Electronics Engineer II-IV (4639)

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 full-time electronics engineer experienced in monitor and control of complex systems. The NRAO is responsible for developing, maintaining, and operating the Very Large Array, the Very Long Baseline Array, 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, hardware and software 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.


This position is based in Socorro, New Mexico at the Domenici Science Operations Center on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (www.nmt.edu). Socorro is a small, historical city in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque.


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 electronics hardware and development projects. This development involves Monitor and Control hardware and firmware interface subsystems across a wide range of radio astronomy instrumentation.


Routine Duties:

  • Assist with or lead design, documentation, and development and of ngVLA Monitor & Control (M&C) hardware, software, and firmware interface subsystems.
  • Collaboration with other teams in order to develop requirements and M&C solutions.
  • Participation in VLA and VLBA design, development, and maintenance activities across multiple subsystems such as Weather Stations, Antenna Control Units, and Monitor and Control sub-systems.
  • Investigations into system performance problems, involving complex interactions and limited monitoring tools, and determination of recommended corrective actions.
  • Troubleshooting, repairing, and testing of PCBs, electronic assemblies, and antenna array subsystems.
  • Proactive compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures in own work area.
  • Other duties may be assigned based on the applicant’s skills and the Observatory’s needs.


Work Environment

Work is typically performed in a research or development environment; will be required to stand and sit, and perform fine hand manipulation.  Must work near moving mechanical parts and/or with electrical equipment.  Occasionally required to climb or balance, and stoop, kneel, and crouch.  May occasionally work at high altitudes, and in high, precarious places and in outside weather conditions, and may be exposed to chemicals, or the risk of electrical shock.  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 the development of monitor and control solutions for complex systems.


Preferred Experience

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

  • Familiarity with SPI, I2C. Ethernet, USB, UART and similar interfaces
  • Experience with Analog- Digital (ADC) and Digital-Analog Converters
  • Experience in analog and digital design including schematic capture and board layout
  • Experiencing programming in C, C++, and/or Python
  • FPGA Development using VHDL or Verilog
  • Experience with REST and/or NETCONF protocols


Competency Summary

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

  • Experienced in board bring-up, subsystem and system integration, verification, and validation
  • Basic understanding of controls, including PID, state machines, and similar systems
  • Solid understanding of OPC-UA protocol and implementation
  • Use of various electronics test equipment and familiarity with automated test equipment
  • Excellent Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work well in a team environment
  • Good documentation and communication skills
  • Experience in custom design vs. COTS implementation trade-offs



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)