Optical Scientist

Employer: Luna Innovations Incorporated
Job Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
Category: Research
Employment Type: Full Time
Last Updated: 6/19/2019
Closing Date: 7/30/2019
Luna Innovations Incorporated
Luna Innovations Incorporated (www.lunainc.com) is a leader in optical technology, providing unique capabilities in high speed optoelectronics and high performance fiber optic test products for the telecommunications industry and distributed fiber optic sensing for the aerospace and automotive industries. Luna is organized into two business segments, which work closely together to turn ideas into products: a Technology Development segment and a Products and Licensing segment.
Job Description

Optical Scientist

Luna Innovations Incorporated is a fast-paced, research-driven company committed to launching innovative products based on sound science and new ideas.  Luna’s Lightwave Division develops optical test equipment and fiber optic sensing products that transform our customer’s ability to make measurements in demanding applications.  We seek an Optical Scientist to support the Lightwave Contract Research team whose primary role will be developing advanced fiber optic sensing technologies and algorithms to interpret signals from fiber sensors. Advanced applications include research on silicon photonic structures, the measurement of shape and position, strain, temperature, pressure, and radiation for a variety of industries. The ideal candidate will have strengths in waveguide and instrumental optics.  Background knowledge in the area of optical frequency domain reflectometry is desirable.  Additional beneficial areas of capability include: planar lightwave circuits, strong mathematics and algorithm development skills, strong communications skills, and programming experience.


  • Utilize new technology within the fiber optic industry to develop sensing technologies that meet the needs of customers
  • Develop algorithms that can efficiently interpret optical signals within fiber sensors to make the desired measurements 
  • Design and perform experiments to demonstrate feasibility and further develop sensing technologies
  • Author reports that provide a detailed technical summary of experiments, procedures, and results
  • Write funding grants to develop new and innovative technologies and applications for those technologies   

Required Qualifications:

  • M.S. or PhD in Optics, Physics, or Electrical Engineering
  • Experience with the design and testing of optical sensors and systems
  • Comfort with the development of complex algorithms
  • Desire to work in fast-paced, agile R&D environment
  • Desire and ability to understand technical approach within the context of the application
  • Strong communication and writing skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Strong commitment to quality and attention to detail
  • Applicant must be able to obtain a US security clearance if necessary
  • Applicant must be willing to travel 10% or greater

Desired (but not Required) Knowledge or Experience:

  • Experience with optical instrumentation, especially swept laser systems
  • Knowledge of Rayleigh scatter physics
  • Experience with Fiber Bragg Gratings
  • Strong background in polarization effects in optical fiber
  • Knowledge of photonic integrated circuits
  • Software development skills
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