Systems Engineer II-III, Reliability Engineer (4589)

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Albuquerque, New Mexico Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) announces an opportunity for a Senior Systems Engineer to join the Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) project. The successful candidate will be responsible for the reliability and maintainability aspects of the Systems Engineering effort. The candidate will define and lead the implementation of the Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) development, in line with the systems engineering processes and international best practices. The successful candidate will influence the system design and requirements during the design phase to ensure it is reliable and maintainable. During the production and construction phases, the candidate will design the maintenance system and then oversee the implementation and roll-out of the maintenance system. The successful candidate is expected to work proactively and independently, under the supervision of the project’s lead systems engineer.


The ngVLA is a large new, high-tech project that will be developed over the next decade. The project was recently ranked amongst the high priorities for the astronomy community in the Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics 2020 (Astro2020). The project is in the early conceptual design phase and spans the full life cycle from concept definition through to operations. 


The position will be based in either Albuquerque, NM, Socorro, NM or Charlottesville, VA. The NRAO also offers partial teleworking arrangements. A full remote work arrangement may be considered for well qualified candidates.


The NRAO Headquarters is located Charlottesville, VA on the grounds of the University of Virginia ( The Domenici Science Operations Center is located in Socorro, 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 (


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 key responsibilities and duties of the position includes:

  • Define the reliability and maintainability requirements across the product hierarchy during the project’s design phase.
  • Analyze and model the system reliability and maintainability during the design phase to ensure that the chosen system architecture can meet the requirements.
  • Perform Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) for the system and subsystems to identify failure modes, allocate reliability requirements and identify failure detection methods.
  • Work with subsystem teams to ensure they deliver the documentation during the design and qualification phases that are required to design the support system.
  • Work with subsystem teams to ensure that they deliver the required as-built documentation needed to support the system in its operational phase.
  • Oversee physical configuration audits to ensure that the as-built documentation accurately reflects the built system.
  • Design the maintenance system that is required to support the ngVLA during the operational phase including: organization, human resources, spares, facilities, equipment, procedures and training materials. The design should consider the incorporation of existing systems and facilities.
  • Define requirements for the maintenance management software.
  • Oversee the implementation of the maintenance system and verify that it complies with the requirements.
  • Transfer the maintenance system to the operational team.


Work Environment

Work is typically conducted in an office environment in a research and development context. Some field work is required during the construction, integration and verification phases of the project.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

A Bachelor's Degree in engineering or related field is required.


Minimum Experience

At least five years working as a systems engineer, with experience in reliability engineering and the implementation of ILS processes on similar projects.


Preferred Experience

Experience in an application domain for the establishment of hi-tech large-scale infrastructure related to radio astronomy, such as radar, communication systems or optical telescopes. Exposure to the technology domains of electromagnetic, RF, digital signal processing, mechanical software engineering and civil engineering. Experience working across life cycle phases including design, qualification, industrialization, production, construction and transition to operations. Experience with reliability modeling tools



Strong interpersonal, teaming, and leadership skills. Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. Attention to detail. Able to be proactive and work independently.


Additional Requirement

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  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.