Senior Experimental Officer

Southampton, United Kingdom
£30,942 to £38,017 per annum
Thursday, 8 April 2021
End of advertisement period
Friday, 23 April 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Fibre & Systems Group

Location: Highfield Campus
Salary: £30,942 to £38,017 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term (2 years)
Closing Date: Friday 23 April 2021
Interview Date: To be confirmed
Reference: 1355221PN

You will support engineering and research in the development of advanced microstructured optical fibres -  working on fabrication technologies for novel optical fibres, including all aspects of glass preform manufacture, optical fibre drawing, polymer coating optimisation and characterization methods. The work environment will involve close interaction with the design and development teams to successfully transfer novel research ideas into manufacturing. Key challenges will be in the consolidation of established fibre designs, in the development of fabrication technologies for more innovative designs, and in the implementation of novel preform manufacturing processes.

This role is full time fixed-term initially for 2 years due to funding restrictions.

Responsibilities of the position will include:

  • Fabrication of new, custom-designed microstructured preforms and optical fibres.
  • Support the development, transfer and implementation of manufacturing processes for preform fabrication and optical fibre drawing. 
  • Operation and monitoring of state-of-the-art optical fibre manufacturing equipment within a quality management and safety-conscious environment. 
  • Collaboration with equipment suppliers on technology development and process equipment improvements.
  • Development of process control tools and analysis of measurement data to identify trends and correlations. 
  • Development and management of documentation in support of process technology, operating procedures and process control requirements. 
  • Contribution in the first person to the establishment and maintenance of a safe work environment.

To be successful you must have a minimum skill level equivalent to achievement of HND Degree, NVQ4 or basic professional qualification and demonstrate relevant experience in advanced manufacturing or assembly, ideally in the domain of optical fibres or fibre-optic components. This should be accompanied by strong problem-solving ability, and experience in troubleshooting complex systems.

Additionally, the following experience would be highly-advantageous:

  • Demonstrated ability in innovative development and practical application 
  • Experience in the use of a glassworking lathe and/or a fibre draw tower
  • Practical knowledge of optical fibres and their properties 
  • Proficiency with basic optical test equipment (e.g. power meter, optical spectrum analyser, etc.)
  • BSc or Higher Degree in Photonics Engineering or Applied Optics, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering or Physics (or equivalent) with 3+ years’ work experience in an optics-based manufacturing environment. 
  • Experience in optical fibre fabrication

In return we offer you detailed training and supervision in each of the applicable manufacturing processes, both initially, and when new equipment and techniques are introduced through the team’s programme of research.   We offer you the opportunity to rapidly grow your knowledge, cultivate high-impact and valuable skills on the forefront of advanced optical technology, and achieve mastery in a range of cutting-edge fibre-optic manufacturing techniques. With the growth in these skills you will work independently aligning activity with the larger team goals.

Based at the University of Southampton, a research-led institution in the top one percent of world Universities, within the renowned Optoelectronics Research Centre, where most of the specialty optical fibre technology in existence today was invented – you will work as part of a cohesive, world-renowned team, to interact with experimentalists, physicists, and theoreticians alike and to contribute to the generation of high-quality research results.

Equality, diversity and Inclusion is central to the ethos in the Zepler Institute. We particularly encourage women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), LGBT and disabled applicants to apply for this position.  We value diversity and inclusion at the University and aspire for our staff population to be broadly representative of our community. In recognition of our continued commitment to improving equality for women in science we were awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze. We gives full consideration to applicants that wish to work flexibly including part-time and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy**, onsite childcare facilities along with other benefits such as the cycle to work scheme.

The University of Southampton is in the top 1% of world universities and in the top 10 of the UK’s research-intensive universities. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and being a globally responsible university and has recently been awarded the Platinum EcoAward. Our vision is to embed the principles of sustainability into all aspects of our individual and collective work, integrating sustainable development into our business planning, policy-making, and professional activities. This commits all of our staff and students to take responsibility for managing their activities to minimise harm to the environment, whether this through switching off non-essential electrical equipment or using the recycling facilities.

**subject to qualifying criteria

* You will assume the title Specialist Technician upon appointment

Application Procedure 

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Kate Pounds (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 5456 or email  Please quote reference 1355221PN on all correspondence.