Science and Technology

Job Details

Number: 1731

Title: Senior Electrical 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:
Reporting to the Enclosure Element Manager, the successful candidate for the Senior Electrical Engineer (SEE) position will be responsible for planning and managing the implementation of the distribution of electrical power, grounding, emergency back-up, uninterruptible power supply, lightning protection, and related electrical power control systems for the observatory.
The scope of the electrical power systems begins with the high-voltage connection to the Chilean national power grid, and distributes power to the observatory summit site (including the telescope and enclosure), and to the neighboring technical and personnel support sites.
Interfacing with engineers in the Enclosure Element, the Site and Facilities Element, and the Systems Engineering Element, the selected candidate will lead the design the electrical power supply and distribution architecture for the observatory.
The work will address the entire observatory life-cycle, including development of system-level requirements, interfaces, and operational concepts, design of the system architecture. Working closely with the GMT engineering teams and the Architecture and Engineering (A&E) commercial partners, the SEE will oversee the design, construction, and commissioning of the observatory electrical power systems, including overhead and underground power lines, switch gear, back-up generators, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), ground planes, lightning protection, and related power monitoring and control systems.
The SEE will work with GMT subsystem teams to develop power consumption budgets and distribution of power to each subsystem. Power sources may include utility company, on-site generators, renewable (solar and/or wind) power, and battery UPS at high, medium and low voltage levels.
Other activities to be performed include the design and implementation of PLC based systems, PLC programing for controlling electrical startup sequences and electrical system health monitoring purposes.
This position will also require the elaboration of (FMEA) Failure Mode Effects Analysis regarding the components of the system and the development of lists of preferred power systems hardware.
The SEE will prepare cost estimates for inclusion in project budgets for selected electrical systems.
The SEE will work with the Safety Manager to manage safety and risk in this area including the necessary budget to assure proper training for all personnel in the electrical area of expertise.
The SEE will lead the preliminary and final design phases for electrical systems for the observatory, including the telescope, enclosure, and support facilities, and he/she will manage the integration, test, and commissioning of the electrical power systems for all observatory facilities. These duties will be performed at a high level with only minimal supervision and direction.
The SEE 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:
• Provide technical electrical power systems leadership for complex and mission-critical observatory facilities
• Develop and manage the architecture and routing plans for electrical power systems throughout the observatory site.
• Specify and develop solutions that will enable the electrical power systems to provide maximum stability and uptime, and minimum planned and unplanned interruptions to service
• Interface with a wide range of technical and non-technical stakeholders, including other electrical engineers, systems engineers, mechanical and structural engineers, site operations personnel, facility managers, construction managers, and local/national electrical utilities
• Work with other observatory subsystem groups to document the electrical ICDs (Interface Control Documents) between subsystems, contribute to definition of remote monitoring requirements, specifying sensors, and selecting PLCs.
• Specify power sources: conventional and renewable utility companies, generators, and UPS systems for high, medium and low voltage applications
• Act as the technical point of contact for contractors and other groups in this area
• Prepare status reports for inclusion in the project reports
• Ensure designs comply to all required electrical codes, standards, and certifications
• Provide leadership in FMEA analyses of power systems for critical facilities
• Oversee the installation of power systems during assembly, integration, test, and on-site assembly
• Coordinate enclosure, telescope, facilities Assembly, Integration, and Test (AIT) and commissioning plans for the power supply and distribution systems

Essential Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• A minimum of a BS degree in electrical engineering, or closely related field
• The candidate must be able to demonstrate superior electrical engineering expertise with power systems for complex facilities
• 10 years of relevant hands-on experience with the planning, design, and installation of electrical power systems for complex technical facilities
• The successful candidate will have a proven track record in specifying, designing, managing, constructing, and operating electrical power systems for remote industrial facilities
• Demonstrated leadership, organizational, and management skills
• Ability to prepare documents, reports, and oral presentations
• Demonstrated ability to work efficiently and collaboratively within a group setting
• Knowledge of standards and current practices in industrial power, electronics, PLC, and remote monitoring techniques
• Flexibility to work outside of core business hours and travel to GMT partner locations, vendor facilities, and to the GMT site in Chile as necessary.
• Ability to work at an altitude of 8500 feet for extended periods

Desired Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering or closely related field with 8 years of relevant experience with high, medium, and low voltage electrical power systems on complex technical projects
• Experience with ground-based observatory electrical power 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.