SpaceX Manufacturing Engineer (Optics) in Redmond, Washington

Manufacturing Engineer (Optics)

Manufacturing and Production - Engineering

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SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.


SpaceX continues to decrease launch costs with technologies such as reusable rockets, making space travel more accessible than ever before. The Materials Engineering team supports the company in the pursuit of this goal. In this role, you will support the design and manufacturing of highly specialized optical components.

Bring your technical excellence with a genuine desire to serve internal customers to be successful in this position. If this sounds exciting, we want to hear from you!


  • Use fundamental materials knowledge to design manufacturable processes for the fabrication of optical components

  • Design a cost-effective high-volume manufacturing process for polishing glass and SiC optical components

  • Perform hands-on engineering and liaison between the design team and production organization as SpaceX ramps up manufacturing

  • Take responsibility for the introduction into high-rate manufacturing

  • Contribute to design reviews acting as an expert in design for manufacturability, design for testability, yield improvements, supplier capabilities assessments, quality control, etc.

  • Perform structured root cause analysis of in-process failures

  • Perform training of production personnel and leadership


  • Bachelor's degree in optical engineering, physics, mechanical engineering, materials engineering, electrical engineering, or other engineering discipline

  • 3+ years of professional experience in optical materials and optical manufacturing engineering


  • Master’s degree or Ph.D. in optical engineering, physics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, materials engineering, or other engineering discipline

  • 6+ years of professional experience in optical materials and optical manufacturing engineering

  • Professional experience with high-volume and low cost manufacturing of optical components

  • Experience with rough-grinding and polishing of optical materials such as glass and fused silica

  • Experience specifying fixturing, grinding compounds, and coolant requirements

  • Experience with acquiring and operating spherical and deterministic (aspheric) polishing equipment

  • Experience operating optical metrology equipment, including interferometers and CMM

  • Experience grinding zerodur, silicon carbide, and other specialized optical materials

  • Experience specifying and acquiring grinding and polishing equipment

  • Metrology setup for null verification of concave and convex mirrors

  • Experience scripting automated equipment, including CNC programming and machine tool setup

  • Experience with Hindle-shell metrology for verification of convex mirrors

  • Design of null correctors and computer-generated holograms

  • Proficiency with optical analysis software (Zemax or Code V)

  • Track record of scoping and owning projects, and driving them to completion

  • Ability to earn the professional trust of others

  • Ability to thrive in a scrappy entrepreneurial environment


  • Occasional travel may be required


  • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.

Job Location

Redmond, WA, United States