Chief Research Scientist
San Jose, CA 
Posted Today
Job Description
Ciena may well be the most important technology company you've never heard of. The innovations that wow us (driverless cars), and those we now take for granted (the ability to mobile-stream your favorite show) are the products of ingenuity from some brilliant and forward-thinking companies. But those companies rely on Ciena, another vanguard of innovation, to create and advance the underlying networks that bring their breakthroughs to our doorsteps. VR, AI, IOT, 5G ... literally none of it would be possible without the mind-boggling technology that makes the internet itself work. For more than 25 years, Ciena has been the global leader in networking strategy, and our technology has been part of the critical infrastructure running within the most advanced companies in the world.

We believe that communication networks will continue to expand in importance and become key. "Mission-critical" components of the world's infrastructure, including "Internet-of-things" applications, continue to expand. Because of antiquated architectural thinking, existing communication networks cannot successfully scale and adapt to meet the demands of the user landscape that is emerging with the confluence of pervasive connectivity, high performance distributed computing, and advanced robotics anticipated with full scale deployment of 5G. We also believe that architecting fungible networks with fabrics of dynamically evolving arrangements of intelligent components that are self-optimizing will become essential for enablement of this complex user landscape with economies of scale.

With complex adaptive architectures playing such a critical role in determining the success of fungible networks anticipated in the future, we have established a world class team of architects and scientists in the Ciena CTO office as Advanced Architectures team to help us Identify, Define, and Drive the Research, Creation, Development, and Adoption of these new architectures. We are seeking a 'Chief Research Scientist' to join this team. The successful candidate will have a strong passion for solving complex problems through technical innovation and multi-disciplinary investigation. They will have significant industry and academic research experience in discovery, development, implementation, and verification of new technologies that sit at the cross section of machine intelligence, ultra-reliable low latency communications, distributed cloud computing, and complex system optimization.

This candidate must have proven track record for creating intellectual property through research results, patents, systems simulations, modelling, prototyping and scientific publications. They will have worked with the industry to identify unique business problems and will have successfully led multi-lateral research consortiums bridging industry and academia to solve these business problems.


  • Create: Establish research and technology direction for operationalization of complex adaptive systems through discovery, development & verification of various scientific approaches informing longer term technology direction for Ciena.
  • Collaborate: Internally, work closely and cross-functionally with peers in CTO, CSO, and our product divisions. Externally with Service Providers, Web-scale Providers, Academia, and Industry communities. Strive to create deeper relationships with major customers and strategic partners.
  • Drive: Become a Key Driving Force by leading international innovation and incubation ecosystems to Identify, Qualify, Define, and Drive new sciences, technologies, and systems that will enable Ciena's success in the future marketplace.
  • Disrupt: Be a Key Driving Force for the use of Open Architecture principles to create compelling alternatives to closed proprietary solutions.
  • Challenge: Be a challenger, both internally and externally, of the existing architectures, operational paradigms, and business models.
  • Communicate: Be ready to identify, understand, and communicate science and technology differentiators and new approaches to solve complex problems. The candidate must be able to establish Ciena mindshare and thought leadership by participating in international research, innovation, and incubation ecosystems.

Desired Qualifications:

PhD in Electrical Engineering or Computer Science with 10+ years of demonstrated success in research, technology, and industry development of machine intelligence sciences pertaining to real-time communications systems.

  • Extensive experience in systems design, modelling & optimization
  • Extensive experience in creating new technologies in partnership with Telecommunications Service Providers and Hyper-Scale Cloud Service Providers
  • Extensive expertise in deep learning, artificial neural networks, game theory; and applicability to industrial problems
  • Extensive expertise in Machine Learning tools, e.g., TensorFlow, PyTorch, Scikit Learn,
  • Extensive expertise in communications networking technologies, packet optical systems, 3GPP, and non-3GPP wireless systems
  • Experience with Git or similar and embedded SW Development environments
  • Proven track record of inventing disruptive technologies for advancement of successful industry outcomes
  • Proven track record of driving multi-lateral research ecosystems bridging industry and academia
  • Demonstrated success in driving new industry standards, specifically IEEE & 3GPP leadership
  • Software programming skills: Java, Python, Go, Scripting
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and to drive collaboration across research
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to speak effectively to executive level as well as with various technical and business management levels.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to create intellectual property through Patents
  • Ability to travel 20%

Rewarding experience. Meaningful outcomes.

Making a difference in people's lives through design and implementation of leading network technologies. That's what motivates us.

A distinct way to work

Free thinking, free discussion, and collaboration are the norm. Expect more satisfying outcomes - both personal and professional.

Ciena values the diversity of our workforce and respects its employees as individuals, regardless of race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender or age.

Ciena is also committed to developing inclusive, barrier-free selection processes and work environments. If contacted in relation to a job opportunity, you should advise Ciena in a timely fashion of the specific needs / accommodation measures which must be taken to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. Information received relating to any specific needs / accommodation measures will be addressed confidentially.

What you can expect from us

  • You will receive notification of your successful application
  • Successful applicants will be contacted by Talent Acquisition for an initial discussion
  • If suitable you will be considered for the short list and our formal interview process

If you would enjoy working in a dynamic environment and are looking for an opportunity to become part of a stellar team of professionals, we invite you to apply online today. We are an equal opportunity employer.

Employment selection and related decisions are made without regard to sex, race, age, disability, religion, national origin, color or any other protected class.


Job Summary
Start Date
As soon as possible
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Required Education
Required Experience
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