HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 19-81
Opening date: November 6, 2019
Closing date: December 30, 2019

TITLEGeneral Engineer, IS-0801, Grade 15, $136,729 - $166,500/annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund (non-Federal) Indefinite
DIVISION: - CE Central Engineering Department
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA

AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all qualified candidates.

Note:First selection may be made 14 days after the position is announced.

SUMMARY: Provide high-level engineering leadership for the next generation Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). The EHT links radio dishes around the world to create a virtual Earth-sized telescope with the highest resolving power possible from the surface of our planet. The Project Engineer will provide leadership and technical direction to the next generation EHT at a global level.


1. Provides overall project engineering leadership and direction for developing the next generation Event Horizon Telescope, from conceptual design through prototype demonstration and detailed system architecture. Oversees and coordinates development of technical specifications for all next generation EHT subsystems. Oversees and coordinates engineering design and analysis (mechanical, optical, microwave, electronic and signal processing), as well as proposal preparation and formal documentation.

2. Administers configuration management; establishes and maintains consistency of a product's performance, functional, and physical attributes with its requirements, design, and operational information throughout its life. Sets up and assesses formal review entrance and exit criteria. Ensures that all technical developments are consistent with one another and with science objectives. Leads studies of the overall architecture and optimization of the worldwide next-generation EHT array. Maintains engineering requirements, specifications, interface documents, etc., ensuring that project milestones and budgets are successfully met.

3. Prepares engineering input to project proposals, cost estimates, schedules, technical plans, procedures, and reports.

4. Provides expert technical consultation to EHT scientists and other engineering staff worldwide in instrument design, mechanisms, materials, organizational processes, fabrication/assembly methods, and signal processing for high-bandwidth radio signals.

5. Provides technical leadership and direction to, and liaison with contractors and subcontractors worldwide, as required. Monitors subcontractor technical activities, coordinating where required to ensure that system performance conforms to project requirements.

6. Oversees design, fabrication, and assembly of scientific instruments and their associated support equipment, and integration of instrument systems. Ensures software design is compatible with instrument hardware. Participates in design reviews.

7. Oversees all verification activities including verification plans and procedures, analysis and test, and hardware acceptance.

Negotiates technical issues with senior officials of contracting or collaborating agencies or organizations.

9. Makes oral and written presentations to project scientists and technical representatives of cooperating and/or contracting organizations. Contributes to papers and technical articles as required. Represents SAO on technical task forces.

10. Performs other related duties as required.


In addition to meeting basic qualification requirements, candidates must possess at least one year of professional experience in a field appropriate to the specialization for which applying, that was comparable in level of responsibility and difficulty to that of the GS-14 level. The ideal candidate for this position would have a Ph.D. degree in a related area with specialized experience that typically involves experience managing a scientific research or development project or experience developing a complex state-of-the-art instrument for science data collection.


All applicants must meet these Basic Requirements:

Basic Requirements for Engineer (you must submit a copy of your transcripts)

[A] a degree in professional engineering. 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. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by ONE of the following: professional registration; written test (successfully passed the Engineer-In-Training (EIT) examination or the written test required for professional registration); specified academic courses (successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences and in engineering); OR related curriculum (successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in engineering technology or in an appropriate professional field).

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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