Electronics Engineer - Local Oscillators (4759)

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Charlottesville, Virginia


Position Description:


Position Summary:

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s (NRAO) mission is to enable forefront research into the Universe at radio wavelengths. In partnership with the scientific community, we:


  •        Provide world leading telescopes, instrumentation and expertise,
  •        Train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and
  •        Promote astronomy to foster a more scientifically literate society.


NRAO announces an employment opportunity for the position of an Electronics Engineer at the Central Development Laboratory (CDL) in Charlottesville, VA. The selected candidate will work in the ALMA FE Local Oscillator team to develop & maintain state-of-the-art millimeter and sub-millimeter wave local oscillator systems for the observatory’s radio-telescopes, including ALMA, an international astronomy facility located in the Chajnantor Plateau in the Atacama Desert in Chile.


The main duties of the selected candidate will be to test and debug multi-chip millimeter wave modules; to use, maintain and develop laboratory test software; maintain engineering documentation; and assist with circuit design, simulation, and layout for revised and new RF electronics.


In addition to technical abilities, this position requires strong interpersonal and organizational skills and the ability to work within modern project management frameworks. The selectee will be expected to carry out his or her duties in compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures and demonstrate a commitment to promoting and sustaining principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.


NRAO offers competitive pay and excellent benefits – 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

  •        Diagnose, test, and debug multichip millimeter-wave RF modules;
  •        Maintain, use, and develop laboratory test software;
  •        Circuit design, (both general and RF), simulation, and PCB layout for revised and new electronics;
  •        Maintain design and test-result documentation;
  •        Work closely with other engineers in NRAO’s Central Development Laboratory and NRAO’s Project Management Division;
  •        Ensure proactive compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures;
  •        Practice proactive compliance with safety policies and procedures.


Work Environment


Work is typically performed in a research/development environment, but you may occasionally be required to work outdoors. Some domestic and international travel will be required; must be willing to travel at regular intervals within and outside the U.S., including work at the ALMA array site. The job also requires the ability and the willingness to work for long periods of time with electronics assembly microscopes, and sit at a computer or laboratory desk for extended periods of time.

Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

Bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field (such as BSET).

Preferred Education

Advanced degree in Electrical Engineering or related field.


Minimum Experience

Preferred Experience

Candidates with demonstrated 1- 2 years’ experience in the field of VHF/centimeter/millimeter wavelength electronics components and/or one or more of the following will be strongly preferred:


  • Experience with lab equipment including vector network analyzers, spectrum analyzers, power meters, signal generators, DAQ devices;
  • Experience with programming for laboratory test software using languages such as Python, LabView or similar;
  • Experience with design and creation of circuit schematics and layout generation using software such as Altium, Orcad or similar;
  • Experience with S-parameters and RF device measurements such as return loss, gain, and noise.
  • Experience with RF circuit design;


The Observatory has determined that all employees who intend to be physically present in the facilities and employees who work in safety sensitive positions are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in accordance with our AUI vaccine policy and provide proof of full vaccination prior to your start date. If you will require medical or religious accommodations, please contact the site HR department.

Application Instructions:


Apply online at the NRAO Careers page (http://jobs.jobvite.com/nrao/jobs). You will need to be prepared to upload your current 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 http://jobs.jobvite.com/nrao/jobs.  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]


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