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Optical Process Scientist

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Date: Jun 29, 2022

Location: Fairport, NY, US, 14450

Company: Corning

Requisition Number: 51661


Corning is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science. For more than 160 years, Corning has applied its unparalleled expertise in specialty glass, ceramics, and optical physics to develop products that have created new industries and transformed people’s lives.

At Corning, our growth is fueled by a commitment to innovation. We succeed through sustained investment in research & development, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and close collaboration with customers to solve tough technology challenges. We are a four-time National Medal of Technology winner thanks to our technology leadership and R&D environment, which attract and enable the best scientific minds in the world. This pipeline of talent has brought life-changing innovation to your fingertips for more than 160 years.


Scope of Position

The position is in the Advanced Optics surface finishing and optical fabrication development group based in Fairport, NY. The scope of this position has a focus on deepening understanding of the chemical and mechanical aspects of glass and ceramic polishing. The individual will be working closely with optical manufacturing and metrology development team SMEs, supporting the group objective of developing novel optical fabrication processes and expanding Corning’s optical manufacturing capability. The role involves developing innovative optical manufacturing technologies for high-precision optical elements (spheres, aspheres, freeforms, windows, mirrors, prisms, etc…) from conception to transfer to manufacturing. Experience with brittle material science, chemical mechanical polishing, pitch polishing is required. The candidate will aim for a thorough understanding of optical fabrication techniques, solve problems, and improve processes as part of a team using structured problem solving methods such as KT, DOEs, etc… . The individual will be responsible to develop and maintain a scientific network inside and outside of the corporation and it is expected that the candidate will assist with inquiries about optical fabrication from across the division and the corporation. The candidate is expected to document results by authoring internal/external reports and filing invention disclosure.  


Day to Day Responsibilities

  • Carry out tests and validation of optical fabrication processes to deepen fundamental understanding of the physics, chemistry, etc… involved in surface finishing processes encompasssing lapping through final high precision polishing, including alternative materials and complex surface shapes.
  • Develop models integrating sound scientific principles of polishing processes with data from sensitivity experiments sampling process input variables.
  • Verify and optimize model accuracy using experimental and historical data.
  • Use sound scientific and engineering principles when analyzing optical fabrication processes experimental results.
  • Work with mechanical engineers, material scientists, chemists, and characterization scientists to deepen scientific knowledge of the polishing process to expands Corning’s ability to fabricate and manufacture the most demanding optics in the world.
  • Hands on development of new polishing processes for glass, crystals and other optical substrates, and optical components including flats, spheres, aspheres, and freeform. This includes the manufacture of optics for customer prototype lens systems.
  • Work with division and production engineers to understand current production fabrication limitations and identify avenues for improvements.
  • Scope out technical risk and challenges for component fabrication of prototype and development commercial opportunities.
  • Participate on teams to support project and department objectives.
  • Communicate results to peers, management, and technology receivers.
  • Develop training documentation and assist with the transfer of optical fabrication solutions developed by the development group to division and plant engineering.
  • Keep current with technological advances in optical fabrication through scientific litterature, conferences, interfacing with appropriate experts, etc… .  


Education and Experience

  • B.S. required, M.S., Ph.D. preferred. Optical and Material Science preferred, will consider Chemistry and Physics degrees as well.
  • Min. 3 years experience in optical fabrication processes and/or applicable material science/chemistry.  


Required Skills

  • Fundamental understanding of chemistry and physics of colloid suspensions.
  • Fundamental understanding of viscoelastic properties of polishing pitch and pads.
  • Deep knowledge of conventional pitch and non-pitch based optical material processing methods and equipments.
  • Application of Design of Experiment (DOE) and statistical data analysis methods.
  • Ability to build material processing models based on experimental results as well as theoretical physical and chemical principles of lapping and polishing processes.
  • Strong analytical and modeling skills, including computational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to quantify the cost, schedule, and performance benefits of new processes and develop initial process robustness estimates.
  • Capable of evaluating the impact of new processses on the whole optical manufacturing chain.
  • Strong knowledge and experience of optical fabrication technologies for finishing brittle optical substrates including fining, chemical mechanical polishing, sub-aperture figuring.
  • Knowledge of material and chemical characterization methods (microscopy, SEM, X-ray diffraction, fluid composition, particle size distribution, etc…).
  • Experience with high-precision DUV, EUV, X-ray optics for semicon market.  


Desired Skills

  • Knowledge of wafers manufacturing processes and technologies (silicon and glass) for the semicon market.
  • Hands on experience manufacturing optical surfaces on a selection of optical substrate for a variety of applications would be beneficial.
  • Ability to program and perform data analysis in MatLab, C++, Python, or similar software platforms.
  • Knowledge of magnetorheological finishing (MRF), ion beam figuring (IBF), and plasma polishing technologies is an asset.
  • Knowledge of the interaction of high-fluence laser lights on optical material is advantageous.
  • Experience with cleaning and inspection techniques of optical surfaces is a plus.
  • Basic knowledge of optical metrology: interferometry, white light profilometry, non-contact probing, AFM.  


Soft Skills

  • Works well in a team environment and drives for results using data driven evidence processes.
  • Communicates effectively in various settings to provide and present necessary information to peers, project, department, and site leadership.
  • Good writing skills to document own work including attention to details and thoroughness.
  • Organized with good planning and time management skills.
  • Self-starter; requires minimal supervision.
  • Ability to build relationships within cross functional groups; team building skills.
  • Positive attitude, flexible and committed work ethic.
  • Works safely and strive for a safe work environment for all.  


Travel Requirements

  • 10% - 15%.  Domestic travel, primarily in the US northeast. Some international travel possible to Corning’s international facilities and for conferences, trade shows, customer meetings.  


Hours of Work/Work Schedule/Flex-Time

  • 40+ hours per week, + flex  


Immigration Status

  • US citizens or US persons desirable


We prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected status.


We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

Nearest Major Market: Rochester