Research Associate (Limited Term) – Optical Engineering

Job Number: 1801203

To apply:

Description: The Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto invites applications for a Research Associate (Limited Term) for a five-year appointment. The anticipated start date is May 1st, 2018.

The University of Toronto is leading the development of a cutting-edge scientific instrument for one of the world’s largest astronomical observatories. This instrument will combine the latest advances in adaptive optics and infrared imaging spectroscopy. The responsibilities of the candidate will be as follows:

  • Designs the optics for cutting-edge astronomical instrumentation, particularly in the fields of adaptive optics and visible/infrared imaging spectroscopy, using the latest developments in optical engineering.
  • Performs advanced analyses of optical designs in order to demonstrate compliance with requirements.
  • Works with vendors to ensure optical components are fabricated to the exacting tolerances required.
  • Integrates, aligns, tests, and characterizes the optical systems of complex astronomical instrumentation.

In all these activities, there is the expectation that the appointee will supervise the work of undergraduate and graduate students.

The Dunlap Institute ( pursues groundbreaking astronomical research across the electromagnetic spectrum, through innovative approaches to instrumentation, data-driven science and observations, alongside a substantive commitment to outreach and training. The Dunlap Institute is co-located with and has strong ties to the University’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics (DAA) and to the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA). These three units together host over 130 staff and students in astronomy, who conduct a diverse research program across instrumentation, observations, computation and theory.

The Dunlap Institute is located on a beautiful 19th century campus in the heart of one of the world’s great cities. Rated as having one of the highest standards of living in the world, Toronto offers a huge range of indoor and outdoor pursuits, outstanding food and music, and a vibrant and diverse cultural community.


QualificationsMinimum Qualifications

PhD or equivalent certification in optical engineering

Demonstrated experience of 3 years in optical design and engineering:

  • Advanced skills in developing new designs of adaptive optics systems, imaging systems, and spectrographs in ZEMAX or equivalent software.
  • Experience designing refractive and reflective optical systems, working over the visible and near infrared wavelength range.
  • Experience performing optical analyses, including: image quality, distortion, throughput, ghosting and stray light.
  • Experience carrying out tolerance analyses of optical systems and working with vendors to meet design specifications.
  • Experience communicating optical system design requirements (e.g., alignment degrees of freedom, range and resolution of required adjustments) to team members.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop optical tests to evaluate overall performance of completed designs.
  • A record of lead author publications in optical design in engineering journals.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with students.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a team.

Travel: None

Notes: Applicants should apply online at the link below and include a covering letter, curriculum vitae and three reference names with their contact addresses and phone numbers. Any questions regarding this position should be directed to Prof. Suresh Sivanandam at

Employee Group: Research Associate, Limited Term

Appointment Type: Grant – Term

Schedule: Full-time

Pay Scale Group and Hiring Rate: R01 — Research Associates (Limited Term): $43,342 – $81,266

Job Field: Research Associate (Limited Term)

Job Posting: Mar 29, 2018

Job Closing: Apr 6, 2018, 11:59:00 PM