Engineer Group Lead, Data Acquisition Electronics (4916)

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a diverse, exciting, and prestigious research facility that plays a vital role in the study of the universe. The Observatory operates a variety of radio telescopes that span the globe, including the famous Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico, the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. These telescopes are among the most advanced in the world, allowing astronomers to explore the universe in unprecedented detail.


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) announces an electronics engineering opportunity for a full-time Group Lead in the Electronics Division at the Domenici Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM. By leading the Data Acquisition (DAQ) Group, a successful applicant will have a direct role in the operations and development of the Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA).


Generally, the Group Lead is responsible for the overall personnel, programmatic, and technical management of a group of electrical engineers and advanced technicians.


What You Will be Doing:

Personnel management responsibilities include:

        Providing staff prioritization, performance evaluation, mentoring of employees, coaching, team building, and conflict resolution.

        Reviewing timesheets and periodic performance reviews, including interacting with the Human Resources and Business departments of the Observatory when necessary.

        With guidance, support and training from the Observatory Human Resource Department, timely addresses personnel matters, ensuring compliance with applicable policies such as conduct, recruitment, diversity and inclusion, employee development, performance management, and regulatory compliance.

        Interpreting, implementing, developing and/or recommending changes to rules, regulations, policies and procedures set forth by the Observatory.

        Complying with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures in group’s area of work.


Technical management responsibilities include:

        Advising and instructing staff on technical and operational matters pertaining to the group’s responsibilities.

        Development and analysis of system and subsystem architecture and requirements.

        Development of technical proposals, reports, and other technical papers.

        Conducting tests and data recording.

        Testing and data analysis for verification of specifications and hardware and software performance.


Project and operational management involves oversight of all aspects of the lifecycle of hardware, software, and firmware for which the group is responsible, including:

        Analyzing system performance, development and oversight of maintenance and repair programs, and contribution to planning and execution of operating plans.

        Gathering of requirements, planning development, assigning tasks, tracking progress, coordinating integration, testing, acceptance, and release while fulfilling high standards of quality.

Work Environment

Work is typically performed in a research or development environment; will be required to stand and sit, and perform fine hand manipulation.  Must work near moving mechanical parts and/or with electrical equipment.  Occasionally required to climb or balance, and stoop, kneel, and crouch.  May occasionally work at high altitudes, and in high, precarious places and in outside weather conditions, and may be exposed to chemicals, or the risk of electrical shock.  Some travel may be required to other NRAO sites.


Who You Are:


        You have a bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering or related engineering discipline. An advanced degree in electrical engineering is preferred but not required

        You have seven years of relevant experience in a combination of the following areas:

  • Leading teams or groups responsible for design, maintenance and/or operations of electronics hardware
  • Design and/or operation of data acquisition or digital signal processing electronics
  • Firmware and/or software development
  • FPGA implementation using VHDL or Verilog
  • Budgeting and planning of groups or projects
  • Project leadership and management

        While not required, you may have Ten or more years of experience in “Minimum Experience” items plus experience in the following areas:

  • Firmware and/or software development experience implementing signal processing algorithms for radio astronomy or wireless communications
  • Experience with Microwave, RF, and analog circuit design

Competency Summary

An excellent understanding of digital electronics is required. Excellent presentation, oral and written skills is required to facilitate effective and efficient communication with colleagues. Must be proficient with Microsoft Office programs and engineering management software tools. Must possess a valid driver’s license. Familiarity is needed with computer-assisted engineering and design software and equipment in designing equipment, components, systems or structures for radio telescopes and related systems. 


Total Rewards:


The NRAO offers a comprehensive total rewards package for this position, subject to eligibility requirements. We are committed to serving our employees and their families with an extensive and competitive compensation and benefits package that supports our employees’ overall well-being and career growth.



The NRAO strives to attract and retain dedicated, highly qualified, competent, and motivated employees by offering competitive compensation and recognition for performance.


Factors which may affect starting pay may include; education, experience, skills, competencies, other qualifications of the successful candidate, as well as internal equity and labor market conditions



NRAO’s benefits package addresses the needs of employees and their families with most benefits beginning on the first day of employment. NRAO provides excellent paid time off (13 holidays, annual accrual of up to 24 vacation days and 15 sick days, additional time off for doctor/dentist visits, and 8 weeks of paid parental leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective on the first day of employment. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay with no required employee contribution; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.


Application Instructions:


Select the “Apply” button. Please be prepared to upload your current CV/Resume and a cover letter 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 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 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.