Science and Technology

Job Details

Number: 1705

Title: Software and Controls Manager

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:
The Software and Controls Manager will be a key member of the GMT System Software team, taking the lead role in developing the top-level software infrastructure for the GMT. He/she will report to the GMT Project Manager.

The Software and Controls Manager’s responsibilities will include establishing software system requirements from the top-level science requirements, crafting the overall GMT software architecture that encompasses all software subsystems of GMT, specifying interfaces to internal and external subsystems, establishing software standards and developing the software production plan. In this effort he/she will work closely with System Engineering and the other project teams responsible for the telescope, instrumentation, facilities and operations. As the System Software Group grows, he/she will supervise the work of the team, and be accountable to the Project Manager delivery of software and control capabilities consistent with the project schedule and budget.

The Software and Controls Manager is expected to take a hands-on role in software development including the prototyping of software modules, writing simulators for various subsystem components, and final development of the production code. He/she will be intimately involved in commissioning activities of the GMT facility.

The Software and Controls Manager will also be involved in contracting for the design and/or production of software components. This will include defining work packages, identifying potential suppliers, writing statements of work and specifications, participating in the bid evaluation process, and monitoring contracted work in progress.

The selected candidate will be called upon to write technical reports, make presentations at project reviews, and to represent the schedule and cost performance of the effort at management reviews.

Job Duties:
• Lead the System Software effort
• Analyze requirements
• Define the overall software architecture of the GMT facility
• Establish software standards
• Specify internal and external subsystem software interfaces
• Prepare the system software development plan
• Provide supervision of the software and control team and coach team members to work effectively with others
• Oversee the execution of the software development plan, identifying the causes of cost and schedule variances from plan, and develop and lead corrective actions to maintain the effort on budget and on schedule
• Participate in the project management team and report implementation status at management reviews
• Develop prototype software modules, GUI’s and simulators
• Recruit additional members for the System Software Group
• Direct the production of code
• Collaborate with the engineers developing controls for the telescope, enclosure and instrumentation
• Provide software support for the data management and archiving team
• Prepare and deliver presentations at technical reviews and conferences
• Participate in the procurement process for engineering services and software production including identification of potential vendors/suppliers, preparation of technical specifications and statements of work, and participation in the contracting process and monitoring of work

The Software and Controls Manager will work closely with others to:
• Derive System Software requirements from top-level science requirements
• Select software packages
• Define interface requirements between telescope subsystems and assist in the preparation of the relevant specification documents
• Coordinate integration and test plans
• Prepare operations manuals
• Prepare the group work breakdown structure, budget and schedule
• Understand variances from plan and implement corrective actions

Essential Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• Master’s degree in Software Engineering, Physics or an equivalent discipline
• 7 years of post-degree experience developing high level software for large, technically complex projects
• Demonstrated ability to lead a software effort.
• Control system software and hardware expertise with distributed motion control systems.
• Strong analytical experience.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills.
• Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment.
• Willingness and ability to travel to foreign and domestic vendor, partner, and observatory locations as the need arises.

Desired Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• PhD in Software Engineering, Physics or an equivalent discipline.
• Matlab experience.
• Expertise with telescope control systems.

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.