Research Associate Physics – Optics and Metrology

BrookhavenLab NSLS-II (National Synchrotron Light Source)

Brookhaven National Laboratory ( delivers discovery science and transformative technology to power and secure the nation’s future. Brookhaven Lab is a multidisciplinary laboratory with seven Nobel Prize-winning discoveries, 37 R&D 100 Awards, and more than 70 years of pioneering research. The Lab is primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science. Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA) operates and manages the Laboratory for DOE.

Organizational Overview

Brookhaven National Laboratory is entering an exciting new chapter with one of the newest and most advanced synchrotron facilities in the world. National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) enables the study of material properties and functions with nanoscale resolution and exquisite sensitivity by providing world-leading capabilities for X-ray imaging and high-resolution energy analysis.

This facility is open to users from academia and industry and its operations are at a time when the world enters a new era with a global economy fueled largely by scientific discoveries and technological innovations. NSLS-II provides the research tools needed to foster new discoveries and create breakthroughs in critical areas such as energy security, environment, and human health.

Position Description

The NSLS-II optical metrology laboratory within the NSLS-II is seeking a Research Associate with expertise in optical metrology. The NSLS-II optical metrology laboratory is a group involved in optical metrology, diffraction-limited X-ray mirror fabrication, optical design, and physical optics modeling to support the design and construction of X-ray beamlines on the NSLS-II synchrotron light source. The group is currently focused on three research areas: metrology for measuring highly curved 2D mirrors, in-situ metrology with Hartmann wavefront sensing, and ion beam figuring for mirror fabrication.  Depending on the candidate’s background, the candidate will be working in one or two of these three areas of research.  The candidate is expected to utilize the existing metrology instruments and develop new capabilities for X-ray mirror metrology and/or fabrication. The main goal is to use, extend and to improve these capabilities.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Develop new and improved processes for the ex-situ and in-situ metrology, and the ion beam figuring. The potential research areas could be

  • Establish phase measuring deflectometry using deep learning for 2D curved X-ray mirror metrology, and/or
  • Use, extend and improve the ex-situ and in-situ metrology capabilities by improving the hardware and algorithms, and/or
  • Investigate the use of deep learning techniques for ion beam figuring
  • Publishes results in peer reviewed journals
  • Present research work and results to the management or scientific meetings

Position Requirements

  • PhD in Physics or other engineering disciplines in optical metrology
  • Knowledge in optical metrology techniques and instrumentation
  • Skills in system integration and development of data acquisition and data analysis software
  • Extensive experience in development of algorithms related to mirror optical metrology
  • Excellent analytical and experimental skills
  • Excellent communications and interpersonal skills to interact effectively with a diverse group of scientists, engineers, and technical staff

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (knowledge or experience in one or more of the following):

  • interfacing hardware and developing data acquisition software in C++
  • data analysis software such as MATLAB, Python, etc.
  • machine learning and deep learning
  • fringe analysis, phase measurement, deflectometry, and Hartmann wavefront sensing
  • system integration and troubleshooting
  • verification methods for ultra-high precision optics (interferometer, microscope, etc)
  • General understanding of optics and optics manufacturing methods


  • Occasional travel requirements
  • BNL policy requires that after obtaining their PhD, eligible candidates for research associate appointments may not exceed a combined total of 5 years of relevant work experience as a post-doc and/or in an R&D position, excluding time associated with family planning, military service, illness or other life-changing events.

At Brookhaven National Laboratory we believe that a comprehensive employee benefits program is an important and meaningful part of the compensation employees receive. Our benefits program includes, but is not limited to:

  • Medical, Dental, and Vision Care Plans
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Paid Time-off and Leave Programs (vacation, holidays, sick leave, paid parental leave)
  • 401(k) Plan
  • Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Tuition Assistance, Training and Professional Development Programs
  • Employee Fitness/Wellness & Recreation: Gym/Basketball Courts, Weight Room, Fitness Classes, Indoor Pool, Tennis Courts, Sports Clubs/Activities (Basketball, Ping Pong, Softball, Tennis)

Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Energy and Photon Sciences Directorate are committed to your success. We offer a supportive work environment and the resources necessary for you to succeed.

Brookhaven Science Associates requires proof of a COVID-19 vaccination for all employees. Proof of full vaccination as recognized by the CDC and/or WHO is required at the start of your employment.

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is an equal opportunity employer that values inclusion and diversity at our Lab. We are committed to ensuring that all qualified applicants receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, status as a veteran, disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

BNL takes affirmative action in support of its policy and to advance in employment individuals who are minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities. We 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.

*VEVRAA Federal Contractor

Brookhaven employees are subject to restrictions related to participation in Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs, as defined and detailed in United States Department of Energy Order 486.1A. You will be asked to disclose any such participation at the time of hire for review by Brookhaven. The full text of the Order may be found at:

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