Lead Vacuum Cryogenic Engineer

Location: Seattle, Washington

Team: Cryo Systems

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 Lead Vacuum/Cryo Engineer for our Cryosystems team. As a member of the Engineering organization, 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. The core of our quantum computers is the vacuum package, which contains the ion trap, atom source, and associated opto-mechanical components. 

In this role you will develop and influence our upcoming products. You will develop requirements, model architectures, complete trade studies, and help design our current and next generation of cryogenic and vacuum hardware for our quantum computers.


  • Design, assemble, and test cryogenic-based vacuum systems for quantum computers
  • Collaborate with a highly interdisciplinary team of atomic physicists, mechanical / optical / optomechanical / electrical engineers to design next-generation ultrahigh vacuum systems for quantum computers
  • Develop, maintain, and manage relationships with external vendors for custom components related to ultrahigh vacuum technology
  • Document design choices, vacuum chamber architecture, and vacuum chamber assembly process in reports, memos, and briefings
  • Review and interpret experimental data for engineering demonstrations and product development

You’d be a good fit with:

  • 10+ years of industry experience
  • M.S. or higher in Mechanical Engineering, Physics, or a related discipline
  • Experience designing, procuring, assembling, and testing UHV/XHV systems
  • Experience cleaning, bonding, and installing optics in a cryosystem, as well as wiring the interior of a cryostat
  • Experience designing and building complex vacuum systems that operate at cryogenic temperatures
  • Hands-on experience with diverse sources of vacuum pumping technology (cryo pumping, ion pumps, turbo pumps, NEG pumps, etc)
  • Strong background in the disciplines of cryogenic heat transfer and thermal engineering
  • Excellent CAD skills in OnShape, SolidWorks, or related packages
  • Basic understanding of optics and optical design
  • Excellent verbal and written communication communication skills, ability to generate memos, briefings, and documentation for a technical and non-technical audience
  • Ability to be onsite at our Seattle, WA, or College Park, MD location at least 3 days per week, with an ability to travel between sites.
  • Ability to earn trust, maintain positive and professional relationships, and contribute to a culture of inclusion

You’d be a great fit with: 

  • Experience with atomic beams, charged particles, ion sources, or other vacuum environments used in atomic physics
  • Experience with laser delivery optics, optical viewports, nanopositioners, electrical resonators, microwave sources, or magnetic field sources
  • Experience working in a class 100 clean room environment
  • Simulation experience of ultrahigh vacuum environments using molflow or other software tools
  • Experience conducting thermal model analysis and correlating experimental results with model predictions
  • Familiarity with electrical design of cryo systems
  • Finite element analysis experience using COMSOL, ANSYS, or related tools
  • Experience preparing and presenting materials at gated review meetings (system requirements reviews, preliminary design reviews, critical design reviews)
  • Ability to work in fast-paced, team-oriented environment with minimal supervision

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.