Electronics Engineer II-IV (4640)

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Socorro, New Mexico


 Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is pleased to announce an opportunity for a hands-on, full-time electronics engineer experienced in radio frequency interference (RFI) mitigation and control. This position will work both in the lab and on and around sites and massive radio telescopes in order to characterize and minimize RFI that threaten scientific quality. The NRAO is responsible for developing, maintaining, and operating the Very Large Array (VLA), the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), and the proposed Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA). Experience in working with similar systems and within the radio astronomy community is highly desirable.


The NRAO is committed to maintaining its existing Observatories while developing new technology to enable forefront research into the universe at radio wavelengths. This development of many technical systems occurs in an open, collaborative environment involving technicians, engineers, and scientists working together. 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. Minimizing RF Interference into the Observatory’s extremely sensitive radio receivers is crucial to supporting the missions of the organization.


The primary duty station for this position is the VLA located 50 miles west of Socorro, NM. An alternative duty station of the Domenici Science Operations Center, located on the campus of New Mexico Tech (www.nmt.edu) in Socorro, NM, may be considered for well-qualified candidates.


In addition to competitive pay, NRAO 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 engineer will work both independently and within a dynamic team environment to support existing telescope operations and development projects. All duties require the engineer to act as subject matter expert in the field of RFI mitigation and control.


Routine Duties:

  • Identifying and eliminating sources of RFI negatively affecting operations of NRAO observatories.
  • Characterizing new equipment prior to deployment at antenna locations to ensure compliance to RFI requirements. Characterization is typically performed utilizing the NRAO’s reverberation chamber located at the VLA but may also use the NRAO’s Antenna Test Range locate on the campus of New Mexico Tech.
  • Designing and implementing shielding and filtering to achieve RFI performance objectives. RFI designs will span range from small modules. modifications of COTS equipment, to entire rooms or buildings.
  • Advising RF, Analog, Digital, and Mechanical engineers of best implementation practices to minimize RFI impact of new and existing designs.
  • Characterization of known and potential sources of RFI using theoretical analyses and computer simulations.
  • Maintenance and advancement the NRAO’s spectrum monitoring programs and equipment.
  • Liaising with outside government, military, commercial, and utility organizations to cooperatively reduce RFI affecting telescope operations.
  • Proactive compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures.
  • Other duties as assigned, relevant to the scope of this role.


Work Environment

Work is typically performed in a laboratory environment, but will also be required to work outdoors and at heights when accessing an antennaCandidate must be able to lift and carry 50 lbs. and must be able to work at a desk or bench sitting or standing for sustained periods.  Some travel may be required to other NRAO sites.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

BS Electrical Engineering or related field.


Preferred Education

Advanced degree in Electrical Engineering or related field


Minimum Experience

One or more years of experience in field of RFI mitigation and control.


Preferred Experience

Five or more years of directly related experience demonstrated competencies in some or all of the following areas:

  • RF circuit design
  • Analog/Digital Circuit Design
  • Experience with Issue Tracking Tools and Configuration Management tools
  • Experiencing developing automated test solutions


Competency Summary

The Successful candidate will have skills and demonstrated competencies in the following areas:

  • Experience performing RFI/EMI measurements in a reverberation chambers or open field test sites at frequency ranges from DC - ≥ 40GHz.
  • Design of RF shielding.
  • Filter design for purposes of RFI mitigation of AC/DC power sources and signal lines (Ethernet, Serial Ports, etc.).
  • Demonstrated ability to perform RF calculations including line-up analysis, path loss, power spectral density, and similar calculations.



Physical Demands

Most work is typically performed on a computer at a desk or at a lab bench for extended periods but may include field work on radio astronomy telescopes. 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.


Additional Requirements

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 an accommodation for a disability or for a sincerely held religious belief.



Application Instructions:


Select the “Apply” button below.  Please be prepared to upload your current CV/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]. PM20



The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V)