Senior Systems Engineer - Quantum Computing

Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Team: System Engineering Integration & Test

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 Systems Engineer. As a Systems 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. 

IonQ is known for innovative technologies that solve problems for a wide range of industries, and we need a new problem-solver to take the reins. We’re seeking highly skilled systems engineers who have Product Development Lifecycle knowledge and technical expertise to implement strategies, evaluate products, and build upon an infrastructure that supports the changing needs of our customers. In this role, the systems engineer will support design, development, and integration of complex computer systems for every stage of the product lifecycle. The ideal candidate will be able to reliably deliver mission-critical technical data packages with an eye toward reliability, scalability, modularity, quality, accessibility, optimization, and security.


Objectives of this role

  • Expected to function semi-independently: ability to receive a task from the manager and follow through by creating sub-tasks, coordinating schedule and milestones, and moving projects forward with minimal direction
  • Enable and support individual computer systems and infrastructure under development, including concept, design, integration, verification & validation
  • Implement and maintain strategies for backup, security, and redundancy
  • Identify potential issues and implement solutions proactively
  • Craft custom technical data packages for gated reviews
  • Enable faster and smarter business processes and develop meaningful analytics
  • Engage regularly with upper management, providing reports on project status, activities, and achievements



  • Communicate with stakeholders in cross-functional teams including optical engineers, mechanical engineers, and software engineers, to define system specifications and performance goals
  • Conduct feasibility studies, system analysis, and risk assessments to determine project requirements and constraints
  • Document Architecture, CONOPS, Use Cases, and Requirements
  • Support the design and implementation of prototypes, ensuring adherence to industry standards and best practices
  • Ensure PLM and Configuration Management policies and processes are followed
  • Ask the right questions and enable the design engineers and scientists to document the steps they are following, including support to conduct tests, experiments, and verification procedures to validate system performance, identify issues, and propose solutions
  • Enable and support gated reviews for all phases of the product lifecycle
  • Collaborate with vendors and external partners to source and evaluate components, technologies, and suppliers
  • Keep abreast of industry trends, emerging technologies, and advancements in the field, and apply relevant knowledge to drive continuous improvement to support and/or conduct trade studies and analysis for future systems
  • Provide technical guidance and mentorship to junior engineers, fostering a collaborative and innovative work environment


You'd be a good fit with:

  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in engineering  or computer science, or a related field
  • 5-10 years performing in a systems engineering role for complex systems
  • Participating in and performing product lifecycle management gated reviews: Concept, SRR, PDR, CDR, ORR
  • Strong problem-solving and analytical skills, with experience in project management, application design and integration, and/or system operations
  • Expertise in creating, analyzing, and documenting large complex systems
  • Experience creating requirement specifications, CONOPS, use cases, system models, and test plans
  • Knowledge of Configuration Management (CM) best practices and standard version-control for hardware and software
  • Excellent communication skills, with the ability to convey technical concepts to both technical and non-technical stakeholders


You'd be a great fit with:

  • Master’s degree in Systems Engineering or Engineering Management
  • Professional certification PMP, INCOSE
  • Experience with or knowledge of programming languages and operating systems, state of the art computer equipment and technologies, enterprise backup and recovery procedures, system performance-monitoring tools, content delivery, or algorithm development
  • Experience working in an R&D or product development environment, preferably in the field of optics, photonics, or precision engineering
  • Subject matter expert for any of the following sub-specialties: Opto-Mechanical systems, Control Systems, cloud platforms, Electrical design and development, Mechanical design and development, data center management, Reliability, Maintainability, Quality Assurance, or FMEA
  • Strong project management skills, with the ability to guide and coordinate multidisciplinary teams
  • Proficient in performing system-level simulations and analysis using tools such as MATLAB, Python, or similar software


Our HQ is located in College Park, Maryland and we are a 15 minute metro ride from Washington DC. We have also recently announced our new manufacturing and production facility in the Seattle, Washington area. We are actively building out teams in the Washington D.C., Seattle and Toronto 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.