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Staff Optical Engineer

Eikon Therapeutics
Hayward, CA
Start date
Feb 22, 2024

Job Details

Eikon Therapeutics is a new biopharmaceutical company employing revolutionary technology at the intersection of chemistry, engineering, computation, and biology to discover novel treatments for life-threatening diseases. Eikon’s discovery platform is built on groundbreaking innovations from its founders (Nobel Prize, 2014), culminating in the creation of microscopes which enable real time, molecular-resolution measurements of protein movement in living cells, thereby unlocking otherwise intractable classes of proteins as drug targets.


As a Staff Optical Engineer at Eikon Therapeutics, you will play a key role in the design, development, and implementation of advanced biological imaging systems. You will work collaboratively with cross-functional teams to drive innovation and contribute to the success of our drug discovery pipeline as well as our commercial research tool program. This is an exciting opportunity for an optical engineering professional to take on a leadership role and make a significant impact in a fast-paced and dynamic environment.

About You 

You are an experienced Staff Optical Engineer.  You have experience designing, prototyping, assembling, testing precision opto-mechanical, electro-optical or electro-optical-mechanical systems for volume production.  You are proactive, intellectually curious, and demonstrate a growth mindset.  You have strong communication skills, are team-oriented, and adaptable to rapidly evolving goals and challenges. 

What You’ll Do 

  • Lead the design and development of optical systems for our in-house high throughput microscopes. 
  • Conduct optical simulations, analyses, and tests to optimize system performance. 
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and software engineers, to integrate optical components into overall systems. 
  • Provide technical guidance and mentorship to junior engineers. 
  • Stay updated on the latest advancements in optical technology and incorporate relevant innovations into our projects. 
  • Work closely with project managers to ensure timely delivery of high-quality optical systems. 
  • Run tolerance analysis to define specifications for external vendors. 
  • Incorporate design for manufacturing for optical systems and design appropriate alignment and assembling fixtures/tooling. 
  • Prototyping and testing of optical assemblies and systems.  
  • Identify failure modes through modeling and hands-on analysis. 
  • Provide feedback with sustainable solutions for corrective actions. 
  • Seek automation and improvement opportunities for the in-house microscopes. 


  • Bachelor’s degree with 8 years of relevant experience or a Master’s degree with 6 years of relevant experience or a PhD with 3 years of relevant experience in Optical Engineering, Physics, or a related field. 
  • Proven experience in designing and developing optical systems consisting of laser illumination and imaging (e.g. fluorescence microscopy).
  • Strong proficiency in optical design software (e.g., Zemax, Code V) and simulation tools as well as data analysis tools (e.g. Python, Matlab). 
  • Deep understanding of ray and Fourier optics.
  • In-depth knowledge of optical components, including lenses, mirrors, filters, and detectors.
  • Experience in designing for manufacturing of precision optical instruments.
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, team oriented, deadline-driven environment.
  • Proficient documentation skills for writing design specifications, functional specifications, work instructions, SOPs, and test reports.
  • Skilled hands-on ability to build, align, and troubleshoot precision optical assemblies.
  • Strong problem-solving skills to address functional and reliability issues with optical systems.
  • Experience with building super-resolution microscopes (PALM, STORM, SIM, etc.).
  • Familiarity with metrology tools required to align optical instruments (interferometers, wavefront sensors, autocollimators, etc.)
  • Experience designing multi-element lenses such as microscope objectives, scan lenses, and zoom lenses.
  • Experience working with product life-cycle management systems, such as Agile, Arena, Omnify, etc. to create BOM, upload specifications, and create ECOs.
  • Basic familiarity with CAD software, such as Solidworks
  • Proficient in using Sharepoint, JIRA, Confluence, and Slack 

At Eikon, employee compensation also includes bonus and equity compensation, in addition to several generous benefit programs, including:

  • 401k plan with company matching
  • Medical (premiums covered by Eikon at 95%), dental and vision insurance (premiums covered by Eikon at 100%)
  • Mental health and wellness benefits
  • Weeklong summer and winter holiday shutdowns
  • Generous paid time off and holiday policies
  • Life/AD&D Insurance (premiums covered by Eikon at 100%) and optional supplemental employee-paid life/AD&D policies
  • Enhanced parental leave benefit
  • Daily subsidized lunch program when on-site

The expected salary range for this role is $163,000 to $178,600 depending on skills, competency, and the market demand for your expertise.

Eikon is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and will consider all qualified applicants for employment.

In accordance with the Company’s duty to provide and maintain a safe workplace, the Company requires all employees to be Fully Vaccinated with one of the FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines, which includes those vaccines that have received the FDA’s emergency use authorization. You will be expected to be Fully Vaccinated as of your Start Date. If you believe that you are exempt from this requirement under an applicable law or regulations, including Americans with Disabilities Act and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, you will need to contact the Company’s Human Resources group. For purposes of this section, Fully Vaccinated means (i) the completion of the vaccination regimen as approved by the FDA (by way of example, 2 doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and 1 dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine), and (ii) timely receiving booster vaccination, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We are currently not accepting any new third-party agencies or firms at this time. Please do not forward unsolicited agency resumes to our website, employees or Human Resources. Eikon Therapeutics will not pay fees to any third-party agency or firm associated with unsolicited resumes.


Eikon is a pioneering drug discovery and development company that leverages superior engineering and high-performance computing to analyze single molecule protein behavior in living cells. We are engineering a battery of innovative tools and technologies for biological exploration in drug discovery and beyond.

Eikon thrives on the energy and creativity of interdisciplinary teams. We are physicists and chemists, biologists and engineers. We spend our days context-switching between multiple scientific languages. We work with lasers, super-resolution microscopes, and robot arms. We leverage machine learning, cell line engineering, and the collective intelligence of world-class scientists and technologists to observe therapeutically relevant biology in a way no one has before.

We’re endlessly curious, intellectually honest and we love what we do. We’re driven to learn the true mechanisms of biology and pharmacology at the molecular level, to make the biggest difference in as many lives as possible.

Company info
3929 Point Eden Way

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