Freie Stelle am MPE / Vacant Position at MPE

2012-01-30;     Ref.: 04/12

Optical Designer (m/f)

Field of work

The Infrared Group of the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE), in Garching, near Munich, Germany, is a world leading institute for ground and space-based experimental astrophysics. We support a major program of innovative infrared instrumentation development, focusing on high resolution imaging and spectroscopy. Our current projects include GRAVITY, a 4-beam interferometric instrument for the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope in Chile; and ARGOS, a multiple laser guide star adaptive optics system for the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona. The goals of the instrumentation program are driven by our research on the Galactic Center, the nuclei of nearby galaxies, and star forming galaxies in the early Universe. We make use of our instrumentation to study star formation, physical properties and dynamics of galaxies, and black hole formation and evolution.

The group currently has need for an ambitious and talented Optical Designer to work on MICADO, an adaptive optics camera and first light instrument for the future 40-m class European Extremely Large Telescope.

Your tasks

Your task will be to develop an opto-mechanical design in the context of the Preliminary Design Phase, and demonstrate that it can fulfill the key functional capabilities of sensitivity, resolution, and stability for precision astrometry. The work will make use of computer based optical design, and take into account state-of-the-art fabrication methods, include tolerance and finite element analysis appropriate to the working temperature of -200deg C, analysis of the optical quality, as well as end-to-end modeling of the instrument including suppression of stray light and thermal background.


Applicants should have an appropriate university degree (equivalent to a Masters or German Diploma) and an in-depth knowledge of Zemax. A background that includes instrument design, and a familiarity with mechanical design software and finite element analysis, would be beneficial. A strong sense of team spirit and an excellent command of the English language are essential. MPE offers a highly inspiring scientific environment. Our instruments are developed in small teams of scientists and engineers, and the candidate will fill an important role in the projects.

Our offer

The flexible starting date could be as early as summer 2012. The position is for an initial period of two years with the opportunity for extension. The salary is based on the standard German TVöD scale for civil servants, and will match your qualifications and experience. The MPE encourages applications from women, minorities, and disabled persons.

Detailed information about the institute and the IR/submm group is available on
Please contact Dr. Richard Davies for further information: phone: +49-(0)89-30000-3298 E-mail:

Please send a letter of application with a curriculum vitae and a brief description of your experience and interests to:
Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
POB 1312
D-85740 Garching
or send an e-mail to:

Formal deadline is April 30, 2012 but applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is found.

© Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik

Letzte Änderung / Last update: 2012-02-02 by linkH. Steinle
Kontakt / Contact: linkH.-P. Gschnell
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