Science and Technology

Job Details

Number: 2119

Title: Senior Instrumentation Engineer

Element: Science Instruments

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 Senior Instrumentation Engineer will play a key role in the development of the first generation of GMT instruments during their design, construction, and commissioning phases. The successful candidate will be the primary technical point of contact between the instrument development groups and the Project Office.
In addition, the Senior Instrumentation Engineer will provide technical guidance to the instrument teams regarding GMT designs and interfaces, monitor contracted work, manage progress reviews, help to standardize engineering solutions between the instruments, and work with the GMT Systems Engineering team to establish acceptance and commissioning procedures.
The Senior Instrumentation Engineer will also be responsible for write reports and proposals related to instrument development and make presentations to the GMT Science Advisory Committee, at conferences, and at project reviews.
This position will require travel to various GMTO member locations vendor premises, and the GMT site in Chile.

Job Duties:
• Work with the Instrument Manager in guiding the instrument program for GMT.
• Act as the technical point of contact between the instrument groups and the rest of the Project.
• Assist the Instrument Manager in working with the GMTO Contracts/Procurement department to preparing contract documents such as Requests for Proposals, statements of work, technical specifications, and other documents related to the instrument development.
• Monitor the technical progress of instrument teams during all phases of an instrument’s development via regular progress meetings and reviews.
• Monitor instrument assembly, integration, and test activities (at the partner institution site and at the telescope).
• Prepare and deliver presentations at technical reviews and conferences.
• Evaluating cost and schedule estimates for technical feasibility.
• Assist instrument teams in assessing instrument performance on the telescope, maintenance strategies, and operational strategies.
• Assist the instrument and GMT teams in specifying and developing interfaces.
• Support the preparation of integration, test, and commissioning plans in consultation with the instrumentation teams and other systems within the GMT.

Essential Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• M.S. degree in Engineering or related field.
• Minimum of 7 years of post-degree, hands-on experience with the development of astronomical instrumentation on ground-based optical/infrared telescopes.
• Broad technical competency/knowledge in the development of astronomical instrumentation.
• Ability to communicate effectively with diverse groups of scientists, engineers, and managers.
• Excellent organizational, leadership, and project management skills
• Excellent written and oral communication skills.
• Experience creating requests for proposal, statements of work, technical specifications, and evaluation procedures for vendors.
• Experience developing cost and schedule estimates.
• Thorough understanding of the principles of systems engineering.
• Experience creating integration, testing, and commissioning plans,
• Experience developing technical, operational, maintenance, and performance requirements for instruments flowing from higher-level requirements.

Desired Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• Ph.D. in Engineering or related field with 7 years post-degree, hands-on experience with the development of astronomical instrumentation on ground-based optical/infrared telescopes.

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