Laser Optic Engineer

New Jersey, United States
10 Jun 2020
End of advertisement period
10 Aug 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Department   PPPL Engineering and Infrastrc

Category   Engineering

Full-Time / Part-Time   Full-Time


The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) seeks a laser-optical engineer to take primary responsibility for the operation, maintenance, and upgrades of the Multi-Pulse Thomson Scattering (MPTS) diagnostic on the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U), a major US fusion facility supported by the US Department of Energy that is located at PPPL. The MPTS diagnostic measures the spatial profiles of the plasma electron temperature and density and it is required for nearly every NSTX-U experiment, so high reliability and availability are essential. The MPTS diagnostic consists of two high power Nd:YAG lasers (2 J per pulse, 30 Hz pulse repetition rate), beam combining and transmission optics, scattered light collection optics, and detection based on interference filters and avalanche photodiodes and associated electronics. An additional laser capable of operating in pulse burst mode at a high repetition rate (up to 10 kHz) has been installed and will be commissioned and used in the future. The engineer may also be requested to assist with laser-based diagnostics for other experiments at PPPL such as laser induced fluorescence, laser induced incandescence, Raman scattering, and coherent Rayleigh-Brillouin scattering.


  • Operate Multi-Pulse Thomson Scattering (MPTS) diagnostic during NSTX-U experimental  operation and ensure that plasma electron temperature and density profiles are available to support experimental physics goals.
  • Work with research staff who are experts in Thomson scattering measurements to validate the MPTS data and resolve any issues to ensure that the electron temperature and density measurements are reliable.
  • Maintain and repair MPTS sub-systems.
  • Monitor optical alignment of MPTS optical train and perform alignment as needed.
  • Maintain and modify MPTS data analysis software.
  • Calibrate MPTS diagnostic using Rayleigh and Raman Scattering from low pressure gases during NSTX-U outages.
  • Upgrade and modernize the MPTS diagnostic hardware, e.g. modernize the data acquisition hardware.
  • Commission pulse burst mode Thomson scattering system.
  • Assist with laser-based diagnostics for other experiments at PPPL.


  • BS in Engineering or Physics
  • MS with a specialization in Optics, and at least 5 year of relevant experience thereafter
  • Demonstrated experience with operation, alignment, maintenance, and repair of complex experimental installations involving high power lasers, optics, and low-level light detection systems (detectors and associated signal processing and data acquisition electronics)
  • Ability to maintain and modify data analysis software in a Linux environment
  • Knowledge of optical system design and high-power laser optics. Experience with optical ray tracing codes such as Zemax is desired
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a large experimental team
  • Effective oral and written communications skills

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. All PPPL employees are required to disclose any participation in a foreign government talent recruitment program and may be required to withdraw from such programs to remain employed under the DOE Contract.

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