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TMT International Observatory
Pasadena, CA, United States
Senior Engineer - Primary Mirror Control System


The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project has been established to design, build and eventually operate an Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) with a primary mirror diameter of 30 meters.  ELT’s will be the successors of the present day 8-10 meter world class telescopes.  When complete the TMT will be the largest ground based optical/infrared telescope in the Northern Hemisphere providing the capability to study exciting astronomical problems from the nature of extra-solar planets to the first stars in the universe. The TMT project is currently in a design and development phase and will soon enter construction.  The TMT project office is located in Pasadena, CA, USA.

TMT is looking for individuals who are self-motivated and excited by the opportunity to work on a highly visible, world class international project that will significantly advance our understanding of the universe. An added benefit to working on the TMT project is that it provides an opportunity for the motivated engineer to directly work on, and make substantive contributions to, a wide array of multi-disciplined state of the art technical challenges.

Job Summary

The Senior Engineer (SE) will be a key member of the project team and a critical contributor to the design of the Primary Mirror Control System (M1CS). The SE will work, in and integrated manner, with our industrial and TMT partners, as well as other Project Office teams in the development of this critical TMT subsystem. The SE will have an opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the M1CS i.e. mechanical and electronic hardware, embedded firmware, control and communication software, sophisticated control algorithms, optical coating and machining processes.

The successful candidate will be a mid-career engineer with broad based design and hands on experience and an interest in growing into a Technical Project Manager.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Concept, design, prototyping, test and integration of M1CS components and systems.
  • Requirement, interface definition, design, process, and test documentation.
  • Providing support for the M1CS Technical Project Manager.

Required Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline and a minimum of 5 years related experience.
  • Design, build, integration, and test experience.
  • Direct experience working on the design and integration of large, distributed, control systems.    
  • Familiarity, and expertise in one or more, of the following, analog and digital electronics, embedded and high level control software, control systems, and mechanical systems.
  • Familiarity with classical and modern control analysis and implementations.
  • Experience with precision motion control systems.
  • Proficiency with Matlab or similar modeling tools.
  • Experience with formal system engineering design processes.     
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Desired (but not necessary) Qualifications:

  • Technical Project Management experience (schedules, budgets, risk management, contracts).
  • Experience of large, technical, multi-disciplinary, geographically distributed projects; astronomical or similar.
  • Experience with small to mid-volume manufacturing and quality control processes for mechanical parts and/or electronic hardware.
  • Experience in Multi Input Multi Output Control Systems.
  • An advanced degree in an engineering discipline.

Some travel will be required to partner locations, vendor, and observatory locations.

Department: Controls

This is a reg full-time position

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