Science and Technology

Job Details

Number: 1755

Title: Systems Engineer

Element: Systems Engineering

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.

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.

Job Summary:
Under limited supervision the Systems Engineer will report to the Lead Systems Engineer. The successful candidate will work in a pool of Systems Engineers to provide support as needed to various system and subsystem technical groups within the GMT work structure.

Typical responsibilities for this group will include the management of flow-down of requirements from GMT science, operations, and system-level requirements for the telescope system and subsystem requirements, definition of telescope functional and performance requirements and associated verification methods, performance allocations and error budgets for lower-level subsystems, and management of the telescope requirements and (ICDs) interface control documents through the design, fabrication, integration, verification, and operational phases.

Additional responsibilities will include identification and management of applicable industry standards and other design specifications, including development of requirements for operations, Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, Safety (RAMS), testing, and metrology.

The Systems Engineer will develop assembly, integration, and testing AIT (Assembly Integration Testing), and commissioning plans and processes, and will assist in the development of Assembly Integration & Test (AIT) and commissioning plans for the telescope subsystems (e.g. optics, structures, controls).

This position will coordinate and collaborate with the many group leads/engineers in such areas as controls, mechanical, optical, electrical and software, etc.

They may also participate in other GMT project areas (e.g. enclosure, adaptive optics, and instrumentation), according to need and availability.

The selected candidate will be called upon to write programmatic and technical reports and make presentations in their area of responsibility at project reviews and conferences.

Job Duties:
• Deriving and managing telescope system and subsystem requirements, internal and external interfaces, Interface Control Documents (ICDs), analyzing telescope system and subsystem performance, generating and maintaining error analyses and error budgets
• Preparing and maintaining telescope group AIT, commissioning, RAMS, and quality assurance plans
• Managing SE documentation and configuration control for the telescope in their area of work assignments
• Preparing technical reports to document the design and performance of the GMT telescope systems and/or subsystems
• Preparing and delivering programmatic and technical presentations at reviews and conferences
• Lead the development of top-down and bottom-up system performance estimates, allocations, and error budgets
• Coordinate telescope and subsystem (AIT) assembly integration and test along with commissioning plans

Essential Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• A minimum of a BS degree in Physics, Engineering, or an equivalent technical discipline with
• At least of 5 years of relevant experience with systems engineering for electro-opto-mechanical systems
• Experience with space or ground-based optical/infrared telescopes or relatable systems
• High-level, hands-on, expertise with systems engineering tools and processes appropriate to the development of large (6-10m) optical/IR telescopes and/or astronomical science instruments
• Previous experience providing oversight of a CAD (Computer Aided Design)/PDM (Product Data Management) systems, managing documentation and configuration control systems
• Previous experience commissioning large scale technical programs
• Knowledge and experience executing systems engineering efforts according to international standards e.g. INCOSE (International Council On Systems Engineering), ISO (International Organizational Standards)/ IEC (International Electrical Technical Commission 15288:2008) (establishes a common framework for describing the life cycle of systems)
• Strong analytical ability with demonstrated written and oral communication skills in English
• Demonstrated leadership and management skills
• Flexibility to work outside of core business hours and travel to GMTO member locations, vendor premises and the GMT site in Chile when necessary to accomplish goals. Ability to work at an altitude of 8000 feet for extended periods

Desired Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• A MS or PhD degree in Physics, Engineering, or an equivalent technical discipline with 10 years of relevant experience with systems engineering for electro-opto-mechanical systems, with at least 5 years of experience with space or ground-based optical/infrared telescopes or relatable systems