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Job Title:
Supervisory General Engineer, GS-0801, Grade 15; $132,066 - $171,686 per year
Type of Position:
Federal- Career/CareerConditional
Job Location:
Maunakea, Hawaii
Posting Opening Date:
Posting Closing Date:

AREA OF CONSIDERATION:   Open to all qualified candidates residing on the island of Hawaii.


Directs the day-to-day operations of the SMA by providing administrative and technical management of a diverse technical staff comprising engineers, scientists, and technicians as well as other non-technical personnel and sub-contractors. Formulates operational and maintenance plans to ensure efficient operation of the array so that the scientific objectives are not compromised and the overall mission goals are met.

Provides personnel administration for SMA Hilo-based operations and engineering staff by ensuring competitive recruitment, training, employee development, and timely and effective performance reviews. Reviews job applications, conducts interviews of prospective employees, and submits recommendations to the SMA Director for final selection. Advises, counsels, and instructs individual employees on both work and administrative matters. Hears complaints and grievances and, when possible, resolves conflicts locally.

Coordinates the installation at Mauna Kea of critical telescope equipment including receivers, electronic systems, and spectrometers that are developed and fabricated for the SMA at SAO and ASIAA laboratories. Works with Cambridge-based SMA staff to develop and execute acceptance plans and procedures required to qualify upgrades to the array. Participates in major decisions associated with the development of the SMA Program Plan, including long-range planning in the development of the array and other projects.

Assists the SMA Director in the development of overall SMA program budgets, including formulation of the required justification for inclusion in the Smithsonian's annual submission to Congress. Develops and manages appropriate procedures for the execution of approved budgets, including the implementation of fiscal controls and monitoring and reporting procedures.

Develops and presents technical and management briefings of the SMA site activities and operations status at meetings with University of Hawaii, the Office of Mauna Kea Management, and at other Mauna Kea based observatories to enable efficient operation of the SMA within an ever-changing environment.

Maintains a leadership role in the field of millimeter and submillimeter instrumentation, prepares papers documenting research results for publication in scientific or technical journals. Presents results at scientific or technical meetings and conferences, and within the CfA.


In addition to meeting basic qualification requirements, candidates must possess at least one year of professional specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 level.  This experience includes activities such as managing the operation of a world-class radio, millimeter, or submillimeter observatory.


All applicants must meet these Basic Requirements:

Basic Requirements for Engineer (You must submit a copy of your transcripts)

[A] a degree in professional engineering. Curriculum must (1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics; OR

[B] combination of education and experience - college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by ONE of the following: professional registration; written test (successfully passed the Engineer-In-Training (EIT) examination or the written test required for professional registration); specified academic courses (successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences and in engineering); OR related curriculum (successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in engineering technology or in an appropriate professional field). 

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

Application Procedures:  We are only accepting online applications for this position. To apply please visit USAJOBS

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.

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