Operations Engineer II-III (4917)

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 Operations Engineer opportunity in the Electronics Division at the Domenici Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM. The Operations Engineer works with a team of engineers, technicians, and other technical staff that maintain and operate the Very Large Array and the Very Long Baseline Array. The engineer assists or leads in the investigation, tracking, and operational maximization of the arrays’ hardware systems and components. This includes using maintenance issues system, reliability analysis, and spares and configuration tracking. These systems and units are managed by NRAO’s New Mexico Engineering personnel and used at over a dozen different locations and on thirty-nine different antennas around the country. The majority of the units are developed, maintained, and repaired in-house by NRAO.


What You Will be Doing:

An Operations Engineer assesses operational performance and processes using methods such as inventory tracking, failure analysis, modeling, statistics, and algorithms to help with decision-making in planning and execution of operations and maintenance activities. The engineer also researches, defines, and applies best practices necessary to operate and maintain the New Mexico Engineering divisions’ assigned telescope systems. The end contribution of the contribution of the engineer is an accurate assessment of system performance and availability. The duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:


        Oversees the development and use of a spares & inventory system for telescope systems and Field Replaceable Units.

        Provides operational management and performance information by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing operating and engineering data and trends.

        Work with and train maintenance staff to ensure high quality reporting of maintenance and performance issues through an existing maintenance work order system.

        Predicts future system behavior studying modes of operation and monitoring unit or system performance and reliability.

        May lead other engineering and technical personnel in development and implementation of operations engineering systems.

        Other duties as assigned.

Work Environment

Work is typically performed in an office and lab-based research or development environment. Must be able to operate a personal computer. May occasionally work at high altitudes. Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. Occasional travel will be required.


Who You Are:


        You have a bachelor’s in industrial or operations engineering or engineering and scientific disciplines related to NRAO’s operational environment.

        While it is not a requirement, you may have an advanced degree in industrial or operations engineering or engineering and scientific disciplines related to the operational environment.


        You have at least one year of relevant experience in in the duties described above, including some combination of experience in reliability and maintenance engineering and operations and inventory management.

        While not required, you may have Three or more years of direct experience, including operations planning, in the operation of a facility in addition to the minimum experience described above. Prior inventory management system experience is highly preferable.

Competency Summary

The candidate must demonstrate experience in the following: 

        Ability to develop and maintain systems for organization of an operations and maintenance environment, including inventory tracking and operational or repair status.

        Ability to draft, manage, and automate technical reporting on key performance indicators.

        Use of software and other tools to accomplish activities listed above.

        Self-motivation and continuous improvement, problem solving skills.

        Strong verbal and written communication skills


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 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.