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Electrical Engineer (4) - UPDATED

Company: National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)
Location: Albuquerque
Posted on: March 17, 2023

Job Description:

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Position Description: Position Summary The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is seeking to hire multiple electrical engineers willing to do hands-on work in the lab and on large antennas to support various operations and development activities for the Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). Experience in working with the design and maintenance of RF systems and within the radio astronomy community is highly desirable. Successful candidates will be assigned particular jobs based on their skills and the Observatorys needs. The NRAO has a long history of developing new technology to enable forefront research in radio astronomy. This development occurs in a collaborative environment with technicians, hardware and software engineers, and scientists. By joining NRAO, an employee has a direct contribution to using and expanding the observatorys state-of-the-art facilities and equipment used by scientists around the world. Depending on the needs of the Observatory and the skillset of the engineer, positions will be based at one of three NM sites:

  • The Very Large Array (VLA), 50 miles west of Socorro, NM (free transportation is provided from Socorro to the VLA & return)
  • The Domenici Science Operations Center (DSOC) on the campus of New Mexico Tech in Socorro
  • The NRAO Albuquerque Office (NAO), on the campus on UNM in Albuquerque Hybrid work: After an initial period of acclimation and orientation, a partial telework arrangement may be considered. In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment. NRAOs retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participants base pay. This additional 10 percent contribution does not require a match from the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions. Job Duties Summary The engineers will work both independently and within NRAOs largest division to support maintenance and ongoing developments for both future projects and for existing telescope electronics hardware. This observatory-wide development involves RF, digital, and mixed-signal integrated circuits and systems applied to radio astronomy instrumentation. General Duties for all positions:
    • Designing, quoting, procuring, building, testing, installing, and monitoring assigned equipment.
    • Investigations into system performance problems, involving troubleshooting, repairing, and testing of PCBs, electronic assemblies, and antenna and array electronic subsystems.
    • Possible support of design and development activities for the next generation Very Large Array (ngVLA). This exciting project represents the future of NRAO and is continuing to grow.
    • Documentation and presentation of designs or projects.
    • Demonstrates proactive compliance with all NRAO policies and procedures. Electrical Engineering Position Duties (1-2 positions):
      • See general duties above. Additional job duties will be based on candidates skills, experience, and the observatorys needs, including investigation and analysis of operational readiness of electronics systems. This is the only position that does not require previous experience. RF Engineering Position Duties (1-2 positions):
        • Work with a large team responsible for developing, maintaining, and operating custom equipment systems that process and deliver analog astronomical, reference, & timing signals and on power supply or other electronic equipment used on the Very Large Array and the Very Long Baseline Array. RF Engineering Group Manager Position Duties (1 position):
          • Managerial duties such as staff prioritization, performance evaluation, mentoring of employees, coaching, team building, and conflict resolution.
          • Design of RF circuits and RF systems that process and deliver analog astronomical signals and reference & timing signals.
          • Development and analysis of system and subsystem requirements
          • Development of technical proposals, reports, and other technical papers Other duties may be assigned for all positions based on the applicants skills and the Observatorys needs. Work Environment Work is typically performed in a laboratory environment, but the successful candidate may occasionally be required to work outdoors or climb on antennas to heights greater than 40 feet above the ground. The successful candidate may be required to travel domestically and internationally by air carrier and to travel by car between NRAO sites. Position Requirements: Minimum Education A Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering or a closely related field Preferred Education An M.S. in Electrical Engineering or closely related field Minimum Experience No experience required for the general Electrical Engineer position. For all other positions: One year of experience in design, manufacture, and/or maintenance and repair of some or all of the following technical areas: antenna RF and IF systems (e.g. oscillators and mixers), power supplies, cryogenic receiver systems (front ends), monitor & control hardware & software. Preferred Experience Five or more years of experience as described above. Competency Summary Successful candidates will have skills and demonstrated competencies in one or more of the following areas:
            • A strong foundation in electrical or electronics engineering.
            • Detailed knowledge of RF, analog, and/or digital circuit design, including FPGA programming, usage and testing, along with general testing and measurement.
            • Use of various electronics test equipment and familiarity with automated test equipment.
            • Problem solving skills.
            • Good documentation and communication skills. Additional Requirements The Observatory requires staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to access our facilities.An offer of employment will be considered contingent until the selected applicant provides proof of vaccination.A selected applicant may request consideration for an accommodation for a disability or for a sincerely held religious belief. Must possess a valid driver's license. May be required to drive Observatory vehicles. Physical Demands Most work will be performed on a computer at a desk or a lab bench for extended periods. Will occasionally be required to lift and carry heavy lab equipment (up to 40 pounds) for relocation or installation of test apparatus, and to squat, kneel, or crawl to reach electrical/physical connections in tight spaces behind racks of under lab benches. Application Instructions: Apply online at the NRAO Careers page; upload Resume. Equal Opportunity Employer Statement: AUI is an equal opportunity employer. Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. To view our complete statement, please visit If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to PM20
              The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V) PI206662251

Keywords: National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), Albuquerque , Electrical Engineer (4) - UPDATED, Professions , Albuquerque, New Mexico

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