ngVLA Systems Engineer (4541)

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Charlottesville, Virginia Socorro, New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico


Position Description:

Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory has an exciting opportunity for a Systems Engineer with our next generation Very Large Array (ngVLA).

The NRAO is embarking on a bold new endeavor; the design and construction of the Next-Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA). This future large area, radio array will be optimized for imaging of thermal emission to milli-arcsecond scales, opening up new discovery space from proto-planetary disks to distant galaxies. Now in the beginning stages of the conceptual design, the ngVLA project has the need of a lead Systems Engineer who will ensure the project team completes the project in accordance with SE best practices. The position is to be located in Socorro, or Albuquerque, NM, or in Charlottesville, VA.

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

The Systems Engineer will report directly to the Deputy Director of the Project Management Division (PMD) and will matrix to ngVLA project office (PO). The successful candidate will implement appropriately tailored INCOSE systems engineering for the project. The incumbent, in collaboration with the PMD and ngVLA PO, will strategically tailor systems engineering and project management processes throughout the entire lifecycle of the ngVLA project.


Key Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Work with the Project Team in a matrixed environment to ensure timely completion of SE deliverables.
  • Develops, tailors, and implements SE processes applicable to the project lifecycle stage, such as requirements management, interface definition and management, architecture development, and assembly, test and verification plans.
  • Coordinates and directly contributes to the system design and architecture development (SysML) in conjunction with the project team.
  • Facilitates requirements management and interface control in conjunction with the project team.
  • Designs and completes engineering trade studies, engineering analysis, and technology planning. Assesses and tracks the technical readiness of the sub-system designs.
  • Participates actively in the definition and conduct of lifecycle reviews at both the system and sub-system level.
  • Defines or reviews test and evaluation procedures for delivered systems, specifies construction standards and infrastructure support requirements, develops specifications for control systems and components, performs modeling and simulation, develops systems acquisition and lifecycle management plans, and performs other duties as assigned. 
  • Responsible for the design and implementation of an integrated test framework to support hardware and software sub-system design and prototype development.
  • Assist the Project Manager with analyses, reviews, proposals, and other managerial-related activities and provide quality control for systems engineering and other project documentation.


Work Environment:

Work is typically conducted in an office environment. Work is typically performed in a research or development environment. Must be able to operate a personal computer.

Position Requirements:

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s degree in engineering, physical science, management of related field preferred.


Minimum Experience

At least one year of direct or related experience using INCOSE systems engineering processes. Also a strong system engineering skill set with an understanding of the associated processes and some exposure to model-based system engineering is desired. Candidates with progressively more responsible experience will be considered for a higher-level position ranking.


Preferred Experience

In addition to SE experience, work in a matrix environment and one year or more experience project management preferred but not required. Knowledge and experience in one of the following areas is preferred: Radio telescopes; RF, microwave or millimeter wave systems; Photonics; High-speed digital electronics; Thermal and cryogenic engineering; Mechanical engineering; Software engineering; Civil engineering or Electrical Engineering.

Licensure/ Certification and Technical Job Requirements

INCOSE ASEP (or higher) certification preferred. PMI CAPM (or higher) certification preferred. Both may be obtained within the first 1 year of employment upon PMD Director approval.


Competency Summary

High level of competency in Microsoft software products and web-based systems, Visio and SharePoint. Excellent communication skills and attention to detail. Experience with model-based systems engineering software (e.g. Cameo Systems Modeler) and requirements management software (e.g., Rational DOORS) platforms.

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.