro-optical systems engineering is essential; must be able to describe industry standard tests for imaging optical systems, lasers and cameras, and implement them as needed; experience writing code to characterize and test complex optical assemblies is a major plus.
Numerical proficiency and demonstrated history of using scientific software packages (e.g. Matlab, R, Pandas etc.) to analyze large volumes of data, preferably but not exclusively image-based data.
Understanding of optical engineering software (Zemax / CODE V / OSLO, etc.) workflows and methods and ability to critically examine outputs to review design work of others; hands-on experience designing and tolerancing optical parts is a major plus.
Solid understanding of instrument control software principles with the ability to specify software to meet instrument needs and of motion control principles and practice, particularly with respect to control loop tuning and servo characterization.
The ability to rapidly prototype control algorithms and control software preferred.
Experience with vendor/supplier management of complex sub-systems or OEM.
Scientific acuity as well as strong interpersonal skills and superior communication abilities; experience leading a team of engineers
Driven to make measured & risk-conscious design decisions
Specific knowledge of molecular biology preferred
Agilent Technologies, Inc. is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. We value diversity at all levels. All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, pregnancy, race, religion or religious creed, color, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by federal, state, local law, ordinance, or regulation and will not be discriminated against on these bases.

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