Payload Engineer

Payload Engineer

Position Description

Position Overview:

The Science Unit is responsible for designing and implementing the on-board experiment, studying how the radiation and microgravity conditions prevalent in the Low Earth Orbit affect yeast cells at a molecular level. Part of our work includes fabrication of a miniaturized imaging system to generate scientific data, and development of specialized microfluidic chips to host and culture the cells. 

Minimum Qualifications:

Familiar with one or more areas of Optical Engineering, such as:

  • Optical Technology (e.g. lens properties, camera properties and operation)
  • Optical Systems Design
  • Geometrical Optics (e.g. reflection, refraction)
  • Physical Optics (e.g. polarization, interference, diffraction)
  • Fluorescence Microscopy (e.g. excitation/emission filters)

Any of the below Qualifications are a plus:

  • Available to work full-time, with a strong sense of commitment and responsibility
  • Capable of working well in multidisciplinary groups of peers
  • Capable of translating quantitative engineering approaches into real-world problem solutions
  • Capable of navigating previously unknown fields
  • Ability to design and execute a research agenda
  • Ability to speak and write in English fluently and idiomatically

About the position:

Join us for a long-term work experience that offers personal and professional development, as well as community-building. Payload Engineers will work closely with Molecular Biologists and Structural Engineers to bring a downsized imaging system capturing gene expression to life. Additionally, you will be given the chance to acquire expertise in microfluidics and PDMS chip manufacturing, to work towards realizing a novel lab-on-a-chip platform.

From creating experiments and prototyping implementations to performing analyses in order to predict final optical performance both in the laboratory as well as in space, you will be responsible for delivering a robust microscope able to perform in harsh environmental conditions to meet the strict experimental needs. You will identify and describe the impact of in-orbit error source to optical performance, while also comparing design trade-offs to overcome structural and power limitations, so as to facilitate agile mock-up development. If you also desire to delve into PDMS microfluidic chips, you will be trained in employing a state-of-the-art technology with many applications, and run an iterative pipeline from design all the way to manufacturing, with a strong emphasis on experimentation and testing.


  • Participate in cutting edge research to engineer a nanosatellite’s scientific payload assembly

Note: The Biomolecular Engineer, Electrical Engineer, and Payload Engineer positions are neither mutually exclusive nor destined for one recruit each! Rather, they represent all different types of work performed in the subsystem.