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This position is full-time, benefited, and located at Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, CA. This position reports to the electronics group supervisor. Under limited supervision, this position is responsible for the design, development, maintenance, and troubleshooting of all electronic and industrial power systems that control telescopes, domes, scientific instruments, and other key observatory systems. This position will work closely with and lead electronics technicians, other observatory and partner institution engineers, night support staff, and scientists. This position will participate in the design, integration, documentation, and installation of new telescope and other control systems. This position will participate in and lead observatory engineering planning and activities, including mirror aluminizing projects. Working closely with the electronics group supervisor, this position will mentor and serve as lead to technicians, electricians, and other engineers.
Essential Job Duties
Design, integrate, maintain, document, and upgrade observatory control systems. Verify and document system performance and behavior. Respond to telescope control system failures and emergencies. 25%
Design, integrate, and maintain electronic test systems and associated software. Develop and document test plans. Train technicians and engineers in the proper use of these test systems. 25%
Troubleshoot and repair problems with complex scientific instrumentation and other critical observatory systems. 25%
Participate and lead observatory engineering activities, including facility upgrade projects, mirror recoating projects, maintenance activities, telescope upgrade projects, and scientific instrumentation upgrades. 10%
Lead, train, and coach electronic technicians, electricians, and engineers in solving tasks efficiently. Mentor the group in best practices. 10%
Other duties as assigned, which may include telescope operation, snow/ice abatement, diagnosis of telescope and/or dome mechanical problems, etc. 5%
Undergraduate degree in electrical engineering.
8 years or more of experience in a professional electrical engineering position.
Working knowledge of analog and digital electronics with ability to design and lead in the construction, testing and operation of custom systems or devices.
Proficiency with electronic test equipment.
Ability to prepare and analyze power and control circuit schematics, wiring diagrams, logic diagrams, one-line diagrams, and assembly drawings.
Familiar with the selection, application, interfacing, and programming of Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs), servo drives, servo power supplies, and motion control systems such as Delta Tau PMAC.
Proficiency with Windows and Linux operating systems.
Knowledge of and ability to program digital computers in C and its variants.
Working knowledge of motion control, timekeeping, and data acquisition systems.
Working knowledge of industrial control systems such as Programmable Logic Controllers and embedded systems.
Working knowledge of computer aided design and documentation software.
Working knowledge of I.T. including networks.
Working knowledge of interface protocols such as serial and fieldbus.
Basic understanding of mechanical systems and principles.
Ability to write articulate technical documentation.
Knowledge of applicable codes related to electronic engineering.
Excellent communication skills, accompanying ability to work in a team environment.
Ability to lift 50 pounds.
Ability to work safely in confined or elevated environments.
Ability to safely work at 5,600-foot altitude.
Advanced degree in electrical engineering.
12 or more years of experience in a professional electrical engineering position.
Prior experience as a licensed/certified electrician or working experience as an electronic technician.
Experience with scientific instrumentation and detector control electronics.
Knowledge of cryogenics and vacuum systems, pumping techniques, and vacuum diagnostics.
Awareness of current and emerging electronic technologies that may be useful to the Observatory.
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
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The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a world-renowned science and engineering research and education institution, where extraordinary faculty and students seek answers to complex questions, discover new knowledge, lead innovation, and transform our future.