Software Engineer (open rank)

Computers/Software Charlottesville (or TBD), Virginia


Software Engineer (Open Rank)


Position Description:


Position Summary

Join the development team that created and maintains software for NRAO's telescopes. The NRAO operates the world's most powerful radio telescopes at various locations world-wide. As part of that operation, the observatory develops and maintains software used by the astronomy community for proposing, planning, scheduling, and analyzing observations performed with these telescopes.


We are seeking a Software Engineer to join the Science Support and Archive (SSA) development team.  The SSA is responsible for some of the most visible user-facing software at the observatory, including the Proposal Submission Tool, the VLA Observation Preparation Tool, and the NRAO Science Archive. The successful applicant will perform routine maintenance and add new features to these tools. The potential exists to help create one or more additional programs as well. In addition there are numerous opportunities for improving the tools, such as by providing wizards for the creation of certain types of observations, providing more intuitive graphical displays, and making the tools more user friendly in general.  Job classification and compensation will be commensurate with education and experience.  This position is funded for two years.


The position will be based at either the Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (; or at NRAO Headquarters in Charlottesville, VA on the grounds of the University of Virginia ( In addition to competitive pay, we provide excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave).  Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment.  Our 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

Duties of the SSA members include both the maintenance and necessary upgrades of the existing software as well as developing new products to meet the challenges posed by the new observing paradigms necessary for the Observatory to remain at the cutting edge of science and technology.


Work Environment

The successful candidate will join a team of professionals engaged in research and development in the fields of science, engineering, software development, and education.  Work is typically performed in a research or development environment.  Must be able to operate a personal computer. May occasionally work at high altitudes.  Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

Bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, scientific or related field


Preferred Education

An advanced degree in a related field


Preferred Experience

One or more years of experience in the development of software applications; candidates with progressively more experience will be considered for a higher level position ranking.  In addition:

  • Experience developing software using Java, various frameworks
  • Understanding of object-oriented design and development
  • Understanding of object-relational mapping
  • Demonstrated ability to learn and apply new software languages
  • Experience with version control software and testing methodologies
  • Experience debugging and profiling software systems
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills
  • Use of technologies: Java 7 with Spring, Hibernate framework, PrimeFaces, PrettyFaces , JSF 2.0 Framework , J2EE, Javascript
  • Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, XML
  • Experience with database administration for Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL
  • Familiarity with Shibboleth, single sign-on technologies
  • Experience integrating software components into a functioning, maintainable system
  • Familiarity with basic astronomical principles and data reduction


Competency Summary

The ability to design, develop, modify, and support complex user-facing systems written in Java, interfacing with other systems and DBMS.


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.