KLA Careers

Optical Engineer

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Company Overview

Calling the adventurers ready to join a company that's pushing the limits of nanotechnology to keep the digital revolution rolling. At KLA, we're making technology advancements that are bigger—and tinier—than the world has ever seen.

Who are we?  We research, develop, and manufacture the world's most advanced inspection and measurement equipment for the semiconductor and nanoelectronics industries. We enable the digital age by pushing the boundaries of technology, creating tools capable of finding defects smaller than a wavelength of visible light. We create smarter processes so that technology leaders can manufacture high-performance chips—the kind in that phone in your pocket, the tablet on your desk and nearly every electronic device you own—faster and better. We're passionate about creating solutions that drive progress and help people do what wouldn't be possible without us.  The future is calling. Will you answer?


The Global Service Support Organization (GSS) team headquartered in Milpitas, CA is our service organization that consists of Service Sales and Marketing, Spares Supply Chain management, Field Operations, Product Training, and Technical Support.  The GSS organization partners with our field teams and customers in all business sectors to maintain the high performance and productivity of our products through a flexible portfolio of services. Our comprehensive services include: proactive management of tools to identify and improve performance; expertise in optics, image processing and motion control with worldwide service engineers, 24/7 technical support teams and knowledge management systems; and an extensive parts network to ensure worldwide availability of parts.


The GSS Engineering team is looking for a self-motivated, creative, and results-oriented Optical Engineer to develop and support teams resolving issues and ensuring optical performance of laser subsystems.  These systems consist of state-of-the-art components and modules, such as LEDs, optical fibers, detectors, beam shaping sub-systems, lens systems, and control systems.  This role requires close interaction with KLA development and manufacturing teams located in California and Singapore and may require travel up to 25%.  The successful candidate will have a deep technical understanding of laser and optical systems along with strong communication skills both oral and written.  They will also be comfortable taking the initiative in identifying and proposing solutions for potential issues that could impact the product success. This includes both anticipating problems through analysis of technical and non-technical trends during prototype evaluations, providing direction to development teams for further improvement, and advocating for customer and service needs.  We are looking for candidates who have intellectual curiosity, are natural problem solvers, work well with others, possess a desire to grow, and have the ability to communicate across multiple groups.

Additional details regarding key responsibilities:

  • Design, model, analyze, tolerance, characterize, and integrate optical systems to fit requirements within specified physical limits and design constraints
  • Use state-of-the-art software tools including but not limited to ray tracing, numerical analysis, and modeling (e.g. Zemax, CODEV, MATLAB, Python, Lighttools, JMP )
  • Determine specifications and tolerances for optical components and modules; perform trade-off analysis of contributions from various sub-systems
  • Align and optimize optical modules & subsystems
  • Diagnose system problems across optics, software, electronics, mechanics, and materials; troubleshoot and perform failure analysis on optical modules & subsystems
  • Design quality control or inspection stations to test & qualify optical components, modules and system
  • Have knowledge of optical manufacturing techniques and limitations
  • Collaborate with vendors to develop customize optical components and modules
  • Work efficiently in cross-function teams to integrate optical system in overall final product
  • Design, write, and execute detailed test, characterization, performance, and validation plans, generate reports, and participate in design iterations to improve subsystem performance
  • Be able to document and train for installation, alignment, and troubleshooting of optical systems as part of transferring products to manufacturing and service teams
  • Maintain rigor within the group by demanding adherence to the planned strategy and calling for periodic reviews to determine if the plan needs to change
  • Communicate status and changes on a periodic basis to management in the form of weekly reports and live presentation
  • Have a working knowledge of semiconductor manufacturing, optical-mechanical systems, DUV Laser fundamentals, wafer handling systems and servo control systems
  • Work on multiple projects in parallel


  • Advanced degree in Optical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics, Optics, or related fields
  • Ability to work effectively with little supervision and achieve results in a timely manner
  • Effective communicator with good interpersonal skills
  • Proven track record of resolving technical issues and problem solving
  • Experience developing and supporting complex laser systems or assemblies
  • Experience working with optoelectronics, sensor technology, microscopy, optics, or systems support
  • Excellent English communication skills are required
  • Desire and ability to work in cross-functional teams

Minimum Qualifications

Doctorate (Academic) with at least 5 years of experience, OR Master's Level Degree with at least 6 years of experience, OR Bachelor's Level Degree with at least 7 years of experience.

Equal Employment Opportunity

KLA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants will be considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other characteristics protected by applicable law.

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