Science and Technology

Job Details

Number: 2124

Title: Motion Control Software Engineer

Element: Software and Controls

Element: Software and Controls Manager

Type: Full time

Location: Pasadena, CA (temporary remote work due to COVID-19)

This exciting job opportunity is with the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) project HQ located in Pasadena, California. The GMT is being developed by a group of leading university and research centers from across the globe. GMTO Corporation has been formed to design, construct and operate the GMT, which will be located in the Andean mountains at Las Campanas Peak in Chile. The GMT is the next generation astronomical observatory with 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope. The project is entering the formal construction phase with scientific operations expected to begin in 2030.


The successful candidate will be an employee of the GMTO Corporation and must be able to meet pre-employment requirements including any background and reference checks and the successful candidate must be a US citizen or eligible to work in the United States and at least 18 years of age. GMTO provides competitive salaries and a generous benefits package.

Job Summary:
The Motion Control Software Engineer will be part of the Software and Controls (SWC) team and will be responsible to specify, design, implement and test the software for different motion control systems in the GMT telescope (mount control system, enclosure control system, etc.). These device control systems will be integrated into the GMT Observatory Control System (OCS).

This position requires equivalent experience with similar software control systems in other observatories. The Motion Control Software Engineer will work closely with the Software and Controls team and other GMT subsystem teams to provide a high-quality and a high-value device control software to the users of the GMT control system.

To be able to recommend and implement innovative solutions, the Motion Control Software Engineer is expected to keep up-to-date with current trends and tools in real time control applications. This position will report to the Software and Controls Manager.

Job Duties:
• Review and create requirements documentation for device motion control systems
• Define and test formal interfaces with external contractors and software teams
• Designing and implement control software applications for the telescope subsystems
• Design and implement simulators for control systems
• Design and implement model based development tools
• Follow coding standards, builds unit tests, integration tests and deployment scripts
• Work collaboratively with the architecture and development teams
• Install and setup required software and hardware
• Integrate, verify, and validate software with external contractors and software teams
• Provide reports on progress and problems
• Write technical reports, manuals and support documentation
• Prepare and deliver presentations at project reviews and conferences
• Support developers and community on support forums, mailing lists, wikis, etc.

Essential Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering or a related discipline
• A minimum of 5 years of work experience
• Previous experience developing motion control applications for telescopes
• C/C++ programming in real time operating systems
• Experience with trajectory control, including PVAT modes, interpolation, etc.
• Experience with motion control industry standards
• Structured Text programming for PLCs (IEC 61131-3) and PLCopen Motion Control Library
• Experience with industrial fieldbuses and networks: EtherCAT, OPC-UA, CANOpen
• Experience developing with Linux
• Ability to debug complex systems
• Familiarity with hardware device management in Linux
• Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment
• Ability to work with cross-functional work teams and users
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
• Willingness and ability to travel to foreign and domestic vendor, partner, and observatory locations as the need arises

Desired Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• Python and JavaScript development
• Understanding of RTOS kernel architectures and APIs
• RT-Preempt and other RT Linux extensions
• Experience with Model Based Software Engineering based on DSLs
• UML and RT extensions
• Experience with SysML
• Experience in agile projects
• Experience with TwinCAT
• Experience with Servo Drive Systems
• Experience with BACnet protocol

Please send your CV and a Cover Letter to

If your skills and experience appear to be a match or if we need additional information to make a decision, we will contact you. If we do not see a suitable match between your qualifications and the position, we will keep your information on file in the event future positions become available that are more suitable to your qualifications.

GMTO is an equal employment opportunity employer