Software Engineer II-IV (4492)

Computers/Software Charlottesville, Virginia Socorro, New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico


Position Description:

Position Summary

Join the development team that creates and maintains the software used to analyze data from the world’s most powerful radio telescopes!


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is recruiting a software engineer to join the Common Radio Astronomy Software (CASA) team. CASA is a collection of Python and C++ routines that process Radio Telescope data and produce the images used by Astronomers around the world.  Our CASA software engineering staff are responsible for all aspects of the software development lifecycle from requirements derivation through design, development, and integration into telescope operations. They interact closely with a diverse team of people distributed worldwide.


Eligible candidates must be capable of formulating complex, technical solutions suitable for operational deployment from broad scientific objectives in a research environment. They must possess both software engineering domain knowledge as well as the educational background and ability to understand the basic scientific concepts of radio interferometry.


The position will be based at either our headquarters in Charlottesville, VA on the grounds of the University of Virginia (; at the Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (; or at our Albuquerque, NM office.


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. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.


Job Duties Summary

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Designing and developing new radio telescope data visualization applications within the CASA software stack in support of scientific research and telescope operations;
  • Developing new radio interferometer data reduction algorithm implementations as needed by new scientific objectives;
  • Maintaining existing algorithm implementations in support of ongoing telescope operations and research endeavors;
  • Building and maintaining data processing and analysis software infrastructure necessary to load and store data reduction inputs and outputs;
  • Developing test scripts and frameworks to verify CASA functionality and produce quality software deliverables
  • Operating in a team environment with scientific staff;
  • Taking ownership of a subset of functionality and provide technical direction, decision-making, and subject matter expertise in that area with limited guidance or specific direction.


Work Environment

The position is located at the NRAO in Socorro, NM or Charlottesville, VA. Work is typically performed in a research or development environment. Must be able to operate a personal computer. May occasionally work at high altitudes. Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.  Occasional travel will be required.


Position Requirements:

Minimum Education

Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field.


Preferred Education

Advanced degree and background that includes physics or mathematics is highly desired.


Preferred Experience

At least three years of direct or related experience in software development commensurate with stated qualifications. Candidates with progressively more responsible experience will be considered for a higher-level position ranking.


Competency Summary

  • Experience with large development projects in C++ and Python, and familiarity with UI frameworks such as Big Data visualization
  • Experience with scientific software development, numerical processing techniques, linear algebra, digital signal processing concepts, and mathematical packages such as Python/numpy
  • Experience with software development in Linux
  • Familiarity with High Performance Computing and Big Data concepts including distributed data storage, parallel I/O, parallel processing, and memory caching
  • An understanding of formal software engineering principles including design, documentation, ticketing systems, version control, testing frameworks, and requirements traceability
  • Ability to learn new scientific concepts and apply learning to engineering implementation, specifically in radio astronomy and interferometry


Application Instructions:

Select the “Apply” button below. Applicants are required to submit a CV/Resume and cover letter describing interest and suitability for the position. Please upload your CV/Resume with the ‘Add Resume’ button and your cover letter with the ‘Additional Files’ button at the beginning of the application process. Applications will be reviewed beginning January 13, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled.