City:  Jena
Date:  Jun 7, 2022

Systems Engineer for Satellite-Based Quantum Communication (IOF-2022-25)

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft ( currently operates 76 institutes and research institutions throughout Germany and is the world’s leading applied research organization. Around 30 000 employees work with an annual research budget of 2.9 billion euros. 

Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization. Our research efforts are geared entirely to people’s needs: health, security, communication, energy and the environment. As a result, the work undertaken by our researchers and developers has a significant impact on people’s lives. We are creative. We shape technology. We design products. We improve methods and techniques. We open up new vistas.


The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering in Jena conducts applied optics research on behalf of industry and as part of publicly funded research projects. The range of services includes system solutions, starting with new design concepts, through technology development, manufacturing and measurement methods to the construction of demonstrators and pilot series for applications. Fraunhofer IOF is also pioneering applied quantum technology, providing innovative solutions to science and industry wherever quantum optical phenomena may lead to revolutionary applications.

For the Department of Emerging Technologies, we seek a systems engineer for satellite-based quantum communication. You will be part of an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers working to bring the vision of a quantum internet a step closer to reality.


What you will do

Depending on your background, your responsibilities may include the following:

  • Lead systems engineer for a satellite-QKD mission
  • Research on high-dimensional quantum communication, advanced multi-partite quantum protocols, and distributed quantum sensing
  • Development of Quantum Communication Payloads
  • Work package management within QuNET
  • Defining and submitting research proposals as well as industry engagement

Fraunhofer IOF is pioneering applied quantum optics research and offers innovative solutions for science and industry wherever quantum systems have the potential for revolutionary applications. Research topics range from enabling photonic technologies to development of complete quantum communication, quantum imaging, and photonic quantum information processing systems. Fraunhofer IOF provides access to the entire photonics process chain from basic research in nonlinear optics and advanced fiber technology to nanofabrication, micro-assembly and systems integration.

Successful candidates will thus have research opportunities in quantum information science, technology development, applied photonics, and industry.

For more information see also:


What you bring to the table

  • You have completed a scientific university degree, with a PhD (or equivalent) in Physics, Optics or Photonics or a related field of research, applicants should have a proven research track record in quantum technology related research, preferably quantum optics, quantum information processing and quantum communication.
  • Successful candidates will be enthusiastic to take project responsibility in a team with collaborators in academia and industry.
  • Applicants must have excellent communication skills, the ability to keep clear records, to work independently and to coordinate collaborative research activities and field demonstrations.
  • An ability to prepare scientific publications and research proposals, and to present results at local, national, and international research meetings and trade shows is expected.
  • Proficiency in English language is required. Proficiency in German language is beneficial.

Prior professional experience in any of the following fields is beneficial:

  • Management of collaborative projects
  • knowledge of agile project management methods

Prior research experience in any of the following fields is desirable:

  • Quantum optics and quantum information processing
  • Quantum key distribution and Quantum Cryptography
  • Quantum Experiments in Space

Additionally, familiarity with the any of the following is beneficial:

  • Free-Space Optics and Adaptive Optics Systems
  • Structured light and spatial light modulation
  • Optical Communication Systems and Electrooptic Devices


What you can expect

  • Cooperation in a collegial, open-minded team in a well-equipped work environment
  • Personal and professional development opportunities in challenging R&D projects
  • Networking with first-class industrial partners and research groups
  • Access to state-of-the-art research and engineering infrastructure: 
    • Engineering facilities (Fiber technology, nanofabrication, ...)
    • Fiber network and a 40-km lab-to-lab fiber link for quantum communication
    • Free-space optics testbed for satellite quantum communications
  • Flexible working hours and a family-friendly workplace
  • Appointment, remuneration and social security benefits based on the public-sector collective wage agreement (TVöD).


The weekly working time is 39 hours. The position can also be filled on a part-time basis. The position is initially limited to 2 years with possibility for prolongation.


We value and promote the diversity of our employees' skills and therefore welcome all applications - regardless of age, gender, nationality, ethnic and social origin, religion, ideology, disability, sexual orientation and identity. Appointment, remuneration and social security benefits based on the public-sector collective wage agreement (TVöD).


With its focus on developing key technologies that are vital for the future and enabling the commercial utilization of this work by business and industry, Fraunhofer plays a central role in the innovation process. As a pioneer and catalyst for groundbreaking developments and scientific excellence, Fraunhofer helps shape society now and in the future. 


Interested? Apply online now. We look forward to getting to know you!

Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF 


Requisition Number: 16185                Application Deadline: 06/29/2022


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