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Job Title:
General Engineer (Integration), IS-0801, Grade 14; $121,243 - $157,614 annually
Type of Position:
Trust Fund (non-Federal) Indefinite
Job Location:
Cambridge, MA
Posting Opening Date:
Posting Closing Date:

AREA OF CONSIDERATION:   This position is open to all qualified U.S. Citizens and U.S. perm residents.


The incumbent provides systems engineering support for the next generation Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). The incumbent will lead several systems engineering efforts in close collaboration with and at the direction of the Project Engineer. The Engineer will be focused on system integration, subsystem deployment to various sites, test support, and verification and validation planning.


PURPOSE OF THE POSITION: The Engineer will play a key role in the overall next generation EHT engineering team, participating in all phases of the systems development lifecycle, including concept of operations, requirements, system architecture modeling, system design, risk management, integration, testing, and implementation planning. The incumbent will lead several systems engineering efforts in close collaboration with and at the direction of the Project Engineer. The Engineer will be focused on system integration, subsystem deployment to various sites, test support, and verification and validation planning. The incumbent will work with an international team that includes engineers, theoreticians, software developers, astronomers, and imaging algorithm experts, all united by a common science vision. This position will require that the incumbent possesses the ability to learn quickly, see the big picture, and carry out multiple complex activities simultaneously.

Duties include but are not limited to:

  1. Provides engineering leadership for the system design of the next generation Event Horizon Telescope, from conceptual design through prototype demonstration and detailed system architecture. Assists and coordinates development of technical specifications for all next generation EHT subsystems. Assists and coordinates engineering design and analysis (drawing from mechanical, optical, systems, microwave, electronic or signal processing disciplines), as well as proposal preparation and formal documentation.
  2. Leads subsystem integration, testing, verification, validation, and deployment activities to various global sites of the ngEHT array, including verification plans and procedures, analysis and test, and hardware acceptance.
  3. Coordinates subsystem design and development activities across international working groups for instrumentation, infrastructure, and supporting systems that comprise the ngEHT station system design. Ensures software design is compatible with instrument hardware. Participates in design reviews.
  4. Writes and maintains engineering requirements, specifications, interface documents, etc., assisting the Project Engineer to ensure that project milestones and budgets are successfully met.
  5. Prepares engineering input to project proposals, cost estimates, cost models, schedules, technical plans, procedures, and reports.
  6. 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.
  7. 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-13 level. Specialized experience at the grade 13 typically involves serving as lead systems integration engineer on a project of significant scope.


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 Procedures:  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.

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