Science and Technology

Job Details

Number: 1713

Title: Mechanical Design Engineer

Element: Telescope Structures

Type: Full time

Location: GMT Project Office, Pasadena CA

This exciting job opportunity is with the GMTO (Giant Magellan Telescope Organization) located in Pasadena, California. The GMT is being developed by a group of leading university and research centers from across the globe. The GMTO Corporation has been formed to design, construct and operate the GMT Observatory which will be located in the Andean mountains at Las Campanas Peak in Chile. The GMT is the next generation astronomical observatory with the capability to have 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope. The project is entering the formal construction phase with scientific operations expected to begin in 2023.


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:
Reporting to the Telescope Structures Manager, the Mechanical Design Engineer will be a member of the team engaged in the design and fabrication of the telescope structure. During the preliminary design phase, they will be responsible for (1) developing, reviewing, and maintaining requirements, (2) formulating design concepts and subsystem interfaces, and (3) developing design solutions.
During the detailed design and fabrication phases, the Mechanical Design Engineer will be responsible for reviewing progress of the design-build contractors including designs and analyses, shop inspection, progress validation and fabrication surveillance.
Duties will be performed at a high level with only general supervision and direction. The Mechanical Design Engineer will be called upon to write technical reports and make presentations in their area of responsibility.

Job Duties:
The Mechanical Design Engineer will:
• Develop and maintain requirements and interfaces for the telescope structure and its subsystems.
• Provide engineering design of structural components of the telescope using static, dynamic and seismic solutions.
• Conceptualize, develop, and complete detailed designs of hardware for various mechanical applications that address requirements and constraints
• Review, evaluate, and report vendor design and drawings
• Review, evaluate, and sign off design drawings of others (including contractors) for adherence to layouts, specifications, and complex engineering drafting standards.
• Document results in technical reports, notes and presentations at reviews and meetings, and maintain updated documentation in a configuration management system.
• Prepare and deliver presentations at reviews and meetings.

The Mechanical Design Engineer will work closely with others to:
• Monitor, review and confirm the designs and analyses of the structure by contractors, to ensure designs meet functional, performance, and appropriate design code requirements.
• Provide oversight of the fabrication of the telescope mount structural elements and subsystems at US and international vendor sites and at the GMT site in Chile
• Provide scope and schedule planning for tasks.
• Interact productively with vendors, customers, and other associates outside the work unit.

Essential Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering.
• Minimum of 7 years of relevant experience in the design of dynamic structures
• Previous experience working on telescope systems
• Incorporate advanced knowledge of 3D CAD modeling of design concepts using Solid Works CAD software.
• Working knowledge of structural steel, concrete, and aluminum.
• Working knowledge of connection design, member sizing, field construction, inspection and assembly.
• Proficient in use of SolidWorks (CAD) and 3D modeling.
• Experience with finite element modeling and analysis (FEM/FEA)
• Experience in creating and reading design drawings from the conceptual level through fabrication/shop phases.
• Willingness and ability to travel to foreign and domestic vendor, partner, and observatory locations during the GMT design and fabrication phases.
• Experience and ability to prepare documents, reports, and oral presentations.
• Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in a group setting.
• Working knowledge of and practical application of the ASME Y14.5M Dimensioning and Tolerancing standards.
• Previous experience working on large scale construction projects.
• Proficient in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
• Working knowledge of motors, bearings, brakes, and drives.

Desired Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering or a closely related field

Applicants should send a Letter of Interest and a Resume to
Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Please refer to the Job Number in the letter and in the email subject line.

GMTO is an equal opportunity employer.