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AURA and the National Solar Observatory are looking to add an Electronics and Computer or Mechanical Engineering Technician/Assistant Engineer to the team. This role will assist in maintaining a network of solar telescopes around the world. This may include mechanical, opto-mechanical, electro-mechanical system, the hardware and software for data acquisition and analysis, monitoring, tracking, and trending of major telescope operation and data acquisition systems. The Technician/Assistant Engineer will participate in defining maintenance requirements; troubleshooting, root cause analysis; preparing detailed corrective maintenance instruction for complex or critical telescope systems. This will include remote and/or on-site support for telescope operations, remote systems monitoring and troubleshooting, and working with other members of the scientific and engineering teams to support NISP operations activities. The responsibilities include occasional domestic and international travel to perform repairs and maintenance at the telescope sites. Due to somewhat stringent travel requirements (travel on a short-notice to visa-free countries), the position is currently open to US citizens only. 

  • Assist in maintaining telescope mechanical, opto- and electro-mechanical and/or the data acquisition and analysis systems including onsite maintenance or emergency repairs. This requires occasional domestic and international travel to telescope sites (on average about two 15-day trips a year).
  • Assist in monitoring, tracking, and trending of major telescope operation and data acquisition systems. This includes remote support for telescope operations, remote systems monitoring and troubleshooting, identifying potential issues and working with the supporting staff at each remote site on resolving the issues. Occasional rotating weekend coverage for remote monitoring and support of the NSO Integrated Synoptic Program (NISP) network operations.
  • Work with the scientific and engineering teams to support NISP operations activities including new instrument concept development.
  • (Mechanical Engineering Technician/Assistant Engineer) Assist in converting heritage 2D CAD designs to SOLIDWORKS and maintaining SOLIDWORKS assembly models for the facilities.

Required Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or Engineering Technology from an ABET-accredited College or University. Equivalent education and experience may be considered.
  • Demonstrate sound technical understanding of engineering or system engineering typical for astronomical/physical laboratory instrumentation facility operations
  • Demonstrate working experience/education in engineering including design, commissioning, troubleshooting, and technical baseline maintenance
  • Demonstrate ability to communicate well, both written and verbally
  • Commitment to stay abreast of current-market hardware and software evolution
  • Sensitive to, and respectful of, cultural and environmental issues
  • Specific for Electronics and Computer Engineering Technician/Assistant Engineer
    • Education/experience in software development with emphasis on Linux development; as well as understanding of electronics and their applications to software interfacing
    • Software development experience should include C++, shell scripting (BASH), Make, and Python
    • Ability to work within an established software framework
    • Basic level of networking knowledge (TCP/IP, Firewalls, sendmail, etc.)

Desirable Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Working knowledge of Windows and Apple computers is desired, though strong preference towards Linux based systems and development is preferred.
  • An interest, knowledge, or hobby in, or of, Astronomy and Astronomical instruments (such as telescopes and peripheral equipment) would be helpful and desirable.
  • Specific for Electronics and Computer Engineering Technologist/Assistant Engineer:
    • Experience in version control for software development, such as GIT, SVN (Subversion), and/or CVS (Concurrent Versions System) is desired.
    • Knowledge and/or experience with PLC’s or real-time systems (i.e. VxWorks, RTLinux, etc.) desirable.
    • Desirable for candidate to be familiar with data analysis tools, such as IRAF, Jupiter Notebooks, Excel, Spice, etc.
  • Specific for Mechanical Engineering Technologist/Assistant Engineer.
    • Working knowledge of SOLIDWORKS; Familiarity with SOLIDWORKS Simulation (FEA software) and SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation (CFD software) is a plus.

 Physical Requirements:

The physical requirements described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to nger, handle, or feel and talk or feel.
  • The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk, climb stairs and ladders; reach with hands and arms and stoop; kneel; crouch; or crawl.
  • The employee must regularly lift and /or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
  • Specic vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception, ability to distinguish colors, and ability to adjust focus and distinguish colors.
  • Must possess sucient mobility, strength, or dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to reach upward, sideways, downward to work with paper les and sucient mobility and dexterity to utilize computer systems, copiers, and other oce machines.
  • Must possess: 1) ability to read and understand instructions, drawings, safety guides, and other written materials necessary to perform job; 2) sucient visual capacity to perform the applicable functions without assistance of visual aids other than eye contacts or eye glasses; 3) sucient spoken aural capacity to hear and understand instructions, warning bells, re alarms, or shouted instructions without assistance of auditory aids other than a hearing aid; and 4) ability to impart information orally so that others understand and can respond appropriately.
  • This position may require occasional domestic and international travel.
  • Ability to work regularly at 11,500’ elevation, sometimes during inclement weather.

The anticipated salary range for this position is $72,000-$82,000. The salary is dependent upon qualifications and experience.

Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process should request assistance at

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is a consortium of 47 US institutions and 3 international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories for the National Science Foundation and NASA. AURA’s role is to establish, nurture, and promote public observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research. In addition, AURA is deeply committed to public and educational outreach, and to diversity throughout the astronomical and scientific workforce. AURA carries out its role through its astronomical facilities.

AURA offers an excellent benefits package including paid time off, health and welfare benefits, and retirement plan contributions, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a very attractive work environment. Details on benefits can be found at

Job Information

  • Job ID: 69482005
  • Workplace Type: Hybrid
  • Location:
    Boulder, Colorado, United States
  • Company Name For Job: AURA/NSO
  • Position Title: Electronics and Computer or Mechanical Engineering Technician/Assistant Engineer
  • Job Sector: Engineering
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Job Duration: Indefinite
  • Min Education: BA/BS/Undergraduate
  • Required Travel: 0-10%
  • Salary: $72,000.00 - $82,000.00 (Yearly Salary)

Please refer to the company's website or job descriptions to learn more about them.

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