The University of Texas at Austin Job Posting

This posting is Closed

Research Engineering/ Scientist Associate I

Hiring department McDonald Observatory
Monthly salary $2,916+ depending on qualifications
Hours per week 40.00 Standard from 800AM to 500PM
Posting number 14-07-15-01-4211
Job Status Closed
FLSA status Exempt
Earliest Start Date Immediately
Position Duration Funding expected to continue
Position open to all applicants
Location McDonald Observatory (near Ft. Davis, TX)
Number of vacancies 1
General Notes

Position is located at the McDonald Observatory in the Fort Davis Mountains, 440 miles away from Austin, Texas.

Required Application Materials

  • A Resume is required in order to apply
  • A Letter of Interest is required in order to apply.
  • A List of 3 References is required in order to apply.

Note: The following additional materials are also required for consideration: Please let us know how you found out about this position. Instructions for submission of these materials will be provided at the time the online application has been completed.

Additional Information


Serve as the on-site technical resource for the optical systems of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, including optical maintenance such as cleaning, metrology and coating removal, computer maintenance of the Segment Alignment Maintenance System, and basic mechanical maintenance for the mirrors supports.

Essential Functions

Responsible for removing mirror segments and replacing with freshly coated segments (swapping). Also sets up the segments to criteria that are a function of position in the array. Keeps accurate logs and communicate these swaps to the night staff for alignment. Supports of the re-coating process of the primary mirror. Specifically, stripping old mirror coatings and cleaning the segments in preparation to receive a new coating. Evaluates the mirror coating before and after this process (metrology). Keeps accurate logs of the metrology and communicate this information to the optical lead. Responsible for the Segment Alignment and Maintenance System (SAMS). This includes adjustment of sensors in the array and characterization of SAMS performance on the bench-top. Keeps accurate logs of spare components and communicate necessary repairs to the head of the optical group. Responsible for the adjustment of mirror actuators and troubleshooting both the actuators and actuator controllers. Keeps accurate logs of spares components and communicate necessary repairs to the head of the optical group. Responsible for in-situ mirror cleaning and locally measuring the reflectance of the primary mirror. Helps maintain the database of spares and consumables and work with the head of the optical group to set an accurate budget. Provides feed back on procedures and systems to improve efficiency. Attends and constructively participates in the morning meetings and weekly HET staff meetings. Submits daily list of tasks performed to supervisor and to site manager.

Marginal/Incidental functions

Other related functions as assigned.

Licenses: Class "C" Operator's Driver's License. Applicant selected must provide a current three year Driving Record from the current state of residence. If not currently a Texas resident, must obtain a Texas Driver's License within 30 days after entering Texas as a new resident.

Required qualifications

Bachelor's degree in Science or Engineering. Equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate.

Preferred Qualifications

Two year experience working with optical systems, a laboratory environment or with vacuum systems.

Working conditions

Uniforms and/or personal protection equipment (furnished) May work in all weather conditions May work in extreme temperatures May work around chemical fumes May work around standard office conditions May work around chemicals May work around electrical and mechanical hazards Repetitive use of a keyboard at a workstation Use of manual dexterity Climbing of stairs Climbing of ladders Lifting and moving

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