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Lead Optical Engineer

Santa Rosa, California

Job ID IMS20222503-79447
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On the L3Harris team, your job is to secure the world. We don’t work here just for the advanced technology and equipment: We work here because we know what – and who – we’re protecting. From families to the intelligence community, and from our climate to our men and women in uniform – we’re making the world a safer place. Working in Software with L3Harris you'll join our team of qualified, diverse individuals and work in a fast-paced environment with high expectations, global scope, and a collaborative team setting.

  • Full Time
  • Level: Experienced
  • Location: On Site
  • Glassdoor Reviews and Company Rating

Success Profile

What makes a successful Engineer at L3Harris?
Check out the traits we’re looking for and see if you have the right mix.

  • Innovative
  • Technical
  • Influential
  • Critical Thinker
  • Analytical
  • Detail Oriented


I love my job because every day there’s a new problem to tackle, a new skill to learn and an awesome team that has my back.

Heather S., Engineer

L3Harris Work Perks

  • Health

    • Medical with a High Deductible and traditional PPO plan options, as well as, vision and a full array of supplemental health benefits
    • A doctors' service to help with referrals and second opinions for you, your family, and parents

  • Family

    • 4 weeks of paid parental leave for moms and dads
    • Fertility treatment
    • Subsidized backup childcare and eldercare
    • Adoption assistance - $5,000 per adoption/$15,000 per employee
    • Pet insurance

  • Well-Being

    • No cap to your PTO time (for exempt employees)
    • Dress for your day - wear what works for you at work
    • Legal plan for you, your family, and parents
    • Discount platform
    • 9/80 work schedule available for most U.S. employees, effective October 24, 2022.

Job Description

L3Harris is dedicated to recruiting and developing diverse, high-performing talent who are passionate about what they do. Our employees are unified in a shared dedication to our customers’ mission and quest for professional growth. L3Harris provides an inclusive, engaging environment designed to empower employees and promote work-life success. Fundamental to our culture is an unwavering focus on values, dedication to our communities, and commitment to excellence in everything we do.

L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across space, air, land, sea and cyber domains. L3Harris has approximately $18 billion in annual revenue and 47,000 employees, with customers in more than 100 countries.


Job Title: Lead Optical Engineer

Job Code: IMS20222503-79447

Job Location: Santa Rosa, CA

About Sonoma EO

L3Harris Sonoma EO, located in Santa Rosa, CA is an established leader in Electro-optical systems for security and defense applications. A trailblazer in designing and developing highly engineered, innovative solutions, L3Harris Sonoma EO is world renowned for its expertise in the areas of Electro Optical / Infrared (EO/IR) stabilized imaging systems. Sonoma EO is engaged in the design, development, and manufacture of highly-sophisticated systems. We offer competitive benefits, an alternative 9/80 work schedule, and the opportunity to work with a talented and diverse group of professionals.

Essential Duties And Responsibilities
A Sr Optical Engineer has primary responsibility for developing the techniques, tools, and procedures for all aspects of Optical Engineering for the division, including Optical System analysis and design as well as Optical System integration and test. Secondary responsibilities of a Sr Optical Engineer are to meet with customers and BD to develop requirements and specifications for new and existing products. Develop and maintain technical connections and interactions with other ISS Optical Systems groups as well as relevant industry and academic groups including contributing to the scientific community by writing technical papers and serving on committees. Support the manufacturing organization.The following reflects management’s definition of essential functions for this job but does not restrict the tasks that may be assigned. Management may assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons.

  • Develop the techniques, tools, and procedures for all aspects of Optical Engineering for the division
    • Develop Optical Engineering tools and procedures for Optical Design, Analysis, Integration, and Test.
    • Document and control optical tools and procedures.
    • Disseminate new optical tools and procedures to junior engineers and the rest of the organization as appropriate.
    • Provide Optical Engineering expertise to support manufacturing tasks and issues.
  • Provide Optical Systems Engineering expertise in support of NRE contracts and Business Development
    • Work with customers (External and Internal) to develop system level technical objectives, schedules, and budgets.
    • Support proposal generation with Optical System performance analysis and trade studies.
    • Design and develop new optical sensor payloads for custom (NRE) contracts and WSO IRAD programs.
    • Assemble, integrate, and test optical sensors to meet project specifications.
    • Work with BD, research labs, and customers to develop advanced technology, proposals, and requirements.
  • Develop and maintain technical connections and interactions with other ISS Optical Systems groups as well as relevant industry and academic groups
    • Cross-division support of Product Development and IRAD plans.
    • Contribute to the scientific community by writing technical papers and serving on committees.

Basic Qualifications

  • Education – M.S. Degree (Ph.D. preferred) in Optical Engineering.
  • Experience – 14 years of related experience with M.S. Degree; 12 years with Ph.D. Degree.
  • Advanced knowledge of many areas of Optical Engineering.
  • Advanced knowledge of optical design codes (Zemax, Code V, etc.)
  • Advanced knowledge of mathematical analysis codes (Matlab, Mathematica, MathCad, etc.).
  • Advanced knowledge of Optical Metrology (Interferometers, image quality metrics, alignment and test techniques, Labview, etc.).
  • Ability to create/design optical systems to meet customer requirements by working directly with external and internal customers.
  • Possess working knowledge of WSO industry and competition.
  • Ability to interact with and connect to the WSO/L-3 ISS customer community (AFRL, NRL, NVESD, etc.).
  • Ability to work effectively with other design disciplines as well as manufacturing to create design solutions that address often-conflicting requirements.
  • Must be able to communicate clearly (written and verbal) to technical and non-technical personnel.
  • Ability to write clear technical documentation.
  • Ability to effectively plan and organize projects and manage priorities.
  • Working knowledge of industry.
  • US Citizen with ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance.
  • Pre-employment federal level drug screening and background checks are standard.
  • L3Harris is an e-Verify Employer.

ADA Requirements:

  • Some repetitive motion activities.
  • Visual acuity to operate equipment, read technical information.
  • Able to use a computer/keyboard for extended periods of time.
    • Fast paced, schedule-driven environment.
    • Willing and able to work extended hours when necessary.
    • Periodic travel may be required.

Please be aware many of our positions require the ability to obtain a security clearance. Security clearances may only be granted to U.S. citizens. In addition, applicants who accept a conditional offer of employment may be subject to government security investigation(s) and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.

By submitting your résumé for this position, you understand and agree that L3Harris Technologies may share your résumé, as well as any other related personal information or documentation you provide, with its subsidiaries and affiliated companies for the purpose of considering you for other available positions.

L3Harris Technologies is proud to be an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. L3Harris is committed to treating all employees and applicants for employment with respect and dignity and maintaining a workplace that is free from unlawful discrimination. All applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or other related medical conditions), gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, disability, genetic information, citizenship status, characteristic or membership in any other group protected by federal, state or local laws. L3Harris maintains a drug-free workplace and performs pre-employment substance abuse testing and background checks, where permitted by law.

L3Harris Technologies is an E-Verify Employer. Please click here for the E-Verify Poster in English or Spanish. For information regarding your Right To Work, please click here for English or Spanish.

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