Network Engineer (4965)

Information Technology Socorro, New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a diverse and prestigious research facility that plays a vital role in the study of the universe. The Observatory is an exciting and dynamic organization that is pushing the boundaries of our understanding of the universe. Whether you are a scientist, student, or simply someone who is fascinated by the cosmos, the NRAO offers a wealth of opportunities to learn, explore, and discover


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is seeking an experienced Network Engineer to provide networking infrastructure support for Telescope and Observatory operations. The Network Engineer will report to the Network Operations Manager. The successful candidate will help design and establish the operation support of high-bandwidth trans-continental and international network links. The existing links support the operations of the ALMA, VLA, VLBA, and GBT radio telescopes; significant expansion of network infrastructure is anticipated as capabilities of the existing telescopes are increased, and the ngVLA is developed. The position is based in New Mexico, and the successful candidate must be eligible for employment in the United States.


The position will be based in either Albuquerque, NM or Socorro, NM. After a training and orientation period, a partial telework arrangement may be considered in accordance with the NRAO telework policies. The NRAO Science Operations Center is located in NM, on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology ( Socorro is a small, historical city in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque. The NRAO Albuquerque Office is located in the Science and Technology Park on the South Campus of The University of New Mexico ( Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico with a wide variety of restaurants, entertainment, and cultural events. With over 300 days of sunshine each year, both cities offer ample access to outdoor recreation.



What You will be Doing

To affect the design and establishment of the operational support of high-bandwidth trans-continental and international network links and campus networks, the Network Engineer duties will include but are not limited to:

  • Develop and maintain relationships with long haul data communications providers for trans-continental and international 100+Gigabit/second networks
  • Participate in cross-training the network support personnel at all of the sites to foster collaboration, enhance skill sets and promote knowledge sharing.
  • Define, document and disseminate communication systems standards in response to stakeholder requirements in collaboration with the NRAO Project Management Division
  • Design processes to maximize network performance by monitoring, troubleshooting network problems, and managing the timely resolution of outages
  • Monitor, measure and improve performance and resilience of the operations communications environment to support the observatory’s science and business needs
  • Collaborate with system architects on network optimization and provide a high-level network architecture with a view to improving network segmentation and access control
  • Report network operational status and utilization monthly for access by stakeholders
  • In conjunction with the NRAO Cybersecurity Officer, secure network systems by establishing and enforcing policies, and then monitoring access
  • Establish processes to upgrade data network equipment to current stable firmware releases, configure routing and switching equipment, and firewalls
  • Review monthly billings from communications vendors for accuracy
  • Participate in communications contract renewals and/or preparation of requests for proposals (RFP) for new or ongoing services
  • Assess and recommend mitigation for network-based items in a risk register


Work Environment

While performing the duties of this job, the employee frequently sits at a desk, uses a personal computer, telephone, and other standard office equipment; the ability to climb stairs is required. The employee is required to bend, reach, and must have finger dexterity. The employee is required to lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, and ability to adjust focus. May occasionally work at high altitudes. Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.


Who Are You:


  • You have a Bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, or related field, or an equivalent amount of education and experience.
  • While not required, you may have an advanced degree in closely related field.
  • You have at least five or more years of relevant experience with networks and systems comparable to those of the Observatory is required or an equivalent amount of education and experience.


Competency Summary

  • Strong organizational and leadership skills and the ability to prioritize workload within network team
  • Ability to investigate, document, and address the current and future needs and technical demands of Observatory science and business operations
  • Service-focused approach to understanding and serving the needs of the end user
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, particularly the ability to communicate with staff who aren't technically trained
  • Strong teamwork skills and the ability to feel comfortable working with geographically distributed and international teams


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.


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.


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].