Project Manager III (4288)

Project Management Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is seeking to support the design and development stage of the Next Generation VLA (ngVLA) project, a radio telescope comprising hundreds of antennae spread across several states and Mexico.  This position will work closely with the ngVLA Project Director and team while reporting to the Deputy Director for the Project Management Division (PMD).  The ngVLA Project Manager also works in close collaboration with the ngVLA Systems Engineer, the ngVLA Cost Analyst, and the New Mexico PMD Program Manager. The Project Manager III will take a leadership role and serve as a change agent to implement Project Management (PM) standards, processes, tools, techniques and support the services in support of the ngVLA project. The ngVLA Project Manager may also assist in other PMD projects as deemed necessary and appropriate.


The position is based at the Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology ( Socorro is a small, historical town in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque. In addition to competitive pay, NRAO PMD provides training and exam costs reimbursements for the PMI and INCOSE certifications. NRAO also 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 Project Manager III will report directly to the Deputy Director of the PMD and will matrix to the ngVLA Project Director. The successful candidate will implement appropriately tailored project management and systems engineering for ngVLA under the direction of the Director, PMD. Responsibilities and duties:

  • Defining, planning, tracking and managing the ngVLA project
  • Thorough understanding of life cycle project management – Design and Development through Operations and Maintenance.  Knowledge and experience with operations planning is highly desirable.
  • Identifying key resources and providing the direction they require in order to meet project objectives
  • Utilizes the highest level of project management tools and techniques (including earned value, risk, etc.) to manage the project.
  • Ensures appropriate management, customer and supplier involvement throughout the life of the project.
  • Work closely with Project Director to ensure the project goals and objectives are met.
  • Analyzes risks, establishes contingency plans and identifies trigger events and has the responsibility for initiating mitigating action.
  • Manages relationships with project stakeholders, including internal and external clients and vendors, keeping them informed of progress and issues in order to manage expectations on all project requirements and deliverables.
  • Implements the appropriate level of Project Management on the project to assure project success.
  • Ensures implementation of PM and SE standards, processes, and support services.


Work Environment

Work is typically conducted in an office environment.  Some limited (<10%) travel required.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

Bachelor's degree in engineering, physical science, management or related field preferred.


Minimum Experience

Minimum of three years experience actively leading projects.


Preferred Experience

Three years’ experience in systems engineering preferred but not required.


Licensure/Certification Requirements

PMI Project Management CAPM or higher certification preferred. INCOSE Systems Engineering ASEP or higher certification required. Both can be obtained within one year of hire upon PMD Director Approval.


Competency Summary

Strong project management skill set with an understanding of the associated systems engineering processes is highly desired. Flexible. Disciplined. Attention to detail is critical. Highly organized. The candidate will have a proven ability to work technical issues and develop action plans for closure. Ability to complete tasks with limited direct supervision. Organizational, planning, oral, and written presentation and communication skills are necessary. High level of competency in Microsoft software products and web-based systems, Visio and SharePoint.


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.