Microsoft UK • Romsey, United Kingdom

Senior Optical Engineer – Azure Fiber Research

Employment type:  Part time

3 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Job Description


Are you interested in glass and its endless applications? Would you like to see your passion and experience translate to a real impact? Do you want to contribute to the production of the next generation of hollow core optical fibers (HCFs), working in a supportive research environment? If you've said 'yes' to these questions, then this role might be for you.

Azure Fiber is looking for a senior optical engineer to join its team of experts in developing the next generation of optical fibers for cloud computing. As a senior optical engineer, you will explore different types of glasses and create new methods to fabricate structured preforms for optical fibers with hollow cores. The research will look at other ways to make preforms based on mass production processes for glass, aiming to enhance optical performance, mechanical strength, and cost effectiveness.

The position will be based in the Southampton (UK) area, between the Microsoft Azure Fiber labs in Romsey and the state-of-the-art cleanroom facility at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton. The senior optical engineer will have access to world-class resources and expertise in optical fiber research and development, and will have the opportunity and mission to shape the future of optical networking and cloud computing at Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. As employees we come together with a growth mindset, innovate to empower others and collaborate to realize our shared goals. Each day we build on our values of respect, integrity, and accountability to create a culture of inclusion where everyone can thrive at work and beyond.


  • Investigating new types of glasses that could improve the optical and mechanical performance of hollow core fibers.
  • Developing and implementing new methods for making preforms that can produce hollow core fibers.
  • Evaluating and measuring glasses, preforms and fibers using sophisticated tools.
  • Working with external glass suppliers to create a viable supply chain of glassware with adequate optical and geometrical parameters.
  • Cooperating with other teams at Azure Fiber and external partners, such as the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton, to ensure consistency of objectives, standards, and best practices.
  • Reporting and sharing the outcomes and progress of the research to internal and external audiences, including senior management, customers, and peers.
  • Operating and overseeing advanced optical fiber production equipment within a quality management and safety aware environment.
  • Participating actively, and openly supporting, the creation and maintenance of a safe work environment.


Required Qualifications:

  • Technical engineering experience

    • OR Bachelor's degree in Materials Science, Fiber Optics Engineering, Physics, or a related field

    • OR Master's degree in Materials Science, Fiber Optics Engineering, Physics, or a related field

    • OR Doctorate degree in Materials Science, Fiber Optics Engineering, Physics, or a related field

Other Requirements:

  • Ability to meet Microsoft, customer and/or government security screening requirements are required for this role. These requirements include, but are not limited to the following specialized security screenings:
    • Microsoft Cloud Background Check: This position will be required to pass the Microsoft Cloud Background Check upon hire/transfer and every two years thereafter.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Technical experience with a focus on glass manufacturing innovation, preferably with some direct experience in the fabrication of optical fibers or optical fiber preforms
  • Competent use of optical glass characterization tools
  • Track record for excellence in research
  • Relentless drive for excellence

Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via the Accommodation request form.

Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.


Company benefits

Wellbeing allowance
Health insurance
Dental coverage
Gym membership
Mental health platform access
Buy or sell annual leave
Shared parental leave
Matched pension contribution
Charity donation scheme
Employee assistance programme
Employee discounts
Volunteer days
Fertility treatment leave
Open to compressed hours
Open to job sharing
Fertility benefits
Enhanced sick pay
Enhanced sick days
Compassionate leave
Travel insurance
20 days annual leave + bank holidays
Enhanced maternity leave
Enhanced paternity leave
Adoption leave
Childcare credits
Carer’s leave
Cycle to work scheme
Faith rooms
Annual bonus
Annual pay rises
Company car
Open to part-time employees
Pregnancy loss leave
Life insurance
Equity packages
Financial coaching
Relocation packages
Employees are very happy with their working location freedom
Employees are very happy with the flexibility in the hours they work
Employees are largely happy with the benefits their company offers
Work-life balance
Employees feel that they can switch off quite easily from work
Role modelling
Employees feel that most people work flexibly
Employees feel that they can mostly manage how they get their own work done

Working at Microsoft UK

Company employees

Globally: 220,000

Gender diversity (male:female)


Office locations

London, Reading, Cambridge, Romsey, Manchester, Edinburgh

Hiring Countries

United Kingdom

Awards & Achievements

Most flexible companies

Most flexible companies

Flexa100 2024

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