HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 14-19
Opening date: March 13, 2014
Closing date: April 4, 2014

TITLE: Engineering Technician (Mechanical), GS-802, Grade 9; $48,910 - $63,580/yr plus 6.24% COLA
TYPE OF POSITION: Federal Career/Career-Conditional Appointment
DIVISION: - Radio Geoastronomy Division, Submillimeter Array (SMA)
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all qualified U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals.

Note: Federal employees with permanent status or individuals eligible for special appointing authorities should apply to Job Announcement #14-18.


Provides technical expertise in the maintenance and/or repair of precision mechanical assemblies in the SMA radio telescopes at the observatory on Mauna Kea. These assemblies encompass a diverse range of mechanical areas including precision mechanical mounts, motors and gearboxes, cryogenic systems, hydraulic systems and precision servo systems. These systems vary greatly in complexity and mass, thereby requiring excellent skills in understanding design drawings, procedures and Bill of Materials.

Perform precise mechanical alignments of SMA antennas and associated mechanical and optical components using developed procedures and, using specialized equipment, run tests to perform optical alignments, various mechanical tests, etc.

Perform precise optical alignments of various assemblies used in the antenna's optical systems and their co-alignment to the pointing and servo systems. Assemble and/or disassembly of various optical assemblies to make repairs or install new components.

With other members of the SMA antenna group, develop maintenance tasks that result in optimal mechanical operation of the SMA antennas, transporter and all other mechanical systems to be operated at the SMA Site on Manna Kea. Implement (or in some cases, supervise the implementation of) these required maintenance activities.

Operate specialized boom and bridge cranes, forklift trucks used in the assembly of large antenna components. Additionally the incumbent will work with the antenna transporter, which is used to move the antennas.

Operate machine tools such as lathes, drills, milling machines, planers, etc. to perform machining and modifications of new and existing mechanical parts.

QUALIFICATIONS : One year of full-time experience at the GS-8 or equivalent that is close or similar to the work of this position. The experience includes activities such as working with mechanical assemblies in large instruments and/or industrial equipment and experience with machining operations on metals and plastics.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We are only accepting online applications for this position. To apply please visit USAJOBS

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.

Visit our SAO website.


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