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Job Details

Principal Technical Lead for Optics and Photonics


Assistant Principal


San Diego, California, United States


The Leidos Innovations Center currently has an opening for a Principal Technical Lead for Optics and Photonics to work in our San Diego, CA office. This is an exciting opportunity to develop disruptive optic/photonic technologies that could be integrated into future space systems – a business area in which Leidos is transforming the payloads solutions for the future.

As a Principal Technical Lead, you will directly support a rapidly growing sector within the Division by leading the design and development of new scalable optical and photonic technologies that could lead to disruptive performance characteristics in compact satellite optical payloads.

Responsibilities would initially be in leading efforts as a Principal Investigator in compact electro-optic/infrared payload design and investigations into new optical technologies for future space payloads. Additional responsibilities will likely include developing concepts through internal R&D (IRAD) efforts, expanding technical scope to develop capabilities in new sensing modalities, integrated photonics, and quantum optics, and serving as a supervisor.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Leverage expertise in hybrid optics system design and new optics technologies to lead development of compact satellite optical payloads
  • Lead teams focused on modeling and simulation, fabrication, assembly and characterization to rapidly evaluate, integrate, and deploy new optical and photonic technologies
  • Leverage expertise in modeling tools to build capabilities in development of new EO/IR technologies for space payloads.
  • Build and lead partnerships with internal Leidos teams and external partners to investigate and mature optics technologies, and develop a pipeline to transition them to production and integration
  • Develop technology roadmaps for optics and photonics to justify strategic IRAD investments to secure future CRAD opportunities.

Basic Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in Engineering, Physics, optics, or equivalent field with 10+ years of prior relevant experience or Doctorate with 8+ years of prior relevant experience
  • Must be a US Citizen
  • Must have the ability to obtain and maintain a Secret clearance (no clearance needed to start)
  • Expertise serving as a Principal Investigator for efforts focused on developing and demonstrating novel optical technologies with DoD agencies
  • Experience leading multi-disciplinary teams to develop and deploy new optical and photonic technologies.
  • Expertise in performance evaluations of optical components, including point spread functions (PSFs), modulation transfer functions (MTFs), encircled power, etc.
  • Proficient experience with finite element-based design tools such as COMSOL, CST, or Lumerical.
  • Proficient in Windows
  • Excellent communication skills and proven ability to work directly with customers and deliver results
  • Mission oriented with a strong ability guide a team towards goals and deliver real world products
  • Proficient with technical writing, documentation, and organization
  • Robust sense of initiative, a self-starter who can work independently

Preferred Qualifications

  • Active Secret clearance
  • Experience in proposal development and business development
  • Expertise in broader technical areas to include integrated photonics, quantum optics, nano-optics, and optical materials


Original Posting Date:


While subject to change based on business needs, Leidos reasonably anticipates that this job requisition will remain open for at least 3 days with an anticipated close date of no earlier than 3 days after the original posting date as listed above.

Pay Range:

Pay Range $122,200.00 - $220,900.00

The Leidos pay range for this job level is a general guideline only and not a guarantee of compensation or salary. Additional factors considered in extending an offer include (but are not limited to) responsibilities of the job, education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as internal equity, alignment with market data, applicable bargaining agreement (if any), or other law.