AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position requires access to export-controlled work. The candidate must be a U.S. person (citizen, permanent resident or be a national of a country eligible to be approved on an export license.
Note: Selection will be made at either the grade 12 or 13. If selection is made at the grade 12 level the selectee may be non-competitively promoted to the next higher level up to the grade 13 upon recommendation of the Promotion Review Committee for Engineers( PRCE).
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory asks the big science questions, including:
● What happened in the early universe?
● What do black holes look like?
● How do stars and planets form and evolve?
● Does life exist outside the solar system?
At the SAO, engineers work collaboratively with scientists to develop instrumentation that will get us closer to answering these questions. From worldwide telescope arrays that can image black holes to space missions studying solar emissions, this is truly a fantastic place to work – full of opportunities and challenges for engineers. The position is located in Cambridge Mass.
The purpose of the position is to provide expert electronics/electrical systems engineering support to the development of advanced instrumentation for ground-based and space-based astrophysical and astronomical data collection on various Central Engineering supported projects.
Duties for grade 12:
1. Contribute to the architecture and development of electrical systems, subsystems, modules, and components.
2. Provide technical consultation to CfA scientists and other engineering staff in instrument electrical design.
3. Work with scientific investigators to establish the electrical requirements of new projects, translate scientific objectives into instrument performance characteristics and achievable hardware.
4. Document work in technical memoranda, reports, test plans, and procedures, and present work to scientists and engineers.
5. Provide hands-on support of the build, test, and integration of new electrical hardware designs for instruments and support existing instrument hardware in the field.
6. Liaison with hardware contractors and subcontractors as required.
7. Investigate, select, justify, and oversee procurement of critical electrical, electro-optical, and servo-mechanical components used in astrophysical instrumentation and its development.
8. Plan and direct the activities of technicians and designers in areas related to the design and fabrication of electronic assemblies.
9. Travel, both domestically and internationally, to telescope sites, vendor facilities NASA centers, and the facilities of other associated organizations in support of proposal, design, calibration, test, integration, and mission operations activities.
In addition to the above duties for grade 13:
1. Architect and oversee development of electrical systems, subsystems, modules, and components.
2. Prepare cost and schedule estimates for hardware design, fabrication, test, and calibration; manage the resources required to accomplish the goals; and maintain a technical overview of the project.
3. Provide technical leadership and direction to, and liaison with, hardware contractors and sub-contractors as required.
4. Contribute to the development of best practices for electronics instrumentation design to apply to all space and ground-based projects.
Basic qualification requirements can be found at
(A) Degree: professional engineering. To be acceptable, the 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.
(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.
In addition to the Basic Requirements, applicants must have specialized experience:
For the GS 12 level - Candidates must possess one year of specialized experience at least equivalent to the grade 11 level. Specialized experience in analog and digital circuit design techniques, including low noise / low power analog, and digital to analog / analog to digital converter design with follow-up FPGA-based digital signal processing.
For the GS-13 level - Candidates must possess one year of specialized experience at least equivalent to the grade 12 level. Specialized experience in analog and digital circuit design techniques, including low noise / low power analog, and digital to analog / analog to digital converter design with follow-up FPGA-based digital signal processing. Experience with space-level reliability design and system integration and test.
Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.
Basic qualification requirements can be found at https://www.opm.gov/qualifications/SEC-IV/A/GS-PROF.asp and https://www.opm.gov/qualifications/SEC-IV/B/GS0800/0800.htm.
APPLICATION PROCEDURE We will only accept applications on line for this position. For complete information about this position and the online application procedures, please visit USAJOBS .
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace