Donald Dilworth worked at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory (now Draper) during the summer as a electronic technician while he was a student. He graduated from MIT with a degree in physics in 1961 and immediate applied and was hired to work in the lab full-time. Dilworth was assigned to the optics group from the start, despite having zero optics experience. He wrote computer code that would analyze and design lenses for optics systems. One of his biggest contributions was designing new eyepieces for the space sextant and scanning telescope that would allow the astronaut crew to use the instruments with their helmets on, in case the cabin ever became depressurized. Unfortunately, the eyepieces were not used because of weight concerns, but they worked.
Dilworth left the MIT Instrumentation Lab in 1966, but continued is work in optical lenses for Itek in Lexington, MA. Dilworth holds a few patents and written publications regarding optical systems. He is now president of Optical Systems Design, Inc., and wrote the SYNOPSYS lens design program.