Director of Optical Engineering

Engineering Hayward, California


Eikon Therapeutics is a new biopharmaceutical company employing revolutionary technology at the intersection of chemistry, engineering, computation, and biology to discover novel treatments for life-threatening diseases. Eikon’s discovery platform is built on groundbreaking innovations from its founders (Nobel Prize, 2014), culminating in the creation of microscopes which enable real time, molecular-resolution measurements of protein movement in living cells, thereby unlocking otherwise intractable classes of proteins as drug targets. 


The Hardware group at Eikon Therapeutics develops super-resolution, high-throughput optical instrumentation. This multi-disciplinary group of engineers is responsible for architecting, developing, and manufacturing highly complex systems for internal use. The Hardware team seeks a Director of Optical Engineering to lead a talented team in the development and optimization of innovative optical technologies for use in our drug discovery instruments. 

About You 

You are an experienced Optical Engineering Director.  You have experience designing, prototyping, assembling, testing precision opto-mechanical, electro-optical or electro-optical-mechanical systems for volume production.  You are proactive, intellectually curious, and demonstrate a growth mindset.  You have strong communication skills, are team-oriented, and adaptable to rapidly evolving goals and challenges. 

What You’ll Do 

  • Effectively manage a team of optical and laser engineers, technicians, and managers that supports the optics and illumination-related research, development and sustaining engineering for our drug discovery instruments.  Set goals and objectives and ensure that all projects are completed on time and within budget.
  • Establish and maintain a strong culture of innovation and foster a transparent, collaborative and inclusive team environment.  
  • Coach, mentor and develop team members.  You will guide and motivate the team toward a shared vision and strategic objectives.
  • Where needed, you will hire and on-board new engineers, technicians and engage with external contractors and consultants.
  • Define and manage optical and illumination technology projects as a part of the overall Engineering R&D roadmap.  You will be responsible for developing and implementing innovation strategies.
  • Work closely with key stakeholders to obtain R&D requirements, and partner on testing and applications development. 
  • You will negotiate trade-offs with interested parties. 
  • You will also help develop and contribute to diverse and cross-functional project teams working with optical instruments across Eikon.
  • Develop and refine engineering best practices (including, for example, clearly defined requirements, effective design reviews, verification and validation test plans) with respect to development. 
  • You will ensure projects comply with internal rules and requirements at every stage of the project life cycle.
  • You will assure technology and products comply with appropriate safety, quality, and regulatory requirements.
  • Support ongoing project as well as new product introduction of the technologies and instruments. 


  • B.S. or M.S. in Optical, Mechanical or Industrial Engineering or related field with 15+ years of industry experience or Ph D. with at least 10 years of industry experience. 
  • 7+ years experience managing teams. 
  • Demonstrated experience in the design and development of custom optical systems or components, preferably for volume manufacturing. 
  • Strong leadership and management skills and ability to motivate and develop diverse engineering teams.  Excellent communication skills across all levels of the organization including executive and team interactions. 
  • Strong business acumen, analytical, and technical skills.  Able to translate between business needs and engineering/technology requirements and capabilities. 
  • Knowledge of manufacturing processes for optical components.
  • Strong record of collaboration. 
  • Experience with integrated R&D portfolio management structure, including core teams, resource forecasting/planning and budgeting.
  • Optical design experience:  refractive/reflective/diffractive components, lasers or displays for microscopy, LiDAR, optical networking, or consumer applications. 
  • Strong knowledge of optical principles, including geometric optics, wave optics and Fourier optics. 
  • Prior experience characterizing optical systems, building optical measurement setups, designing experiments, and statistical data analysis to determine optical performance and quality. 
  • Proficiency or familiarity with optical design software like Zemax or Code V. 
  • Experience in product life cycle management and development methodologies like Agile.
  • Experience instruments for a clinical setting or medical devices experience in an FDA QSR and ISO 13485 regulated environment. 
  • Experience with automation. 
  • Familiarity with microscopy. 
  • Familiarity with Jira and Confluence. 

At Eikon, employee compensation also includes bonus and equity compensation, in addition to several generous benefit programs, including:

  • 401k plan with company matching
  • Medical (premiums covered by Eikon at 95%), dental and vision insurance (premiums covered by Eikon at 100%)
  • Mental health and wellness benefits
  • Weeklong summer and winter holiday shutdowns
  • Generous paid time off and holiday policies
  • Life/AD&D Insurance (premiums covered by Eikon at 100%) and optional supplemental employee-paid life/AD&D policies
  • Enhanced parental leave benefit
  • Daily subsidized lunch program when on-site

The expected salary range for this role is $230,000 to $264,000 depending on skills, competency, and the market demand for your expertise.

Eikon is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and will consider all qualified applicants for employment.

In accordance with the Company’s duty to provide and maintain a safe workplace, the Company requires all employees to be Fully Vaccinated with one of the FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines, which includes those vaccines that have received the FDA’s emergency use authorization. You will be expected to be Fully Vaccinated as of your Start Date. If you believe that you are exempt from this requirement under an applicable law or regulations, including Americans with Disabilities Act and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, you will need to contact the Company’s Human Resources group. For purposes of this section, Fully Vaccinated means (i) the completion of the vaccination regimen as approved by the FDA (by way of example, 2 doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and 1 dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine), and (ii) timely receiving booster vaccination, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We are currently not accepting any new third-party agencies or firms at this time. Please do not forward unsolicited agency resumes to our website, employees or Human Resources. Eikon Therapeutics will not pay fees to any third-party agency or firm associated with unsolicited resumes.