HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 18-13
Opening date: February 20, 2018
Closing date: March 7, 2018

TITLE:Supervisory Electronics Engineer, GS-0855, Grade 13; $89,566.00 - $116,437.00 /yr plus a COLA of 5.08% and 8% hazardous duty pay
TYPE OF POSITION: Federal Career/Career-Conditional
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to current and former Federal employees with permanent status or reinstatement eligibility. Individuals who are eligible for a special appointing authority may also apply; such as applicants with a disability, former Peace Corps volunteers, certain military spouses, veterans seeking a VRA/VEOA appointment, or veterans who have been separated from armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of continuous active service.


The incumbent is responsible for providing specialized electronics technical support and assistance to the SMA in the testing, troubleshooting, and documentation of electronic, electrical, and electromechanical systems, with emphasis on the servo, antenna electronic, and data acquisition systems.

1. Lead the activities at the SMA on Maunakea of design, development, deployment, evaluation, testing, and maintenance of new instrumentation, with particular emphasis on electronics assemblies comprising signal transmission and processing systems. Coordinate deployment activities with engineering staff in Cambridge, with deliveries from the development labs, with resource availability, and with staff schedules. Maintain an overall schedule of technical activities at the SMA. Balance deployment of new equipment with ongoing science observations using existing systems. Prepare associated documentation in accordance with SMA standards.

2. Confirm, document, and control the overall SMA signal transmission and processing architecture, including the partition into subsystems. Confirm, document, and control the interfaces between subsystems. Develop and maintain engineering specifications corresponding to scientific goals. Verify subsystems will work together to achieve the overall performance goals and specifications.

3. Track the status and ongoing performance of SMA subsystems. Implement a maintenance schedule and oversee maintenance activities to sustain optimal array performance and readiness. Oversee an inventory of critical spares to ensure minimal disruption of operations in case of component failure. Perform engineering tests and observations with the SMA and analyze the results to validate instrument performance and to spur further development. Disseminate status and performance information through oral presentations and written reports.

4. Supervise a portion of the SMA technical staff. Assign projects and tasks; prepare performance plans and perform performance appraisals; approve work schedules, leave, and overtime; resolve conflicts and take disciplinary action when required; nominate staff for awards to reward exceptional performance; give advice, counsel, or instruction to staff on both technical and administrative matters; determine training needs and arrange training as appropriate; and interview and hire new staff when vacancies occur.

NOTE: Possession of a valid driverís license is required along with the ability to responsibly drive SMA vehicles.


In addition to the Basic Requirements, applicants must meet the following:

One year of professional experience in an appropriate field at least equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to grade 12 level work in the Federal service within or closely

Specialized experience for this position would typically include work with microwave electronics, submillimeter astronomy, signal processing, signal transmission, systems engineering of complex systems, and supervision of technical workgroup. Education


(A) Degree: professional engineering. To be acceptable, the curriculum must:

(1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or

(2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics:

(a) statics, dynamics;

(b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships);

(c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics;

(d) thermodynamics;

(e) electrical fields and circuits;

(f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and

(g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics. OR

(B) Combination of education and experience--college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished

(1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering, and

(2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We will only accept applications on line for this position. For complete information about this position and the online application procedures, 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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