Electronics Engineer II-III

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Charlottesville, Virginia


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is seeking to recruit an RF and microwave electronics engineer to participate in the development, production, and maintenance of highly-integrated analog, digital, and photonic front-ends for radio telescopes. A background in high-frequency techniques, electromagnetic simulation, and microwave test and measurement is required for this position. Experience with monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) design, circuit board layout, and basic LabView programming are also highly desirable.


Due to export control purposes, this position is open only to US persons which includes: United States citizens and permanent residents.


This position will be based at the Central Development Lab (CDL) of the NRAO which is located in Charlottesville, VA. The CDL has a long history of developing new technology to enable forefront research in radio astronomy. Current research and development programs include cryogenic, low-noise front-ends, wideband electromagnetic components such as antenna feeds and polarizers operating from below 1 GHz to nearly 1 THz, phased-array feeds, highly integrated receiver architectures that employ early signal digitization and novel encoding, wideband and scalable digital signal processing architectures, and photonic signal generation, time reference distribution, and data transmission.


In addition to competitive pay, we provide excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave).  Medical, dental and vision plans are effective on the 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

Key responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Design and develop integrated receiver modules incorporating analog MMIC chips operating up to 116 GHz, analog and digital electronic circuit boards, and high-speed fiber-optic transceivers
  • Select parts and perform noise- and gain-budget analyses to meet receiver system requirements
  • Draw electromechanical housings for fabrication in the CDL’s machine shop
  • Design schematic and physical layout for low- to moderate-complexity circuit boards containing analog and digital components, power supplies, and M&C interfacing
  • Perform EM simulations of critical microwave and millimeter-wave circuits and structures
  • Conduct high frequency test and measurements for receiver characterization and troubleshooting
  • Data analysis for verification of specifications, to diagnose problems, and recommend repairs
  • Perform other duties as assigned


Work Environment

Work is typically performed in an office or laboratory environment, but the successful candidate may occasionally be required to work outdoors.


Position Requirements:

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering or related field.


Preferred Education

Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering or related field.


Minimum Experience

At least one year of experience with design, implementation, and maintenance of electronic systems.


Competency Summary

The successful candidate will have skills and experience in the following areas:

  • RF, microwave, and millimeter-wave engineering
  • Circuit schematic design and physical layout
  • Familiarity with integrated electronics and micro-assembly techniques
  • Design for manufacturability
  • MMIC design experience a plus
  • LabView programming a plus
  • Strong math skills
  • Self-motivated, detail-oriented, and organized
  • A passion for getting things done, and done correctly


Physical Demands

Most work will be performed on a computer at a desk or at a lab bench for extended periods, sometimes while looking through a microscope. Will occasionally be required to lift and carry heavy lab equipment (up to 50 lbs) for relocation or installation of test apparatus, and to squat, kneel, or crawl to reach electrical/physical connections in tight spaces behind racks or under lab benches.


Additional Requirements

Must be able to travel both domestically and internationally by air carrier.


Application Instructions:


For consideration, select the "Apply" button below. Applicants are required to submit a CV/Resume and a 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.



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.