Mechanical Engineer, NPI – Sterling, VA

Mechanical Engineer, NPI

Thorlabs, Inc.

Sterling, VA


Mechanical Engineer, NPI

Thorlabs, Inc., Sterling, VA, United States

Employer Description

Founded in 1989, Thorlabs seeks to accelerate the forward movement of scientific discovery and advancement! As a vertically integrated manufacturer of photonics components, instruments, and systems, our vast product portfolio includes over 20,000 items, ranging from optics and optomechanical positioning components to imaging systems, many of which are customer inspired.

Photonics is the foremost technology driving innovation in science and engineering. As the number of technological innovations has grown, Thorlabs has extended its core competencies in an effort to play an ever increasing role serving the Photonics Industry at the research end, as well as the industrial, life science, medical, and defense segments.

Headquartered in Newton, NJ, Thorlabs has grown to over Approximately 2,300 employees with manufacturing and sales offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, China, and Brazil. As light-based technologies push into new markets, Thorlabs plans to enter early with the products and services required to ensure the ultimate success of our customers.

Job Description

This position is an entry level engineering position part of the NPI team that interfaces with a variety of teams including mechanics, optics, firmware, software, marketing, sales, and production. The position requires an overall understanding of the product life cycle and the ability to bring a product from the raw concept phase to the final release phase. The Junior NPI Engineer is passionate about creating innovative and effective customer-orientated solutions.


Essential Job Functions  include the following, but are not limited to:

  • Review project inputs from design engineers and gather product requirements, detailed functional specifications, and design descriptions, to make sure that new products and product enhancements are adequately defined, well-understood, and approved.
  • Work with purchasing and planning group to procure components for pilot run of new products.
  • Assist technicians in conducting pilot run build or proof of manufacturability.
  • Integrate software and firmware onto new systems and perform modular, front end and GUI testing onto all new products. Notify design engineers of conditions requiring more complex resolution, recurring failures, potential service issues, or identified new product limitations. Make recommendations for potential design or procedural changes.
  • Review and update marketing analysis of new products such as sales forecasts and costs to determine effective gross profit margins and to price products competitively on the market.
  • Management and tracking of NPI inventory transactions
  • Create engravings and markings that comply with industry and company standard for every new product.
  • Determine effective packaging solutions for all new products.

Project Review

  • Set-up Items and BOMs in MRP system. Review and update all manufacturing drawings, and documentation on new products before release.
  • Participate in web page reviews on all new products and provide technical support to answer and explain new products to the marketing team.
  • Introduction of derivative products into the market.


NPI Team Job Functions  include the following, but are not limited to:

  • Interface with a variety of teams to introduce new products in the market. Team include research, engineering (mechanics, optics, electronics, firmware, software), manufacturing, marketing and sales.
  • Introduce new products into the market after project has been transferred from engineering.
  • Facilitate the developments of documentation, instructions and procedures that improve manufacturability of new products.
  • Provide customer-orientated presentations and documentation to ease use of product
  • Propose and support development of new products or improvement of existing products
  • Support all other NPI Team members in order to meet project timelines
  • Document all project inputs and outputs in ECRO process


Thorlabs values its diverse environment and is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified individuals will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status. Job descriptions are not intended as and do not create employment contracts. The organization maintains its status as an at-will employer. Employees can be terminated for any reason not prohibited by law.


Job Requirements



  • 0-2 years of experience in engineering field
  • Hands-on experience in the bioimaging or photonics industry is a plus.
    Design for Six Sigma (DFFS) and Lean Manufacturing experience a plus.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical/Optical Systems Engineering or other relevant technical major required.

Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Experience using SolidWorks 2D, 3D, Photoview 360 Modeling Application.
  • Problem resolution skills applied to providing solutions involving new design and assembly techniques, technologies, and concepts is a must.
  • Experience with optical and mechanical design.
  • Provide technical support to answer and explain new products to the customers and sales teams.
  • Strong sense of ownership and work ethic, written and verbal communication skills is a must.
  • Experience with product roadmaps, voice of the customer, user experience improvements, new product development, and niche marketing.
  • Strong understanding of AXAPTA (Enterprise resource planning solution), KANBAN, Visio, Microsoft office, and OneNote.
  • Candidates with certifications in product or project management, which include (PMP, CPM, CPMM…), are a plus.



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