Electronics or Mechanical Engineer II-IV (4561)

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory invites applications for an experienced Engineer (Civil, Electronics, Mechanical or combined discipline). There are currently two high-profile efforts to which the engineer will contribute:


  • Conceptualization of the Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA), a radio telescope comprising hundreds of antennae spread across several states and Mexico
  • The Very Large Array (VLA) infrastructure improvement effort (recently funded by the National Science Foundation)

In general, the Engineer will provide operational support for the VLA. The Engineer will conceptualize, research, plan, conduct and coordinates detailed phases of engineering work on problems/projects of considerable scope and complexity requiring the use of highly innovative approaches and techniques; provides expert consultation for the design, development and implementation of complex engineering solutions. The Engineer will also determine feasibility of designing new construction or modifying existing facilities considering costs, available space, time limitations, organizational planning, and other technical and economic factors, utilizing professional engineering theory and practices.  Will estimate costs related to layout design, including equipment and materials, labor, etc., and will monitor the construction process.  In addition, the Engineer will coordinate site maintenance activities with the Environmental Safety and Security (ES&S) division to ensure the facility’s compliance with all health, safety, and environmental regulations. The selected candidate will be recognized as a technical leader and resource to the Observatory; will supervise the work of others.


The position is based at the VLA, 50 miles west of Socorro, NM. Socorro is a small, historical town in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque and is home to New Mexico Tech (www.nmt.edu). 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 essential duties and responsibilities will include:


  • Responsible for organizing the approach to solving complex and unique engineering problems.
  • Responsible for engineering analysis, design, and execution of major projects and systems.  Makes decisions and determinations in design, procurement, manufacture, erection, testing, and some degree of initial operation.
  • Uses computer assisted engineering and design software and equipment to design electronic equipment, components, systems or structures for radio telescopes and related systems.  Modifies existing software and hardware to add new features and improvements, or correct original design problems. 
  • Directs other engineering and technical personnel in the fabrication and testing of equipment, and determines methods, procedures, and conditions for testing.  Ensures manufacturing, construction, installation, and operational testing conform to functional specifications and requirements.
  • Works with programmers and scientists to identify and solve problems.  Determines repair and maintenance needs.  Coordinates and directs operation, maintenance, and repair of equipment, systems, and structures.
  • Develops work breakdown structure and time line for projects.  Makes recommendations for procedures, equipment purchases, and other improvements.
  • May supervise other Engineers, Technical Specialists, Technicians, cooperative education students and/or summer students including hiring, training, planning, assigning, and directing work, addressing complaints, and resolving problems.
  • Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the Observatory’s policies and applicable law.
  • Proactive compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures in own work area is expected.
  • Other duties as assigned.


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.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

BS in Engineering (civil, mechanical, electrical)


Preferred Education

Advanced degree in an engineering discipline or a related field


Minimum Experience

Three years of increasingly more responsible engineering experience and demonstrated engineering leadership as evidenced by an advanced degree, professional license, publications or original work. Must have a successful record of completing projects on schedule and within budget.  Candidates with more than three years’ experience will be considered for a higher ranking.


Preferred Experience and Certification

Five or more years of experience as described above; Registered Professional Engineer


Competency Summary

Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. Must be able to operate a personal computer.  A working knowledge of AutoCAD and a 3D modeling CAD is required.


Application Instructions:


Please click 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.