LOIF Group Lead, Electronics Engineer III-IV (4686)

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

he National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is seeking to hire an electrical engineer to lead a small engineering group responsible for maintaining, developing, and supporting Local Oscillator and Intermediate Frequency (LOIF) Radio Frequency (RF) equipment and power supplies on the Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). The group is also responsible for supporting some related equipment installed on the Atacama Large Millimeter Array. This position requires a candidate with electronics engineering experience, including the application of Phase locked loops (PLL), low noise amplifiers (LNA), RF filters, synthesizers, and circuit design. The candidate must also be able to coordinate and prioritize the efforts of five or more electrical engineers and electronics technicians.


The NRAO has a long history of developing new technology to enable forefront research in radio astronomy. This development occurs in a collaborative environment with technicians, hardware and software engineers, and scientists. 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.


The preferred location for this position will be Socorro, NM. The NRAO Science Operations Center is located on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (www.nmt.edu). Socorro is a small, historic city in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque. With over 300 days of sunshine each year, Socorro offers ample access to outdoor recreation and an affordable cost of living.


In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective the 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 successful candidate will work independently and as a group lead for engineers and technicians in a dynamic team environment to support maintenance and ongoing developments for both future projects and for existing telescope electronics hardware. This observatory-wide development involves Radio Frequency (RF), digital, and mixed-signal integrated circuits and systems applied to radio astronomy instrumentation. Key responsibilities will include reviewing, designing, testing, and troubleshooting RF circuits and systems.


Duties & Responsibilities

  • Managerial duties such as staff prioritization, supervision, and evaluation
  • Design high-performance RF circuits and RF systems
  • Write system and subsystem requirements
  • Help develop technical proposals, reports, and other technical papers
  • Conducting tests and data recording
  • Data analysis for verification of specifications and hardware performance
  • Circuit board design and layout
  • Perform other duties as assigned


Work Environment

Work is typically performed in a research or development environment, but employees may be occasionally required to work outdoors. Must work near moving mechanical parts and/or with electrical equipment. Occasionally required to climb VLA. 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. The successful candidate may be required to travel domestically and internationally by air carrier and to travel by car between NRAO sites.



Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

A Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering or closely related field.


Preferred Education

An advanced degree Electrical Engineering or closely related field.


Minimum Experience

Three or more years of experience with design, fabrication, and maintenance of RF systems.


Preferred Experience

Ten or more years of direct experience, including operations planning, in the operation of a radio astronomy facility or instrument.


Competency Summary

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

  • Group supervision
  • Strong analytical skills and both verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability and willingness to be a self-starter in a technical environment
  • RF systems and circuit design
  • Circuit board design and troubleshooting
  • Design for manufacturing


Additional Requirements

Must possess a valid driver's license. May be required to drive Observatory vehicles. 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].



The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.