Are you an experienced Optical Systems Engineer looking to improve humanity’s communications infrastructure?

Join us at Archangel Lightworks and you will be responsible for the development of our optical subsystems, from requirements definition to testing in the field. You will work closely with the Lead Systems Engineer to deliver high performance optical systems. You will be working with an experienced and forward-thinking Space engineering team to deliver transformative free space laser communications solutions to help solve some of Earth’s most critical problems, from economic inclusion to climate change. But that’s not all! We work extensively with aerospace primes, Space Agencies and specialist research partners which will provide you with exposure to cutting-edge technologies and exciting challenges, all in a fast-paced, supportive startup environment. You will be an integral part of a growing team which has already won international prizes and awards including the Catalyst Accelerator which is backed by the US Air Force, Space Force and Microsoft.

You will make an impact by:

  • Designing laser communication terminal optical sub-systems for extreme environments (e.g. telescopes, relays etc.).
  • Defining requirements and conducting trade off analysis for complex optical systems, finding the optimal balance of performance against cost.
  • Modelling of optical system performance, optimization and tolerancing.
  • Practical breadboard testing to validate modelled data.
  • Defining and executing test procedures for optical subsystems.
  • Being the subject matter expert for optical and photonic systems.
  • Managing suppliers of optical and photonic components.


  • Experience defining requirements on optical systems, modelling and performing trades studies to inform design selection.
  • Optical design/analysis experience using Zemax for design, optimization and tolerancing. (Sequential, non-sequential desirable).
  • Hands on lab experience designing and carrying out tests for relevant optical systems.

Desirable Additional Skills

  • Experience designing complex optical systems (telescopes, optical relays, etc.) for extreme environments in mass constrained applications.
  • Experience designing optical systems for extreme environments.
  • Experience with Structural, Thermal, Optical, Performance Analysis.
  • Experience developing systems incorporating control elements e.g. image stabilization, positioning systems
  • Experience conducting stray light analysis and baffle design.
  • Experience taking an optical design from conceptual design through manufacturing integration and testing.
  • Experience with optical instrument calibration and alignment, and procedure definition.
  • Familiarity with optical and photonic components relevant to free space optical communications. (e.g. types of lasers, quadrant detectors, CMOS, Focal Plane Arrays, filters and coatings etc.)

Oxford. Hybrid with travel when required. Ideally 3-4 days per week will be in person in the office.

By joining us, you will have:

  • The opportunity to make a measurable difference in a growing startup building cutting edge technology to support a world-changing vision.
  • Flexibility: Options for flexible working hours, working from home and custom arrangements that matter to you.
  • Merit-based compensation (salary, equity options scheme), alongside pension contribution and annual leave allowance.
  • Investment in you to help you grow, with training resources and budget.
  • A supportive team culture with high levels of ownership and responsibility.
  • Annual team retreat, regular socials and weekly team lunch.
  • A variety of additional perks including goodies, shopping discounts, learning and wellbeing app subscriptions.