Electronics and Controls Engineer

  Date of publication
  Deadline for applications
  Minimum qualifications:
Master degree or equivalent qualification in a engineering subject.
  Salary range
Please refer to position link


The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), is a consortium of over 40 US institutions and four international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories. AURA's role is to establish, nurture, and promote public observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research. AURA is responsible for managing the operations of the NSF's National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory, the National Solar Observatory, and the construction of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation and operations of the Space Telescope Science Institute under contracts with NASA.

The Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Project is currently constructing an 8.4 meter diameter ground-based observatory in Chile and a 3.2 gigapixel camera with funding from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. The telescope will survey the visible sky every few nights in six optical bands to address four key science themes: Constraining the nature of dark energy and dark matter, making an inventory of small moving bodies in the Solar System, exploring the transient optical sky, and determining the accretion history of the Milky Way.

LSST Construction has an opening for for an Electronics and Controls Engineer. to work as part of the LSST Telescope and Site Group (T&S), who will support the electronics and control systems of the Telescope Mount Assemble (TMA), and other subsystems of the LSST telescope as required. The job holder is expected to develop a thorough working knowledge of the electronics, interfaces and control algorithms of the relevant LSST systems. Their emphasis will be in the integration, operation and verification of the electronics and controls. This position is based in La Serena, Chile and they will be required to spend significant amounts of time at the observatory site, which is located on the summit of Cerro Pachón, in Chile. Daily transportation to Cerro Pachón, and back to La Serena is provided by LSST. International travel may be required.

Tasks and activities

Essential Functions:

Emphasis in the electronics and controls integration, verification and operation of the telescope and optical subsystems.

  • Supports the integration, verification and operation of telescope and site controls systems to operate complex (electro-mechanical, pneumatic, thermal) systems.
  • Develops control systems models and optimizes performance of complex systems under simulations.
  • Develops and conducts Acceptance Test Procedures on electronics and controls systems of complex systems.
  • Analyzes system telemetry data to characterize system performance.
  • Implements and troubleshoots distributed control systems, and direct field operations and maintenance of electronics installations.
  • Creates specifications, schematics, maintenance manuals, and technical reports.
  • Provides design engineering support to installed devices and systems, including bug fixes, maintenance upgrades, and end of life considerations.
  • Reviews, develops, modifies, updates and releases technical documentation.
  • Works effectively with coworkers and others by sharing ideas in a constructive, positive manner; listening to and objectively considering ideas and suggestions from others.
  • Keeps others informed of work progress and issues; addresses problems and issues constructively to find mutually acceptable and practical solutions; and respecting the diversity of the LSST workforce in actions, words, and deeds.
  • Maintains commitment to a high standard of safety, comply with all safety laws and LSST safety policies/rules, and communicate actual and potential safety concerns to appropriate supervisory or management personnel to further LSST's core value of safety.
  • All AURA employees are responsible for the proper management and control of all AURA property within their work area, whether assigned to them or someone else. This responsibility includes reporting any known missing, stolen, or non-working property in their work area to their supervisor or the AURA Property Officer.
  • Responsible for ensuring compliance with government award terms and conditions assigned to this position or subordinates of this position as defined in the Vela Award Management system.
Skills and experience
  • Ability to operate in an exposed environment, at a remote mountain top location.
  • Comfortable working around mechanical, electrical and optical hardware.
  • Thorough understanding of the interactions between controls and physical systems.
  • Working knowledge of electronics design and experience in complex analog and digital electronics systems.
  • Proficiency in Matlab and Simulink environments including relevant toolbox.
  • Experience with control systems characterization and servo tuning.
  • Understanding of complex MIMO systems.
  • Working knowledge of PLC-based systems (experience with National Instruments cRIO and Pilz safety systems preferred).
  • Working knowledge of single phase and medium voltage three phase electrical systems.
  • Understanding of electronics, analog and digital systems tradeoffs, signal integrity, noise analysis, power supplies, power conversion, and low voltage AC and DC motor controls.
  • Hands on experience with laboratory tools (power supplies, oscilloscopes, generators, analyzers, etc.).
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to determine the cause of failures and deficiencies.
  • Able to work independently, evaluate and execute tasks in a timely manner to meet project deadlines.
  • Excellent computer skills with office productivity software, e-mail, word processing and spreadsheets.
  • Interpersonal Skills - the individual maintains confidentiality, remains open to others ideas and exhibits willingness to try new things.
  • Proficient knowledge of English and Spanish languages.
  • Prioritizes and plans work activities, uses time efficiently, and develops realistic action plans.
  • Quality control - the individual demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness and monitors own work to ensure quality.
  • Must have a valid Driver's License; a clean driving record, ability to drive a 4-wheel vehicle