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Job Title: Senior Project Officer (Optical Engineering) / Optical Engineering Team Lead

Project: Human Brain Project, IIT Madras, Chennai

Research Centre: Centre for Computational Brain Research (CCBR) and Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre, IIT Madras

We are currently seeking an experienced Senior Optical Engineer to lead the research and technology development of a high throughput digital microscopy system (slide scanner / digitizer) for high resolution imaging of ex vivo human brains. This technology is being developed as part of the on-going Human Brain Project (HBP) at the Center for Computational Brain Research (CCBR) and Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre at IIT Madras- Chennai, India. 

Who We Are: CCBR was established in 2014, to explore the interface between Neuroscience and Engineering disciplines. A two-way interaction is envisaged, where an understanding of the brain can help drive significant technological advances, while advanced engineering tools can help analyze and probe neural circuits. The Human Brain Project at IIT Madras (IITM-HBP) is a mission-centric project, funded by Government of India (for three years), with a team of international collaborators working closely together to achieve the goal of high-throughput digital neurohistology to map ground-truth human brain circuitry and is in-progress at CCBR. The project aims to establish integrated histology-imaging-compute pipeline to acquire petabyte sized image volumes from postmortem brains. To learn more about us, please visit us at

IITM’s Healthcare technology Innovation Centre (HTIC) is country’s leading med-tech R&D centre with a focus towards developing and deploying affordable, accessible and scalable technology solutions. Over the years, HTIC has evolved into the largest and dynamic med-tech innovation and incubation ecosystem in the country, collaborating with over 30 institutions ranging from hospitals, industry, government agencies and research institutes both within the country and internationally. Its 200+ member team of engineers, researchers, entrepreneurs and faculty is developing technologies in areas of cardiovascular, ultrasound, neonatal, oncology, intensive care, ophthalmology, diagnostics, in collaboration with leading organizations, four of which have translated into commercial products in the market. In addition, HTIC incubates around 30 early stage med-tech startups in its med-tech incubator. Learn more about our research and product development activities at

About the Role:

 The Optical Engineer / Team Lead will work on the design and development of the optical subsystems of instruments such as confocal microscopy systems, bright field and fluorescent microscopes and line scan camera for high quality imaging systems, that are being custom developed for use in the on-going Human Brain Project. This role will involve owing the entire optical system design activities, including designing, development, prototyping, functional verification and reliability testing of subsystems and instruments used for high throughput microscopic imaging and digitization of large format histo-pathology slides (of size 6x4”) at optical resolutions of 0.5 microns. The team lead will be expected to hire necessary engineering resources and identify sub-contractors / vendors to perform accelerated technology development. The Optical Engineer / Team Lead will be working directly with one of the Principal Investigators of the project who will be providing technical guidance and design support for system design, instrumentation, electronics and software development.

The role requires working as part of a tight knit development team. We are looking for a team player in a project with opportunity for the right candidate to continue advancing their role and responsibilities as the laboratory grows.

What you’ll do (Job Description):

 Core duties and responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned by management.

  • Design of bulk optics-based systems such as confocal microscopy systems, bright field and fluorescent microscopes

  • Fluorescent imaging systems design and development, including:

    • Ray tracing-based design of the optical module topology

    • Design and selection of lenses (compound lens arrangements), filters, collimators, condensers, broad band light sources etc.

  • Design and development of line-scan camera-based imaging systems.

  • Simulation based design verification of optical systems. 

  • Develop SOPs for in-line testing of optical modules during production etc. 

  • Project management.

  • Hiring necessary support staff for engineering development

  • Identify sub-contractors for outsourced development and vendor partners for procurement of key components, as and when required.

Education and Experience Requirements:

  • Education:

    • PhD / Master’s in Engineering with specialization in Optics / Optical Engineering / related fields, with an undergraduate degree in Electrical / Electronics / Computer engineering

  • Experience:

    • More than 5 years industry experience in the design and development of optical instruments

    • Post-doctoral experience of at least 3 years in a lab with work involving design and development of microscopy / related optical systems

  • Essential knowledge and skill set:

    • Experience and knowledge in design of bulk optics-based systems such as confocal microscopy systems, bright field and fluorescent microscopes

    • Hand on experience and capability developing and demonstrating the functionality of optical systems 

    • Ray tracing-based simulations and design of optical systems

    • Thorough knowledge of key measurement equipment and optical instruments used laboratories 

    • Capability to do hands-on work to setup and execute experimental studies in lab, in addition to providing guidance to research scholars.

  • Working knowledge of costing, vendor sources etc 

  • Understanding of design considerations for manufacturing scale up, such as cost in bulk, availability and vendor development, ease of assembly

  • Other preferred knowledge and skill set

    • Experience in designing and developing fibre optics sensing systems would be of added benefit

    •  Working with teams in multiple backgrounds

    •  Involvement in imaging related extracurricular activities

  • Required Personal attributes and abilities:

    •  Strong interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills

    • Time management skills to prioritize and meet deadlines

    • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team

    • Flexibility to work in a changing and fast paced environment

    • Drive, determination and ability to hit aggressive milestones/deadlines

Company Offers:

  • Competitive salary will commensurate with experience and education.

  • Tentative CTC:

    • For candidates with more than 5 years of industry experience satisfying all education, experience and skill requirements: Rs. 10 – 15+ Lakhs

    • For candidates with 3 – 5 years of industry experience: Rs. 7 – 10 Lakhs

    • For candidates with research experience (other than industry) : Rs.6 – 8 Lakhs

    • Kindly note that candidates with lower experience may be considered for an Optical Engineer position in lieu of the advertised Team Lead position. 

  • A collaborative and diverse work environment where our teams thrive on solving complex challenges.

  • Connections with world class researchers and their laboratories

To Apply:

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