Telescope Operations Division Head - Chief Antenna Engineer

Engineers, Technical Specialists and Technicians Green Bank, West Virginia



Telescope Operations Division Head

(Chief Antenna Engineer)





Position Description:



We are seeking an enthusiastic and energetic person to head the Telescope Operations division for the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia.


Green Bank Observatory oversees the development and operation of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the world’s largest fully steerable telescope, as well as numerous other smaller telescopes which are used for a variety of scientific and educational purposes.   Working at wavelengths ranging from 100cm through 3mm, the GBT supports a diverse range of scientific research.  Additionally, the GBT has an ongoing program of research and development projects which keeps the telescope at the cutting edge of science and technology. 


Green Bank Observatory’s Telescope Operations division is responsible for the structural and operational maintenance, safety, and operation of all telescopes managed by Green Bank Observatory, including the 100-m diameter Green Bank Telescope.  This position is both Division Head for the Telescope Operations Division and Chief Antenna Engineer for the Observatory.  The Telescope Operations division currently consists of 11 persons broken into two groups – telescope operations and telescope mechanics, each of which has its own group lead.



This includes management of divisional personnel, budgets, procedures, practices, and future planning for the instruments. 

  • Oversite of the structural and operational integrity of all site telescopes
  • Monitoring structural integrity of the telescopes through both inspections and modelling
  • Performs or assists the design work of modifications and develops implementation plans;
  • Reviews and approves modifications proposed by other divisions;
  • Performs root cause investigations of equipment failures and identifies solutions to prevent recurrence; often working with others in these investigations
  • Maintenance oversight, plans, and schedules for all preventative and corrective maintenance tasks for all site telescopes
  • Oversees maintenance work, including preventive maintenance tasks, reviewing test results, developing corrective action as needed, identifying replacement parts, maintaining adequate spare parts inventory, reverse engineering obsolete parts.
  • With Director and other division heads, aid in the overall future planning for the Observatory
  • Direct and indirect line management for all other Green Bank Observatory Telescope Operations staff, including telescope operators and mechanics
  • Budget and staffing planning for the Telescope Operations Division
  • Proactive compliance with AUI and government safety policies and procedures in own work area is expected.
  • Other duties as assigned.



Work is typically performed in an office environment, but frequently work is outdoors or in a shop environment. Will be required to stand and sit and operate a personal computer.  Must be able to work on high telescope structures in precarious places up to 400 feet above the ground; will be required to climb or balance, and stoop, kneel, and crouch. Must be able to work with chemicals and lubricants. Must be able to work safely around and on electrical equipment. May need to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities include close vision, color perception, distance vision, and depth perception. Must possess a valid driver’s license.


Position Requirements:




  • Minimum of BS in mechanical or a related engineering field
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in a field such as industrial facilities or marine systems engineering
  • Good understanding of structural engineering
  • Practical experience with the maintenance and operation of plant or industrial equipment
  • Leadership skills
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to multitask
  • Ability to clearly convey technical information to non-experts
  • Ability to work with a diverse workforce
  • Strong interpersonal skills


  • Advanced degree and/or professional registration in an engineering field
  • Experience with the supervision of a maintenance operations organization
  • Experience in managing a budget and diverse technical staff
  • Record of completing projects on time and on budget

The position is located at the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, WV, an Observatory which combines an academic setting with a pleasant rural environment. The successful candidate will join a team of professionals engaged in research and development in the fields of science, engineering, software development, and education

Safety Sensitive

The selected candidate must successfully pass a post-offer, pre-employment/pre-placement drug screen.  Failure to pass the Screen will disqualify the candidate from employment consideration for a period of six months from the date of the results.
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:


Apply online at the Associated Universities Inc. / NRAO / GBO / LBO Careers page; upload CV/Resume and letter of interest.

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].