Electronics Engineer II-IV (4810)

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is seeking to hire an electronics engineer to perform digital design, maintenance of existing systems, and software support. This engineer will be a part of the Electronics Division Data Acquisition Group (DAQ) that designs, manufactures, and maintains data transmission and recording systems for the Very Large Array (VLA) and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). By joining this effort, the engineer will help the DAQ group maintain and improve its hardware on the Very Large Array and Very Long Baseline Array, and would be expected to help plan and design the Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA).


The NRAO has a long history of developing new technology to enable forefront research in radio astronomy. This development occurs in a collaborative environment with technicians, engineers, and scientists. By joining NRAO, an employee has a direct contribution to expanding the observatory’s state-of-the-art facilities and equipment used by scientists around the world. NRAO currently has development programs under way in high-speed sampling, DSP, modeling and simulation, cluster computing, interference characterization, and machine learning.


The position is based at the Domenici Science Operations Center located on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (www.nmt.edu) in Socorro, NM. Socorro is a small, historic city in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque. After an initial period of acclimation and orientation, a partial telework arrangement may be considered.


Job Duties Summary

This position requires a candidate with electrical engineering experience that includes digital signal processing. The successful candidate will work independently and with three or more engineers and technical specialists to support ongoing developments for both future and existing instruments. Responsibilities will include architecting, implementing, testing, and maintaining software used to model and process real-time astrophysical, meteorological, and diagnostic data.


General Operations Duties:

  • Maintain and design digital electronic equipment, components, systems or structures for radio telescopes and related systems.  Modifies existing software and hardware to add new features and improvements, or correct original design problems. 
  • Determines methods, procedures, and carries out or assists teammates in testing of assigned Data Acquisition System and Digital Transmission System equipment.
  • May work with programmers and scientists to identify and solve problems.
  • Writes test procedures, users’ manuals, and reports.
  • May assist Technical Specialists or Technicians including training, planning, assigning or directing work.
  • Proactive compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures in own work area is expected.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Work Environment

Work is typically performed in a laboratory environment, but the successful candidate may occasionally be required to work outdoors such as at the VLA site. The successful candidate may be required to travel domestically and internationally by air carrier and to travel by car between NRAO sites.


Most work will be performed on a computer at a desk or a lab bench for extended periods. The employee will occasionally be required to lift and carry heavy lab equipment (up to 40 pounds) for relocation or installation of test apparatus, and to squat, kneel, or crawl to reach electrical/physical connections in tight spaces behind racks of under lab benches.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

A Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering or related field.


Preferred Education

Advanced degree in Electrical Engineering or related field.


Minimum Experience

Over one year of experience with design, implementation, testing, and maintenance of electronics including data acquisition, digitization, digital signal processing systems.


Preferred Experience

Five or more years of experience with design, implementation, testing, and maintenance of digital electronics including data acquisition, digitization, digital signal processing systems. Experience working within the radio astronomy technical domain.


Preferred Competencies

The successful candidate will have skills and demonstrated competencies in:

  • A strong foundation in electrical engineering digital signal processing
  • Thorough working knowledge of Python, VHDL
  • Experience working with Altium, or other circuit board design software
  • Good verbal and written communication
  • Being a self-starter in a technical environment
  • Working within and between teams to develop maximally useful designs
  • Embracing solid design methodology, e.g. design reviews, documentation and testing


Additional Requirements

  • Must maintain a current Driver's License
  • May be required to drive Observatory vehicles
  • The Observatory requires staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to access our facilities. An offer of employment will be considered contingent until the selected applicant provides proof of vaccination. A selected applicant may request consideration for a medical or religious accommodation.


Application Instructions:


Select the “Apply” button belowPlease be prepared to upload your current CV/Resume and a letter of application describing interest and suitability for the positionApplicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis.


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 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.