Science and Technology

Job Details

Number: 1620

Title: Optics and Opto-Mechanics Manager

Type: Full time, professional.

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 2021-2022.


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 scope of the Giant Magellan Telescope Optics/Optomechanics (GMT OOM) Element comprises ~30% of the total capital cost of the GMT Observatory, and includes the design, fabrication, integration, and testing of the optical systems for the Giant Magellan Telescope. These optical systems include eight 8.4m diameter primary mirrors being fabricated at the University of Arizona’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory, an array of seven 1.1m diameter adaptive secondary mirrors (M2-ASM), an array of seven 1.1m diameter fast-steering secondary mirrors (M2-FSM), one 2m x 2.5m tertiary mirror (M3), one 1.5m diameter wide field corrector and atmospheric dispersion corrector (C-ADC), and all related optical support systems. Also included in the scope of the OOM Element are associated optical maintenance equipment including a 10m mirror coating chamber, shipping, handling, and transport fixtures, mirror wet washing and stripping equipment, in situ CO2-snow cleaning equipment, and related test instruments.

Reporting to the Project Manager, the OOM Element Manager is responsible for management oversight and programmatic coordination of the primary mirror, secondary mirror, tertiary mirror and corrector optics, the coating capabilities, and optics performance assurance programs for the Giant Magellan Telescope. The OOM Element currently consists of 13 engineers working in these five areas: M1 Subsystem, M2 Subsystem, Coating Subsystem, M3 and C-ADC, and Optics Performance Assurance. The lead engineers for each of those five areas are direct reports to the OOM Element Manager.

As a senior member of the project management team, the OOM Element Manager is responsible for meeting top level budget and schedule requirements as well as either directly managing major contracts or overseeing contract management and technical development delegated to members of the OOM team. The OOM manager works with the OOM subsystem leads and senior engineers to develop, manage, and maintain system budgets, cost and schedule estimates, write programmatic and technical reports, and make presentations at project reviews and conferences.

Duties will be performed at the highest level with only general supervision and direction. The work location for this position is in the GMT project office in Pasadena, CA, and the position will require regular national and international travel to various GMTO member locations, vendor premises, and the GMT site in Chile.

Job Duties:
• Management oversight as the Project Manager’s Contract Technical Manager (CTM) of the fabrication of the seven GMT 8.4m off-axis primary mirror segments and one GMT 8.4m center mirror segment
• Management oversight of the technical development, production and procurements for the GMT primary mirror support systems and associated test and handling equipment
• Management oversight of the technical development, production, and procurements for the GMT secondary mirror systems, including seven 1.1m adaptive secondary mirrors and seven fast-steering secondary mirrors and associated test and production mirror support systems
• Management oversight of the technical development, production, and procurements for the GMT tertiary mirror and the wide field corrector / atmospheric dispersion corrector optics, and associated test and production optical support systems
• Management oversight of the technical development, procurement, and construction of the 10m diameter optical coating systems for primary mirrors
• Supervising the group leaders for the primary, secondary, tertiary, corrector optics, and optical performance assurance programs
• Developing, planning, monitoring, and controlling OOM element activities, including creation and control of procurement plans, risk management plans, and estimates for cost and schedule
• Managing the development and procurement processes for the telescope optical systems to meet project schedules and budgets, and tracking cost and schedule performance using the GMT earned value management system
• Ensuring adequate quality and safety programs for the telescope optical and opto-mechanical systems
• Preparing and delivering programmatic and technical reports and presentations for reviews and conferences.

Essential Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• A BS degree in Engineering, Physics, or an equivalent technical discipline
• 10 years of relevant and successful experience leading and managing high-performance engineering teams
• 10 years of relevant and successful experience in the design, fabrication, assembly, integration, and testing of large visible or infrared optical systems
• Knowledge and experience successfully managing multi-million dollar contracts for optical system fabrication
• Willingness and ability to travel to foreign and domestic vendor, partner, and observatory locations during the GMT design, fabrication, testing, and final integration phases.
• Strong analytical abilities and excellent written and oral communication skills in English.

Desirable Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• An advanced degree in engineering or physics
• Willingness and ability to travel to and work at the observatory site in Chile during the final AIT and commissioning phases.
• Knowledge and expertise with fabrication and test methods for large aspheric optical elements
• Knowledge and expertise with advanced optical alignment and metrology systems
• Knowledge and experience in solid modeling and finite element modeling for large optical systems, including static, dynamic, seismic, and thermal modeling methods
• Knowledge and experience leading systems engineering processes for large optical systems
• Knowledge and experience with large international collaborative projects

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.