RF Electrical Engineer I-IV or RF Engineer Group Lead (2 Openings) - (4877)

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is seeking to hire two Radio Frequency (RF) Electrical Engineers willing to do hands-on and collaborative lab and field work 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 either a group supervisor or design and maintenance engineer role based on their skills and the Observatory’s 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 observatory’s state-of-the-art facilities and equipment used by scientists around the world.


The position is based at the Domenici Science Operations Center located on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (www.nmt.edu) in Socorro, NM. Socorro is a small, historic city in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque. 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. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s 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 NRAO’s 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 both 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.


RF Engineering Group Manager Position Duties (1 position):

  • Managerial and supervisory duties such as staff prioritization, performance evaluation, mentoring of employees, coaching, team building, and conflict resolution.
  • Group is responsible for maintenance and 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


RF Engineer Position Duties (1 position):

  • Work within 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.


Other duties may be assigned for all positions based on the applicant’s skills and the Observatory’s 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 Bachelor’s 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 RF Engineer I position. Progressive levels of experience required for other positions including a minimum of 7 years of related experience for the RF Engineering Group Lead.


Preferred Experience

Ten 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 and analog circuit design combined 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.


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:


Select the “Apply” button below.  Please be prepared to upload your current CV/Resume and a letter of application describing interest and suitability for the position.


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 http://jobs.jobvite.com/nrao/jobs.  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 [email protected].



The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.