Introducing IonQ Forte, The First Software-Configurable Quantum Computer

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Senior Optical Designer

Location: College Park, Maryland

Team: Research and Development

Type: Full-Time

IonQ is developing the world's most powerful full-stack quantum computer based on trapped-ion technology. We are pushing past the limits of classical physics and current supercomputing technology to unlock a new era of computing. Quantum computing has the potential to impact every area of human society for the better. IonQ’s computers will soon redefine industries like medicine, materials science, finance, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cryptography, and more. IonQ is at the forefront of this technological revolution.


We are looking for a Senior Optical Designer. As a Senior Optical Designer, you’ll be part of a cross-functional team whose mission is to lead IonQ on its journey to build the world’s best quantum computers to solve the world’s most complex problems. 

In this role you’ll work alongside physicists, scientists, mechanical engineers, software engineers, and device fabrication experts to tackle the next generation of quantum computing problems. You’ll drive the designs of the optical subsystems for our quantum computers. You’ll use your experience in free space and fiber optics as well as your strong systems engineering experience to carry designs from concept to system prototype to hardware delivery and integration.  


  • Closely collaborate with physicists and optomechanical engineers, as well as mechanical, electrical, and software engineers to define optical needs and solutions
  • Design, model, perform thermal analysis and tolerancing of complex optical systems, in the context of imaging systems, Gaussian beam optics, and micro-optical assemblies
  • Define and document alignment procedures, acceptance criteria, and selection of metrology equipment
  • Work deeply and in close conjunction with optomechanical engineers to realize high-performance, integrated, and custom solutions
  • Own the full life-cycle development of optical solutions - lead, participate, and support requirement definition, design, prototyping, testing, building pilot units, conducting V&V, assessing risk, and transfering design to manufacturing
  • Interface with external vendors to determine optimal and reliable component solutions
  • Perform vendor and supplier management for optical components, complex subsystems, and OEMs

The ideal candidate will have experience leading or contributing to multiple simultaneous product development efforts, projects, and initiatives. You’ll be able to balance technical leadership with strong business judgment to make the right decisions about technology choices. You’ll strive for simplicity and demonstrate significant creativity and incisive judgment. This position can be located at our headquarters in College Park, MD; in Seattle, WA; or remote.

You’d be a good fit with: 

  • B.S. degree in optical engineering or relevant field
  • 10+ years experience working in the optical design of optics, lasers, imaging, and illumination systems.
  • Demonstrated experience in optical lens design and fabrication suitable for room temperature and cryogenic operation
  • Understanding of opto-mechanical system assembly and packaging, tolerance analysis, and stray light analysis
  • Demonstrated experience with developing optics for commercial products
  • Experience with laser systems, interferometers, high-NA imaging systems, and optical alignment techniques
  • Proficiency in Zemax, OSLO, CodeV or equivalent modeling/simulation software
  • Experience with data analysis methods using software such as MATLAB
  • Demonstrated experience with design for manufacturability, assembly, and serviceability
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills

You’d be a great fit with: 

  • M.S. degree in optical engineering or relevant field
  • Experience with physical optics simulation using software such as Lumerical, COMSOL, FRED, ASAP
  • Experience working with diffraction limited and single frequency laser sytems, including diode lasers, solid-state lasers, and fiber lasers, both CW and pulsed in the visible and NIR
  • Project leadership and project management skills
  • Expertise with 3D CAD modeling (Solidworks)

Our HQ is located in College Park, Maryland and we are a 15 minute metro ride from Washington DC. We are actively building out teams in the Washington D.C., Seattle, and Boston metro areas and will want to locate you in one of these geographies. However, IonQ will be expanding into additional geographies both domestically and internationally so don’t let this stop you from applying.
At IonQ, we believe in fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for all, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers. We empower employees to thrive by fostering a culture of autonomy, productivity, and respect. We are dedicated to creating an environment  in which any individual can feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued.
We are committed to equity and justice. We welcome different voices and viewpoints and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical and/or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, age, sexual orientation, and military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.
If you are interested in being a part of this team and mission, we encourage you to apply.