AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all qualified candidates. This is NOT a federal position.
Note: First consideration may be made 14 days after the opening of this vacancy.
PURPOSE OF THE POSITION: The position aims to provide mechanical and thermal systems engineering support to develop advanced instrumentation for space-borne and ground-based astrophysical and astronomical data collection on various Central Engineering projects as assigned.
INTRODUCTION: This is the position of Thermal Systems Engineer, Central Engineering Department (CE), and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO). Working under the broad general direction of the Mechanical Engineering Lead, the incumbent will independently conceive, plan, and conduct wide-ranging technical investigations of extreme difficulty and complexity in areas relating to the thermal systems of space-borne and ground-based state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation. He/she will work directly with staff scientists to translate scientific requirements into appropriate hardware and to develop methods for hardware evaluation and performance analysis. Responsibilities require technical leadership in thermal systems engineering, design, analysis, documentation, and proposal preparation. The incumbent is a consultant in the design of mechanical/thermal systems, and completed work is reviewed for conformity with the Project Engineer, project schedule and technical requirements, and SAO policy.
1. Provides systems engineering support to SAO instrument development programs in the following areas:
- Conceptual thermal and mechanical systems design
- Systems and optical modeling
- Performance modeling
- Systems error budgeting
- Statistical analysis for project requirements definition, development, and implementation
- Preparation and maintenance of project interface documents
- Computer-based analysis and simulation of mechanical, thermal, and optical systems
- Thermal analysis
- Conceptual systems model development and data analysis
- Proposal preparation
- As Thermal/Systems Lead for assigned projects, performs the following:
- Analyzes available resources, analyzes the provided requirements, and defines the resulting engineering problems.
- Coordinates thermal, structural, and electrical engineering design and development activity.
- Prepares specifications for systems design and performance to guide engineering design.
- Oversees system and subsystems fabrication, test, and integration/installation.
- Coordinates, investigates, recommends, justifies, and oversees procurement of critical instrument system components.
- Provides consultation and technical advice both to SAO scientists and to members of the technical teams of cooperating or contracting agencies and organizations on a variety of thermal, optical and mechanical systems problems, issues and test results.
- Develops new analysis, simulation, hardware performance evaluation methods and tools, with an emphasis on the utilization of advanced computer technology.
(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.
(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.
(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.
In addition to the Basic Requirements, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:
Grade 12: One year of professional experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to grade 11 level work in the Federal service within or closely related to the position being filled. Specialized experience for this position would typically include participation in the design of optical instrumentation, formulation of original technology research problems, and execution of a program of independent technology research or participation in a scientific investigation or an advanced degree that would demonstrate knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, and physics.
Grade 13: One year of professional experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to grade 12 level work in the Federal service within or closely related to the position being filled. Specialized experience for this position would typically include Mastery of advanced concepts, principals, and practices of mechanical systems engineering, particularly as they apply to aerospace projects. Ability to conceive and develop original analytical and evaluation tools and to apply them to the solution of complex technical problems. Demonstrable project leadership skills and the ability to provide technical direction in design, fabrication assembly, and test activities to members of a diverse engineering and scientific team. Working knowledge of related technical disciplines such as electronic, structural and/or optical instrumentation, the formulation of original technology research problems, and the execution of a program of independent technology research or contributions to a scientific investigation, or an advanced degree that would demonstrate a broad professional knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, and physics.
Grade 14: One year of professional experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to grade 13 level work within or closely related to the position. Specialized experience for this position would typically include ability to provides systems engineering support to SAO instrument development programs in the areas of Conceptual thermal and mechanical systems, optical modeling, performance modeling and system error budgets. Provides independent consultation and technical advice both to SAO scientists and to members of the technical teams of cooperating or contracting agencies and organizations on a variety of thermal, optical, and mechanical systems problems, issues, and test results. Develops new analysis, simulation, and hardware performance evaluation methods and tools, with an emphasis on the utilization of advanced computer technology. Documents work in technical papers, reports, specifications, and memos. Participates in both internal and contractor design reviews. Makes oral and written presentations to project scientists and technical representatives of NASA, and other collaborating and/or contracting U.S. or international organizations. Presents technical papers to, and represents SAO at, technical conferences, reviews, and meetings. As assigned, provides technical expert leadership and direction to, and liaison with, hardware contractors and sub-contractors.
Required Documents: To receive consideration, applicants must submit all of the following:
- School Transcripts (official or unofficial)
Application Procedures: We are only accepting applications online for this position. To apply, please visit: https://lweb.cfa.harvard.edu/pcgi/opportunities/jobs?pid=23135
Conditions of Employment:
- Successful completion of a pre-employment background investigation.
- A one-year probationary period is required.
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal-opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.