Principal Optical Engineer

Edinburgh, United Kingdom (UK), [001267]

Field(s) of expertise
Electronics Engineering Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Job type

About this job

Leonardo is an international leader in the development of cutting edge sensor products deployed across a wide range of airborne platforms for our Aerospace and Defence customers.

The Principal Optical Engineer will join our world class optics and laser development team which provides leading-edge solutions into the global defence sector.  The extensive product range includes targeting lasers, high energy laser delivery systems, electro-optic countermeasures solutions and electro-optic targeting and surveillance systems.  Each of these products is based upon sophisticated and complex optical design solutions created by our team and manufactured in our state of the art facility in Edinburgh.

This position has been created during an exciting period of technology development and business growth, resulting in real opportunities for continuous career development for the motivated individual.

You will be working within a vibrant capital city, with excellent transport links and walking distance to various key destinations. As an organisation that places great emphasis on personal development, you will receive on the job training with the opportunity to be upskilled to develop your skill set. There is also opportunity to receive additional training through taught courses, subject to business needs. Joining Leonardo offers fantastic benefits including half day Fridays, flexible working, free gym membership etc. Take that next step in your professional career and join an organisation that takes great pride in their employees, implements successful development plans and a great work life balance.


You will be involved in the research, design, development and manufacture phases of the product lifecycle.  You will have responsibility for the delivery of all optical design aspects of a product whilst working within a multidisciplinary project team where you will collaborate closely with other domain experts. You champion rigorous optical engineering approaches and drive the delivery of robust and cost-effective design solutions.

You are expected to contribute to system architecture definition, specifies and develops lens designs, carries out analyses and performance simulations, supports the integration and test of systems and works closely with manufacturing colleagues and suppliers to ensure the delivery of high quality products.

You will provide expertise in modelling or designing imaging lenses and optical systems using appropriate commercial tools such as ZEMAX Opticstudio, CodeV or equivalent.

You will provide practical skills in a laboratory or manufacturing environment and often engage with external stakeholders including customers and suppliers.  You are expected to manage and drive assigned activities within a project team environment and demonstrate ownership of objectives and milestones.


  • B. Sc. in Physics or Optoelectronics (E)
  • M. Sc or PhD in an applied optics field (D)
  • A good grounding in classical optics principles is required and knowledge of lasers is an advantage.
  • Lens design and optical analysis skills are a prerequisite as well as knowledge of the practical aspects of system alignment, integration and test.
  • An appreciation of the mechanical and electrical designs associated with electro-optical systems is beneficial whilst involvement in the manufacture of optical systems either in one-off or volume manufacture is a distinct advantage.
  • The role requires good interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively communicate with a broad range of stakeholders.

For information on how the personal data in your application is processed, please see the Privacy Policy.