Software Engineer III-IV (4736)

Computers/Software Charlottesville, Virginia Socorro, New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico Remote, United States


Position Description:


Position Summary

Would you like to be writing mission-critical software for some of the largest scientific endeavors on the planet? Would you like to be part of a highly skilled international team of engineers and scientists pushing the boundaries of humankind’s knowledge of the universe?


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is seeking a full-time software engineer to design, develop and maintain code for their radio interferometer data reduction and analysis pipeline. The pipeline is used for the vast majority of data processing by users of the ALMA and VLA telescopes. Pipeline Software Engineers are responsible for all aspects of the software engineering lifecycle, from requirements derivation through design, development, testing and maintenance of code used in telescope data processing. They must be capable of formulating complex technical solutions suitable for operational deployment from broad scientific objectives in a research environment. They must possess both software engineering domain knowledge as well as the educational background and ability to understand the basic scientific concepts of radio interferometry.


The position will be based either at our headquarters in Charlottesville, VA; at the Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM; at a satellite office in Albuquerque, NM; or as a remote position in the USA.


Job Duties Summary

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:


  • Developing new radio interferometer data reduction algorithm implementations as needed by new scientific objectives;
  • Maintaining pipeline heuristics in support of ongoing telescope data processing operations and research endeavors;
  • Evolving the Pipeline code base to be modern, lean, efficient, and well understood;
  • Operating in a distributed international team environment with other software developers and scientific staff;
  • Taking ownership of a subset of functionality and providing technical direction, decision-making, and subject-matter expertise in that area, while continuing to consult with team members and stakeholders.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Work Environment

Work is typically performed in a research and development office environment. Occasional travel (domestic and international) may be required.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

Bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, scientific or related filed is required.


Minimum Experience

Three to five years of demonstrable experience in software development.


Preferred Education

Advanced engineering or science degree and a background that includes astronomy is highly desired.

Preferred Experience

          An understanding of formal software engineering principles including design, documentation, ticketing systems, version control and testing frameworks

          Experience with large development projects in Python

          Experience writing code for data visualization and web presentation

          Familiarity with basic astronomical principles and data reduction

          Demonstrated ability to learn new scientific concepts and apply them to engineering implementation, ideally in radio astronomy and interferometry

          Experience with scientific software development, numerical processing techniques, and mathematical packages such as Python/numpy

          Experience with CASA (or similar data reduction package)

          Familiarity with High Performance Computing and Big Data concepts including distributed data storage, parallel I/O, parallel processing, and memory caching


Must be familiar with a variety of software engineering concepts, practices and procedures including:


          Software development in Linux

          Software development with Python

          Experience using version control software



The position will be in residence at our NRAO headquarters located in Charlottesville, Virginia, however, a remote workstation may be considered for candidates with sufficient experience.


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. You will need to be prepared to upload your current 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 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)