Building on a strong foundation of 15 years pioneering in integrated photonics sensing and applications in a large variety of use cases, you will lead the definition of our next technology vision.

CTO (full-time)


Join the pioneers of PhotonFirst

Since 2006 PhotonFirst (formerly Technobis Fibre Technologies) is pioneering in the research, development, engineering and production of Integrated Photonics Sensing modules and systems for a broad range of critical applications in aerospace, medical equipment, mobility, energy, infrastructure and high-tech systems. Since January 1st, 2021, the photonics activities have been carved out from the Technobis Group to prepare for a fast growth to a leading worldwide position in its field, supported by our main shareholder Active Capital Company (PE). Our ambition is to be ready for an IPO in 5 years. In order to enable this growth, we want to become the innovation leader in our market. Since our founder and current CTO, Pim Kat, is retiring, PhotonFirst is looking for a visionary technologist to lead the way.


You grow the technology teams to become innovation leaders

Building on a strong foundation of 15 years pioneering in integrated photonics sensing and applications in a large variety of use cases, you will lead the definition of our next technology vision. Based on this vision, you will guide both the research and innovation activities as well as development and engineering teams to define and execute on the technology roadmap, create a strong IP position and scalable portfolio of technology building blocks for winning customer applications. Based on your vast experience, you are a natural mentor to the team leads and inspiration to the technological team members, their colleagues, suppliers and customers.


Your tasks & responsibilities are broad

• Own PhotonFirst’s technology including the technology roadmap
• Develop, define and evangelize the leading vision on integrated photonics sensing
• Translate current development initiatives to concrete standardized modules, configurable systems
• Identify and manage knowledge creation, competence and skill development and clear succession planning for the technology teams

• Build and maintain a network of world leading institutes, universities, and consortia to build sustainable access to the forefront of innovation and drive agenda setting in worldwide photonics research
• Be a recognized authority in integrated photonics sensing well sought after by customer CTO’s, industry leaders, universities and policy-makers
• Structure and maintain our vast technology heritage, leverage and productize past applications and translate these into a strong and defendable IP portfolio
• Manage technology development budget and timeframe while predicably delivering on scheduled milestones
• Organize for a smooth handover of reliable technology building blocks to operations for customer project execution
• Build, manage and inspire a world class team delivering on our innovation leadership promise


Direct reporting line

The CTO is part of the PhotonFirst Management Board and reports to the CEO

Relevant requirements regarding knowledge and experience:

• Master (preferably followed by a PhD) in Physics (Photonics), Mechanical Engineering or comparable

• Strong leader with 10-20 years of experience successfully, building, motivating and leading research & development teams of at least 20 FTE in an industrial, certified (ISO 9001 or similar), preferably high tech or/and aerospace or/and automotive environment
• You have demonstrated to be visionary (think big picture) and able to define an ambitious and inspiring ‘dot on the horizon’ (5-10 years ahead) translated into a technology roadmap linking market developments, product portfolio, customer roadmaps and competitive landscape
• Sharp logic and quick learner of new skills and knowledge and apply them to your work
• Excellent project management skills to efficiently run projects and have metrics to prove it, including ability to manage large (project) budgets effectively
• Deep understanding of photonics is a pre, experience in integrated photonics and or sensing a dream
• Experience in high-tech product development and industrialization (including software and data) is a pre
• Great communicator in English, both verbally and in writing
• Natural tendency to multitask, prioritize, and manage time efficiently
• Confident in producing and presenting work
• In-depth understanding of deeptech and (several of) our end-markets
• Digital proficiency


This is a full-time job (40 hours/week) at our headquarters location in Alkmaar.

Personality characteristics

PhotonFirst is a young and maturing professional organization. We have developed a strong pragmatic team mentality in which we work and experiment together to achieve common goals. We are looking for a wide diversity of people coming from different backgrounds to join our organization. We have formulated the following personal traits contributing to our professional mentality:
• Passionate team player taking ownership
• Open, straight, result driven and can-do mentality
• Pioneering, creative, flexible, and entrepreneurial
• Perseverant, professional, and well structured
• Friendly & ‘fun to work with’



Please send your resumé and motivation letter to HR: