Postdoctoral Fellow

Observatory Service and Science Green Bank, West Virginia


                   Postdoctoral Fellowship






Job Title: Postdoctoral Fellowship   

Location: Green Bank Observatory

State: West Virginia

City: Green Bank

Job Schedule:            Full Time Regular

Department:Green Bank Scientific Division

Salary Interval: Exempt

Internal Posting Start: 10/08/2018

Internal Posting End:10/12/2018

Duration: 2 Year Appointment with possible 1 year extension





Position Description:


The Green Bank Observatory (GBO) is seeking an enthusiastic and energetic post-doctoral research associate to join the staff at Green Bank, West Virginia. The successful applicant will be a key member of the team developing a laser metrology system for precise alignment of the surface of the 100-meter diameter Green Bank Telescope (GBT).


The GBT surface consists of more than 2,000 individual panels mounted on precise motor-driven actuators so that they can be adjusted in real time to compensate for gravitational and thermal distortions. The GBO has been funded to implement a laser metrology system on the GBT to measure the surface relatively quickly and very accurately, reducing the time it will take for the active surface to compensate for distortions both day and night. This will significantly expand the available usable time of the telescope at the highest operating frequencies.






The successful candidate will work independently and with scientists, engineers, software engineers, and project managers in a dynamic team environment to support the implementation of a laser metrology system for the GBT. The postdoc will participate in developing the mathematical models to enable software controls to transform scanner measurements to a set of actuator movements in near real time. The postdoc will work as part of a multidisciplinary team that has long-standing experience in collaboration on the interface between mathematical modelling, engineering, and software implementation.


The postdoc candidate should have successfully completed a PhD in astronomy, physics, applied mathematics, computer science, engineering, or a similar discipline. Good programming skills and experience with radio telescopes, instrumentation modelling, and advanced statistical techniques are an advantage.  The candidate should be able to communicate well with researchers from other disciplines and should be eager to solve technical challenges. The applicant is expected to write technical papers on the results of the project and give presentations at national and international meetings.  Up to 25% of the candidate’s time may be devoted to their individual research.



Work Environment:

The Green Bank Observatory combines an academic atmosphere with a rural location and lifestyle.  Most of the work will be performed in a laboratory environment, but the successful candidate may occasionally be required to work outdoors or on telescopes. The successful candidate may be required to travel domestically and internationally by air carrier and to travel by car.


Position Requirements:

Minimum Education

A PhD in Astronomy, Physics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering, or related field.


Minimum Experience

All areas of mathematical modeling research are welcome, but expertise in modeling for instrumentation or large structural engineering is highly desirable. 


Competency Summary

Interest in telescope metrology; good mathematical skills.


Physical Demands

Most work will be performed on a computer at a desk or a lab bench for extended periods.  Occasional trips to the top of the GBT may occur.



Application Instructions:

Apply online at the Green Bank Observatory Employment page;

Please upload CV, statement of research plans, and letter of application.


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Combine the following items into a single PDF file; upload by selecting the "Attach Resume/CV" link during the online application process:
- Cover letter
- Curriculum vitae
- Publications list
- A summary of previous, current, and planned research (a maximum of 3 pages of text, including figures and references; 12 point font);
Each applicant should arrange for letters of reference to be submitted by three individuals (“referees”) familiar with her or his scientific abilities directly to the GB Scientific Search Committee. These letters MUST be received by the application deadline 11/30/2018.

Letters should be submitted to Tracy Samples, Green Bank Site Human Resources Manager, via email at using the file name “ApplicantNameGBPostDoc.pdf .” Applicants are responsible for ensuring that letters of reference have been sent by their referees.

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