Silicon Austria Labs (SAL)

Head of Research Unit – Integrated Photonics Technologies (f/m/d)

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Silicon Austria Labs (SAL) is actively seeking an expert in integrated photonics and photonics MEMS technologies to lead the newly established Integrated Photonics Technologies Research Unit within the Microsystems division at SAL in Villach. We are looking for a proficient professional with a proven track record of managing  projects at TRL 5 and beyond, as well as significant leadership experience.


  • Lead and advance the Integrated Photonics Technologies research, overseeing a team of 10-15 researchers.
  • Strategically plan and allocate resources for the Research Unit, ensuring alignment with organizational goals.
  • Provide mentorship, scientific guidance, and supervision of international researchers.
  • Corporate and profit responsibility.
  • Initiate and oversee collaborative projects with academia and industry. 
  • Expand the research unit’s international network through partnership acquisition and ongoing network activities.
  • Shape the research program of the Research Unit, creating project portfolios together with the division head.
  • Grow the research unit towards research excellence and economic impact.
  • Create a motivated, collaborative, and relaxed atmosphere for scientists to thrive in.


  • Lead the Research Unit to a world-class level in the field of integrated photonics research and developmen.
  • Drive the strategic direction of the Research Unit, defining and shaping research priorities, organization structure and resource allocation, including investments in facilities and infrastructures.
  • Establish and oversee collaborative and funded research projects, from initiation to execution.  
  • Foster close collaboration and support for scientific and industrial project partners engaged in cooperative research projects.  
  • Provide leadership to the unit members by coordinating and overseeing all activities.    
  • Interact closely with the project partners, providing technical expertise and guidance to project managers on key projects.  
  • Initiate and steer research projects with industrial partners, crafting proposals for national and international grant funding opportunities.
  • Disseminate unit research findings and other KPI´s through publications in scientific journals, international conferences, international summits, scientific boards and relevant events.


  • A PhD degree in engineering or physics with demonstrated expertise in areas such as  photonic integrated circuits (PICs), MOEMS, and quantum photonics: 
    • Proficiency in integrated photonics technologies and a broad understanding of emerging applications in sensing, telecom, and quantum.
    • Proficiency in manufacturing process and multi-project wafer service of integrated photonics. 
    • Strong understanding of CMOS manufacturing process steps and design constraints of passive and active integrated photonic devices.
    • Proficiency in operating complex integrated photonics lab, required techniques and equipment for automated testing system and high-speed photonics.
    • Familiarity with photonic MEMS and metaoptics for 3D sensing and imaging applications.
  • Deep understanding of the global integrated photonics market and the European industrial ecosystem.  
  • Outstanding research achievements at an international level in the relevant areas with an emphasis on quality and a distinctive contribution to the field of study.  
  • Proven record of at least 5 years team leading experience in industry and research.   
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills.  
  • Minimum 10 years of experience in managing international projects and securing research funding.  
  • Broad and strong industrial and academic network proven by joint collaborations, projects, and publications.
  • Proactive and creative independent thinking, enjoy working in international teams.
  • Effective leader capable of inspiring and guiding teams.
  • Fluent in English (written & oral), German is a plus.


  • Diversified research activities with plenty of technical challenges.
  • State-of-the-art lab facilities and instruments.
  • Internal and external training opportunities for further development.
  • Home Office possible.
  • € 4 per day food allowance in restaurants or € 2 per day in supermarkets.
  • Family & kids friendly.
  • Free coffee/milk/tea & fresh fruits.
  • Start: as soon as possible.

This position is subject to the Collective Agreement for employees in non-university research (Research CA) in occupational group G (G1 salary = EUR 5.356, paid 14 times a year). Your actual salary depends on your experience and qualifications. We offer a gross salary in the range between EUR 85.000 to EUR 120.000 (annual, based on an All-in contract and bonus).

Job details

Head of Research Unit – Integrated Photonics Technologies (f/m/d)
Europas­traße 12 Villach, Austria
Application deadline
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In the network of science and industry, we carry out re­search at the highest global re­search level.

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