Science and Technology

Job Details

Number: 1738

Title: Opto-Mechanical Engineer

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 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:
This position will support the Secondary Mirror Subsystem. This subsystem directs light from the ~25m diameter primary mirror into the telescope focal plane. Two varieties of Secondary Mirror assemblies are needed, the first is a Fast-steering Secondary Mirror (FSM) and the second is an Adaptive Secondary Mirror (ASM).

The FSM is a group of seven 1-meter diameter monolithic mirrors with fast tip/tilt capability, which operates in the seeing-limited observation mode while or when the ASM is in calibration mode. The ASM is a group of seven 1-meter diameter concave adaptive mirrors which can adapt their surface shape to remove atmospheric distortion based on the telescope’s Adaptive Optics sensors, enabling the telescope to achieve diffraction limited performance, the best performance theoretically achievable. The combination of an ASM and AO Pyramid wavefront sensor has been shown to achieve the best ground based performance currently available on 8m class telescopes.

We are seeking a highly qualified Opto-Mechanical Engineer to work on the detailed design of the Secondary Mirror Subsystem and reporting to the Secondary Mirror Subsystem Lead Engineer. This role will provide advanced engineering and detailed design concepts for opto-mechanical apparatus, equipment, assemblies, and opto-mechanical components.

The selected candidate will work from and contribute to detailed design concepts that will develop, interpret, and translate the concepts into design layouts. They must have demonstrated experience in project engineering that ranges from design and analysis to management of contractors and the assembly and test of hardware. Because of the varying types of work requirements this position will require the Opto-Mechanical Engineer to have the ability to be flexible, with a broad range of interests and skill and will work with other designers, engineers and teams to develop design solutions. The position also requires experience in developing Statements of Work, specifications and working with and managing contractors.

Job Duties:
• Conceptualize, develop, and complete detailed designs of hardware for various opto-mechanical applications that address requirements and constraints; translate these solutions into detailed layout, fabrication, and assembly drawings
• Manage contractors for the design and fabrication of opto-mechanical hardware
• Produce Statements of Work, specifications and requirements for engineering support to procurement
• Generate 3D CAD modeling of design concepts using SolidWorks CAD software
• Lead or present at design reviews and provide scope and schedule planning for tasks
• Lead and contribute to innovative design concepts for a variety of mechanical components and systems
• Work independently on small projects and/or contribute to large projects as a team member
• Perform design calculations; analyze performance and cost effectiveness of design, schedule, and materials
• Work with astronomers, physicists, engineers, and systems engineers to understand multiple project requirements; identify and independently or jointly resolve problems and develop solutions
• Provide and check design and drafting work of others and sign off completed drawings for adherence to layouts, specifications, and engineering drafting standards
• Provide regular progress reporting to appropriate staff
• Perform all assignments in accordance with ES&H standard practices, GMTO business practices requirements and policies
• Some travel will be necessary to support reviews and meetings at subcontractors around the globe.

Essential Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• BS degree in Mechanical Engineering with experience in optics or related field and significant applicable experience in the Opto-Mechanical Engineering field designing and resolving complex issues on large projects
• Minimum of 5 years of experience
• Ability to design complex electro-opto-mechanical assemblies and the ability to analyze system design requirements
• Demonstrated experience managing contractors for the design and fabrication of opto-mechanical hardware
• Ability to generate accurate/complete/clear engineering drawings with extensive knowledge and usage of SolidWorks 3D CAD and other design tools
• Experience identifying material, process, and other pertinent specifications needed for the design, drafting and manufacturing of opto-mechanical components
• Previous experience effectively utilizing a configuration management system
• Advanced working knowledge of and practical application of the ASME Y14.5M Dimensioning and Tolerancing standards
• Demonstrated interpersonal skills: well organized, reliable, and proactive in dealing with others
• Demonstrated communication skills: verbal, written and presentation
• Proficient in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Desired Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• A MS degree in Mechanical Engineering with over 5 years of experience in Opto-Mechanical Engineering or related field designing and resolving complex issues on large projects.
• Demonstrated experience as a Contract Technical Manager with an MBA or Program Management certification
• A solid understanding in the principles of precision engineering and controls engineering relative to the design of opto-mechanical systems
• Ability to perform FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) to identify areas of risk to the product design and develop mitigation and improvement plans
• Previous experience working on telescope hardware systems or optical hardware systems
• Previous experience working on large scale construction projects
• Experience with Model Based Systems Engineering
• Extensive experience with optical shop processes and fabrication techniques
• Extensive experience conducting or leading design reviews and verifying the accuracy of work performed by peers and other engineering disciplines as needed

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.