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Instrumentation Specialist

at University of Arizona

Posted: 2/20/2019
Job Status: Full Time

Job Description

Instrumentation Specialist (#A23371)

Position Summary

The Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (LBTO) seeks one Instrumentation Specialist to join the Science Operations and Instrumentation Support Group.

The LBTO operates the 2 × 8.4 m LBT on the 3200 m summit of Mount Graham near Safford, Arizona. Our three facility instruments as well as the facility adaptive optics system have been commissioned and brought into routine use. Instruments include a pair of wide-field prime focus optical imagers (LBC), the multi-object double spectrograph (MODS), and an infrared imager/spectrograph capable of multi-object spectroscopy and utilizing the adaptive optics system (LUCI).

The Instrumentation Specialist will work alternately in shifts on the summit of Mount Graham and at the LBTO headquarters at the Steward Observatory on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, Arizona.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

The University of Arizona has been recognized for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona and relocations services, please visit

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As an Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Responsible for daily maintenance and nighttime configuration of the facility instruments as well as trouble-shooting and repair of the facility instruments under the direction and supervision of the Engineering Group and/or instrument teams.
  • Prepare for and perform cryogenic mask exchanges for the LUCI and MODS instruments.
  • Assist visiting astronomers.
  • Assist partner instrument teams during the commissioning of facility instruments or other observatory systems.
  • Responsible for the daily maintenance and support of auxiliary instrument related services and equipment such as cryogenics, vacuum systems, electro-mechanics, optics, instrument electronics, and detectors.
  • Provide the first corrective actions on the instruments in case of malfunction.
  • Prioritize projects and tasks by discussing the schedule with management and other stakeholders.
  • Work weekends and/or extended periods of time on Mt Graham as necessary.
  • Working with a number of items weighing up to 50 lbs. Must have the ability to lift and/or carry objects weighing up to 50 lbs.
  • Capable of working at the 3200 m elevation of Mount Graham.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Knowledge of optical, electrical, and mechanical systems.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to manage work with urgent deadlines.
  • Basic knowledge with MS Office
  • Familiarity with LINUX/UNIX

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Physics, or related field AND two years of experience with astronomical instrumentation; OR six years of astronomical instrumentation experience: OR any equivalent combination of experience training and/or education.
  • Capable of working at the 3200 m elevation of Mount Graham
  • Working with a number of items weighing up to 50 lbs. Must have the ability to lift and/or carry objects weighing up to 50 lbs.
  • Ability to climb stairs, bend, stretch and stand for extended periods of time.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Previous experience supporting and maintaining advanced 4-8 m class telescope optical and infrared instrumentation.
  • Instrument or electronics test equipment experience is highly preferred.
  • Cryogenic and vacuum experience.