Antenna and Electromagnetics Research Engineer (4624)

Research Charlottesville, Virginia Charlottesville, Virginia



Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s (NRAO) mission is to enable forefront research into the Universe at radio wavelengths. In partnership with the scientific community, we:


  • Provide world leading telescopes, instrumentation and expertise,
  • Train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and
  • Promote astronomy to foster a more scientifically literate society.


NRAO is now recruiting for a Research Engineer at the Central Development Laboratory (CDL) in Charlottesville, VA. The selected candidate will be the laboratory’s lead electromagnetics and antenna engineer.


The main duties of the selected candidate will be design and development of electromagnetic devices as part of the receiver system on various telescopes. In addition, the selectee will be responsible for establishing research programs working with industry, academic institutions etc., to develop new and evolving technologies relevant to low-noise systems.


As part of CDL’s strategic plan, the laboratory employs co-op students and post-doctoral fellows to work with CDL’s research engineers. The selectee will also assist in recruiting and mentoring the students and fellows.


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

  • Responsible for design, development and production of electromagnetic devices for use by NRAO and partner organizations.
  • Establish and manage a program of research to meet the evolving science-driven device requirements of our customers and stakeholders.
  • Help recruit, mentor, and advise co-op students and post-docs.
  • Work within the Observatory and with industry and academic partners in pushing the performance envelope of devices.
  • Work closely with other engineers in NRAO’s Central Development Laboratory and NRAO’s Project Management Division.
  • Ensure proactive compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures.


In addition to technical abilities, this position requires strong interpersonal and organizational skills and the ability to work within modern project management frameworks. The selectee will be expected to carry out his or her duties in compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures and demonstrate a commitment to promoting and sustaining principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Work Environment

Work is typically performed in a research and development environment, but you may occasionally be required to work outdoors. Some domestic and international travel will be required; must be willing to travel at regular intervals within and outside the U.S., including work at the ALMA array site in Chile at an altitude of 5000 m.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

A PhD in Electrical Engineering with specialization in Antennas/Electromagnetics. Candidates with Master of Science in Electrical Engineering with demonstrated PhD level understanding and accomplishments will also be considered.


Minimum Experience

Must have demonstrated substantial experience in the field of VHF/centimeter/millimeter wavelength antennas and electromagnetic (EM) components with at least two years post-graduate/industry experience in design, fabrication and testing.


Preferred Experience

Strong background in electromagnetics/antennas with focus on design and analysis, and experience in design and testing of wideband devices is desirable. Experience in CAD with the use of commercially available software is strongly preferred. Experience in characterization of designed components through measurements on Vector Network Analyzer and Antenna test range is also desired. Skills in communication and interaction with precision machine shop during the design process are preferred. Extra consideration will be given to candidates who have worked in the field of radio astronomy instrumentation, where components with low loss, wide bandwidth and minimum mass are routinely used.

Must have received or be willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by September 1, 2021 to be considered for U.S.-based vacancies.


Application Instructions:


Select the Apply button. You will need to be prepared to upload your current resume and a cover letter as a single PDF document consisting of the following items:

  • Cover letter describing interest and suitability for the position. (maximum 2 pages).
  • Curriculum vitae
  • List of refereed publications
  • Description of research accomplishments and future research plans (maximum 3 pages)

While not required for the initial application submission, applicants should be prepared to submit two letters of reference (max 2 pages) if they reach the final interview/selection process.


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)