Introducing IonQ Forte, The First Software-Configurable Quantum Computer

Learn more about our latest system

Staff Engineer, Optical

Location: Remote

Team: People

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’re proudly supported by high-quality investors like GV (Google Ventures), New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Amazon, Samsung, Bosch, HP, Airbus, and more.

We are looking for a Staff Optical Engineer. As a Staff Optical Engineer, 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. 


  • Work closely with optical and opto-mechanical engineers to develop ultra high precision beam shaping and steering optics
  • Define, design, and develop precision high NA and large FOV camera optics
  • Define, design and develop optical modules that incorporate components such as complex lenses, waveplates, and acousto-optics modulators
  • Work with opto-mech engineers in the development of fixtures and processes for precision opto-mechanical alignment and assembly
  • Evaluate suitability of design solutions by performing detailed tolerance and stray light analysis
  • Work on projects from concept development and bring them to completion at the product delivery stage, including initial debugging and sustaining efforts side by side with the manufacturing team

You’d be a good fit with: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in Optical Sciences or Optical Engineering
  • 10-15 years experience
  • Minimum seven (7) years of industry experience in the design, development and manufacturing of laser based systems. 
  • Minimum 7 years industry experience in the design, and development of high NA, high resolution cameras
  • Good understanding of beam propagation in single mode and multi mode fiber optics
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in production-centric laser alignment techniques.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in tolerancing analysis, monte carlo analysis and stray light analysis 
  • Experience working with PMTs, CMOS, or CCD cameras
  • Sustained record of independent creative design activity and expertise with optical systems and subsystems.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and creative abilities in the design and specification of optical systems and subsystems from the component level to the system level.
  • Demonstrated skills using optical modeling software tools such as Zemax 
  • Demonstrated strong understanding of optical engineering fundamentals and principles.
  • Demonstrated strong understanding of optical design, component specification, development, testing, and design for manufacturability.

You’d be a great fit with: 

  • Expertise in Solid Works
  • Ability to mentor and train others to accomplish technical goals
  • Experience with cryogenic systems
  • Experience with high precision motion devices (e.g. piezos, flexures)

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.

IonQ Covid-19 Policy: IonQ requires all employees to provide proof of full vaccination for Covid-19 before starting employment.