Instrumentation Scientist | GMTO

Date Posted: 
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Position Location: 
Pasadena, CA
Job Description: 

JOB DETAILS

  • Number: 160120
  • Title: Instrumentation Scientist
  • Type: Full time, professional.
  • Location: GMT Project Office, Pasadena CA
  • Company website URL: http://www.gmto.org/
  • Application Deadline: 03/04/2016

Background:

This exciting job opportunity is with the GMTO (Giant Magellan Telescope Organization) located in Pasadena, California. The GMT is being developed by a group of leading university and research centers from across the globe. The GMTO Corporation has been formed to design, construct and operate the GMT Observatory which will be located in the Andean mountains at Las Campanas Peak in Chile. The GMT is the next generation astronomical observatory with the capability to have 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope. The project is entering the formal construction phase with scientific operations expected to begin in 2021-2022.

BE A PART OF TRANSFORMING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE UNIVERSE

The successful candidate will be an employee of the GMTO Corporation and must be able to meet pre-employment requirements including any background and reference checks and the successful candidate must be a US citizen or eligible to work in the United States and at least 18 years of age. GMTO provides competitive salaries and a generous benefits package.

Job Summary:

The Instrumentation Scientist will work under minimal supervision, reporting to the GMT Project Manager and is a key member of the GMT project team. The position requires a combination of scientific and technical expertise, and management ability. The Instrumentation Scientist oversees the development of the GMT instruments during their design, construction, and commissioning phases.

The successful candidate is a point of contact between instrument development groups and the Project Office. The Instrumentation Scientist will manage the flow-down of top-level science goals into functional and technical requirements and specifications for each instrument and is responsible for the exchange of information between the instrument groups, the Project Office groups (telescope, optics, software and controls, wavefront, facilities, enclosure), as well as GMT advisory groups.

The Instrumentation Scientist leads the contracting effort for instrument studies and their construction. This includes writing requests for proposals, statements of work, contractual procedures, and technical specifications. The selected candidate also monitors contracted work and manages progress reviews at key stages of an instrument’s development life cycle, and helps establish acceptance and commissioning procedures.

The Instrumentation Scientist will be called upon to write reports and make presentations to the GMT Science Advisory Committee, at conferences, at project reviews, and the GMTO Board of Directors. This position will require travel to various GMTO vendor sites, and the GMT site in Chile.

Job Duties:

  • Develop the instrument program for the GMT
  • Be the point of contact between the instrument groups and the Project
  • Provide scientific input to Project discussions and decisions
  • Develop instrument functional and technical requirements and specifications from higher level requirements
  • Work with the GMTO Contracts/Procurement department, lead and assist in preparing contract documents, which includes RFPs, statements of work, technical specifications, evaluation procedures, and contracts
  • Participate in the selection process of vendors
  • Monitor the efforts and progress of instrument teams during all phases of an instrument’s development via regular progress meetings and quarterly/final reviews
  • Oversee on-site instrument assembly, integration, and test activities
  • Prepare and deliver presentations at technical reviews, conferences, and with advisory groups
  • Develop cost and schedule estimates
  • Support the preparation of system error budgets
  • Develop interface specifications between instruments and the telescope and other systems within the GMT
  • Prepare integration, test, and commissioning plans in consultation with the instrumentation teams and GMTO systems engineering

Essential Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:

  • Minimum of M.S. degree in Astronomy, Physics or related field with 7 years’ post degree hands-on experience with the development of astronomical instrumentation on ground-based optical/infrared telescopes
  • Ability to communicate effectively with diverse groups of scientists, engineers, and managers
  • Possess a broad technical competency/knowledge in the development of astronomical instrumentation
  • Ability to grasp a thorough understanding of the scientific mission of the GMT and its instrumentation
  • Excellent organizational, leadership, and project management skills, as well as written and oral communication skills
  • Experience creating RFPs, statements of work, technical specifications, evaluation procedures for outside vendors
  • Experience developing cost and schedule estimates
  •  Understanding the principles of systems engineering
  • Previous experience creating integration, test, commissioning plans, instrument functional and technical requirements and specifications from higher level requirements
  • Flexibility to work outside of core business hours and travel to GMTO member locations, vendor premises and the GMT site in Chile when necessary to accomplish goals. Ability to work at an altitude of 8000 feet for extended periods

Desired Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:

  • A Ph.D. degree in Astronomy, Physics or related field with 7 years’ post degree hands-on experience with the development of astronomical instrumentation on ground-based optical/infrared telescopes
  • A strong and broad scientific publication record

GMTO is an equal opportunity employer.

 
Contact: 

Applicants should send a Letter of Interest and a Resume to careers@gmto.org.