Systems Engineer I-III (4811)

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


Position Description:


Position Summary

Would you like to be part of a highly skilled team of engineers supporting scientists who are pushing the boundaries of our knowledge of the universe?


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) invites applications for a full-time Systems Engineer. Experience with radio frequency and digital electronics systems is highly desirable.


NRAO is committed to maintaining the world’s most accomplished observatories while developing new technologies to enable forefront research into the universe at radio wavelengths. This system maintenance and development occurs in a collaborative environment involving technicians, hardware and software engineers, and scientists.


The Systems Engineer will join the Electronics Division Systems Engineering team. The team is tasked with supporting the observatory’s state-of-the-art Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) telescopes used by scientists around the world, and managing new product developments to keep them at the scientific forefront.


The successful candidate will have hands-on experience participating in systems engineering management of projects throughout their life cycle, including requirements development and management, system architecture design and documentation, analysis and trade studies, testing, integration, and troubleshooting.


The preferred location for this position is Socorro, New Mexico at the Domenici Science Operations Center, located on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology ( Socorro is a small, historic city in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque. An alternative primary duty station in Albuquerque, NM may be considered for well-qualified applicants. The NRAO Albuquerque Office is located in the Science and Technology Park at the University of New Mexico ( Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico with a wide variety of restaurants, entertainment, and cultural events. With over 300 days of sunshine each year, both cities offer ample access to outdoor recreation. The NRAO also offers partial teleworking arrangements.


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 successful candidate will work both independently and within a dynamic multidisciplinary team environment to support ongoing developments for both existing telescopes and future projects. The job requires technical competence, attention to detail, collaboration, time management skills, and expert judgement.



  • Execute the full suite of systems engineering processes on electronic, software, and mechanical systems
  • Work collaboratively to oversee the technical management of system development from initial concept and stakeholder engagement, though design reviews and procurement, to testing and deployment
  • Oversee and participate in the development of programmatic and technical documentation
  • Document and present designs and implementations for internal reviews and external presentations
  • Characterize component and system performance using theoretical analyses, computer simulations, and direct measurements
  • Travel to assigned NRAO antenna locations for field testing activities
  • Ensure proactive compliance with NRAO and government safety policies, standards, and procedures


Other duties may be assigned relevant to the scope of this role, based on the applicant’s skills and the Observatory’s needs.


Work Environment

Work is typically performed in a research and development environment, performed on a computer at a desk or at a lab bench for extended periods. Occasional work outdoors or on antennas may be required. Occasional travel by car between NRAO sites and by air carrier may be required.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

Bachelor’s degree in systems engineering, electrical engineering, or closely related field.


Preferred Education

Master’s degree in systems engineering, electrical engineering, or closely related field.


Minimum Experience

At least 2 years of experience working as a Systems Engineer on projects involving complex electronics systems.


Preferred Experience

  • Experience working across life cycle phases including conception, design, testing, production, construction, and transition to operations
  • Exposure in the technology domains of electromagnetic, radio frequency, digital signal processing, mechanical, and software engineering
  • Exposure in an application domain related to radio astronomy, such as radar, communication systems, or optical telescopes
  • Experience with systems engineering tools such as requirements management and system modeling tools
  • INCOSE ASEP certification, or higher
  • PMI CAPM certification, or higher


Required Competencies

  • Familiar with international best practices in systems engineering concepts, practices, and procedures
  • Ability to work proactively and independently to implement systems engineering processes across a project’s life cycle, including tasks outside their comfort zone and base knowledge
  • Ability to work effectively in a collaborative, diverse, and multidisciplinary team environment
  • Ability to build consensus between stakeholders
  • Attention to detail, organized
  • Excellent written and verbal 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 a medical or religious accommodation.


Application Instructions:


Click “Apply” belowPlease 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  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]. PM20

The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V)