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Process Engineer


West Columbia, south carolina

Job Details



Full Job Description

This position is responsible for technical process development, improvement, and monitoring of system processes and quality.  The engineer will be hands-on, physically producing production parts.  They will support multiple existing products and be involved in production process development.  Although the location of the position is in Columbia, SC, from time to time it may be required to undertake duties at other Thorlabs locations.

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

  • Must be able to understand written work instructions and technical drawings.
  • Collect and Analyze process data to highlight issues and opportunities for improvement.
  • Engaged in process development projects with Engineering on a regular basis.
  • Participate on new product development projects with Engineering.
  • Troubleshoot and resolve equipment and process issues.
  • Maintain proper records in our Manufacturing Database.
  • Participate in Continuous Improvement efforts.
  • Prepare raw materials and work for processing.
  • Able to work in a cleanroom environment with semiconductor fabrication equipment.
  • Advanced operation and process development for fabrication equipment including but not limited to photolithography, thin film deposition, wet processing, and dry etching.
  • Setup, measurement, and analysis of parts using metrology devices such as hand tools, microscopes, spectrophotometers, FTIRs, transmission setups, ellipsometers, and film stress tools.
  • Perform daily maintenance and upkeep of assigned machines.
  • Handle and Clean Specialty Fiber Optics, Precision Optics, and mechanical components.
  • Sort and count parts and materials.
  • Examine parts and materials for defects.
  • Train and mentor less experienced team members.
  • Comply with the company safety program and maintain a clean and organized work area.


In addition to the essential functions and duties listed above, all positions are also responsible for:

  • Meeting company standards pertaining to quantity and quality of work performed on an ongoing basis, performing all work-related tasks in a manner that is in compliance with all Company policies and procedures.
  • Adhering to Company policies, procedures, and directives regarding standards of workplace behavior in completing job duties and assignments.

The Company retains the right to change or assign other duties to this position.

Physical Activities:

Work may be active, could stand or sit for long durations and/or perform repetitious work at times. The employee must frequently lift or move objects up to 20 pounds. All objects heavier than 20 pounds will be lifted by group of employees. Must be able to wear appropriate clothing and personal protective equipment such as but not limited to masks, glasses, gloves, and specialty garments. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate and may be noisy at times.




  • Minimum of 4 years between manufacturing experience and related technical education.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant technical field. 

Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment and comply with high quality standards.
  • Good work ethic.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Strong ability to shift from one task to another to address changing production priorities.
  • Functional Knowledge of vacuum systems, photolithography, and reactive ion etching.
  • Proficient in basic computer skills.
  • Able to work in a cleanroom environment. 

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 identify 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.


Thorlabs offers a complete benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision insurance, company paid life insurance, a generous PTO package, a 401(k) plan, and tuition reimbursement just to name a few..

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