Science and Technology

Job Details

Number: 1804

Title: Senior Electronics 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 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 GMT project is seeking a Senior Electronics Engineer to lead the design development and procurement of the electronics and electrical systems for the Primary Mirror (M1) Subsystem, commonly referred to as the GMT telescope’s “mirror cells”. The successful candidate will work with a small team of engineers to design, procure, integrate, test and deliver a test mirror cell, and eventually set of seven telescope mirror cells for GMT.

The Senior Electronics Engineer must be experienced in working with multidisciplinary teams that have successfully delivered complex, high-precision systems. They will first assist in the development the requirements and design, and then managing and coordinating the procurement of the mirror cell control and instrumentation electronics. They will manage the budget and schedule with regular progress reports and will also be responsible for the integration of the electronics systems into the mirror cells and support the testing of the working mirror cells.

In addition, this role will assist the GMT Project Engineer and System Engineering and other teams to document the flow down of requirements into the design of electromechanical devices and produce verification methods for their performance. The Senior Electronics Engineer will help derive requirements and designs for sensors, actuators, drivers and controls systems for closed-loop operation and hardware specifications for motion control architectures and their performance characteristics.

Other responsibilities include helping design and testing a variety of control circuits that will use load cells, thermocouples, pressure sensors, accelerometers, and linear gauges for high accuracy control of very large optics, hence some experience in the detection of low-level sensor signals is desirable in this position. They will also support the design of the electronic aspects of the thermal control system and the thermocouple temperature measurement system which is required to monitor thermal gradients in the telescope mirrors. The candidate will also help with the specification design and procurement of monitoring and safety systems to protect the large 8.4m mirrors. This includes the testing of subsystems, test data collection, and the design of mirror cell telemetry.

Job Duties:
• Flow down and specify detailed requirements for the sensors and actuators, such as, accuracy and precision, bandwidth, stiffness, rejection of disturbances, robustness and stability.
• Manage and document the specifications and design of the actuators, sensors and control hardware for the primary mirror.
• Develop detailed procurement documents and design drawings.
• Manage design and procurement processes with time and cost budgets constraints.
• Implement and manage the quality assurance process of the manufacturing, test and integration of the components.
• Develop test and verification plans and procedures.
• Act as the technical point of contact between GMTO and contractors or other support groups.
• Prepare cost estimates and schedules for the development and implementation of the M1 subsystem for inclusion in the project budget and schedule.
• Prepare status reports for inclusion in project reports.
• Monitor the integration and shop assembly of sensors, actuators and control hardware, at contractor facilities and in the GMT site in Chile.

Essential Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• A BS/MS in Electrical or Electronics Engineering or electrical engineering, or closely related degree with 10 years of relevant experience with electro/mechanical systems on complex technical projects.
• Hands-on experience and expertise in planning and implementing the overall design of control and instrumentation systems for complex electro/mechanical systems.
• Demonstrated leadership, organizational, and management skills
• Ability to prepare documents, reports, and oral presentations
• Previous experience developing test and verification procedures and plans on complex systems
• Demonstrated success in working with multidisciplinary teams that have successfully delivered complex, high-precision electro-optical systems.
• Knowledge of standards and current practices in this area of expertise.
• 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:
• An MS degree in Electrical or Electronics Engineering or electro/mechanical engineering, or closely related degree with 10 years of relevant experience with electro/mechanical systems on complex technical projects
• Experience with ground-based telescopes or other large electro-mechanical/optical systems
• Demonstrated skill with software for board designing or other software to layout wiring diagrams, cabling and connectors
• Experience in the detection of low-level sensor signals
• Experience with sub-micron motion 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.