HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 19-11
Opening date: January 4, 2019
Closing date: February 28, 2019

TITLE:IT Specialist (SysAdmin), IS-2210 Grade 13; $98,366 to $127,874 Annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund, Indefinite
DIVISION: - Central Engineering Department
LOCATION: Cambridge, Massachusetts
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all qualified candidates eligible to work in the United States.


1. Provides overall IT systems administration tasks as follows:

a. Performs Windows, MacOS X and Linux systems administration, including software installation, upgrade and user support, data protection, archival, user backup and recovery on a fully networked environment. Provides access, administrative and technical support for CE CAD/CAE and Project Life- cycle Management database systems on Servers, Client Desktop and Mobile Workstations. Keeps Operating Systems and Engineering Software up-to-date, secure, licensed and supported.

b. Maintains and updates a current record of all computer equipment in use at CE as well as stored and retired equipment kept for replacement, upgrade or temporary usage. Configures and procures new nodes and peripherals as required by new hires and projects. Handles internal moves and reassignments of desktop and mobile nodes in coordination with Central Facility staff and inventory maintenance.

c. Responsible for diagnosing and resolving critical problems in existing systems, which may require innovative solutions. Performs basic diagnostics in the event of a system or component failure or malfunction. Coordinates external service support as required. Schedules automated online scheduled backup routines for all individual and shared data on CE Server and Client notes using Rapid Recovery software. Devises and maintains recovery plans for systems failure situations.

d. Administers SAO CE computer systems in compliance with the policies, rules and procedures defined in the Smithsonian Institution Directive on Computer Use (SD-931), as they apply to users and computer systems administrators.

2. Responsible for maintaining a fully secure environment on all CE nodes, installing designated anti-virus software throughout the CE network. Will also make recommendations and implement policies directed at the protection and optimization of the digital working environment. Alerts users to security best practices and policies Supports software tools such as SolidWorks and SW EPMS Integration, Siemens NX series and FEMAP, Mentor Graphics and Cadence Electronic Design Tools, MathWorks MATLAB, PTC MathCAD, Sigmadyne Sigfit and ANSYS. Interfaces with the Observatory Computer Facility staff with a view to keep current networked resources correctly inventoried and identified.

3. Maintains hardware and software in use in its optimal functioning condition. Requires diagnostics on computer and peripheral equipment, interface debugging, as well as handling the speedy replacement of failed parts. Troubleshoot, diagnose, and resolve day to day user problems.

4. Provide training and support to staff in the use of systems and applications software.

5. Serves as a key advisor to engineering management in overall department computer systems and peripheral equipment planning, both near and long term. Creates and maintains an overall inventory of nodes in use of CE computer networks and determines which equipment is outdated and thus targeted for replacement or retirement.

6. Recovers and safely archives user data associated with personnel turnover in order to preserve historical documentation on CE Projects and ensure the enactment of SI approved security norms.

7. Performs other duties as assigned.


For all positions individuals must have IT-related experience demonstrating each of the four competencies listed below.

1. Attention to Detail - Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.

2. Customer Service - Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services.

3. Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.

4. Problem Solving - Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.

In addition to the basic requirements listed above applicants must possess a minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the grade 12 in the normal line of progression for this occupation.

Specialized experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position such as knowledge in the field of computer systems administration; computer resources planning and maintenance; Windows and MacOS Security, network security, and recovery of hardware from security breach. Perform configuration management on desktops and servers according to CE configuration management procedures, maintaining a standard build, running baseline compliance testing, installing and maintaining network, Windows, and MacOS security software, and documenting AD Group Policy exceptions and the associated reasons ; develop, test, and maintain Contingency and Disaster Recovery Plans.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We will only accept applications on line for this position. For complete information and 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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