Electronics Engineer II-IV (4271)

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Socorro, New Mexico




Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is seeking to hire a full-time digital electronics engineer who is experienced in writing high-quality code in C or C++ for digital signal processing using GPUs and cluster computing. This engineer will help extend the capabilities of the Very Large Array and Very Long Baseline Array, and will work to model and design the Next Generation Very Large Array.


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, engineers, and scientists. By joining NRAO, an employee has a direct contribution to expanding the observatory’s state-of-the-art facilities and equipment used by scientists around the world. NRAO currently has development programs under way in high-speed sampling, DSP, modeling and simulation, cluster computing, interference characterization, and machine learning.  This position requires electronics engineering experience that includes digital signal processing. The position is initially funded for two years, but is anticipated to continue indefinitely.


The position is based at the Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (www.nmt.edu). Socorro is a small, historical town in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque. 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 independently and with three or more engineers in a dynamic team environment to support ongoing developments for both future and existing instruments. Responsibilities will include architecting, implementing, testing, and maintaining software used to model and process real-time astrophysical, meteorological, and diagnostic data.


Functional responsibilities for this position include:

  • Architecting, implementing, testing, and maintaining DSP software
  • Specifying hardware for GPU and cluster computing
  • Writing performant GPU code using CUDA or OpenCL
  • Creating databases with concomitant REST and user interfaces
  • Documenting, testing, and maintaining all designs
  • Learning and maintaining existing systems
  • Communicating daily with other engineers, scientists, and analysts
  • Performing other duties as assigned


Work Environment

Work is typically performed in a laboratory environment, but the successful candidate may occasionally be required to work outdoors such as at the VLA site. 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 Software Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or related field.


Preferred Education

A Master’s degree in Software Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or related field.


Minimum Experience

At least one year of experience with design, implementation, testing, and maintenance of digital signal processing and related software; a Master’s degree in a relevant field may be considered in lieu of experience.


Preferred Experience

Five or more years of experience with design, implementation, testing, and maintenance of digital signal processing and related software.


Competency Summary

The successful candidate will have skills and demonstrated competencies in:

  • Developing and testing well-structured, maintainable software
  • Using Fourier transforms, filters, correlation, and other DSP tools
  • Writing robust, maintainable, and efficient C/C++ code
  • Practicing good verbal and written communication
  • Being a self-starter in a technical environment
  • Working within and between teams to develop maximally useful designs
  • Embracing solid design methodology, e.g. design reviews, documentation, and testing


Physical Demands

Most work will be performed on a computer at a desk or a lab bench for extended periods. The employee 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.


Additional Requirements

  • Must maintain a current Driver's License
  • May be required to drive Observatory vehicles


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




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