Technical Associate I Or II

National Optical Astronomy Observatory Tucson , AZ 85704

Posted 3 months ago

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) has an opening for a Technical Associate I or II, depending on experience, at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO). This position provides electrical and mechanical support for the telescopes on Kitt Peak. This includes maintaining all the various control systems ranging from servo systems to weather stations. Performs telescope instrument changes and monitors them when needed. Sets up the telescopes for nighttime operations.

Essential Functions:

  • Performs technical support activities, including some project planning and control, and data analysis

  • Provides support for solving design problems.

  • Assists in solving coordination problems of a technical nature directly or in conjunction with other members of a project team.

  • Recommends improvements to existing designs and manufacturing procedures if appropriate.

  • Responsible for compliance with technical requirements and approved time schedules of assigned work.

  • Cooperates closely with representatives of the major instrumentation and scientific divisions, and others involved with the assigned technical problem.

  • Reports results of activities and notes unusual situations.

  • Maintains familiarity and knowledge of parts, materials, tools, etc. to be used on assigned project.

  • Builds, assembles and/or maintains equipment for a project.

  • Responsible for safety of own operations and for reporting unsafe practices or conditions.

Required Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Two to Ten years of advanced level, relevant work experience, Associates degree or college level courses in engineering or science preferred.

  • Knowledge of electronics, computers, instrumentation, as required. Knowledge of telescope operations a plus.

  • Ability to resolve technical problems by application of elementary engineering and physics principles relevant to project requirements.

  • Ability to speak and write effectively, including preparation and presentation of reports.

  • Ability to thrive in a culturally diverse team environment.

  • Basic Computer skills for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, working knowledge of spreadsheet and word-processing software.

  • Valid State driver's license and a valid GSA permit issued by NOAO.

  • Ability to drive a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

  • Knowledge of electronic test equipment such as volt-ohm meters, oscilloscopes, network cable tester.

  • Experience with vacuum systems, vacuum pumps and liquid nitrogen cooled CCD's a plus.

NOAO offers an excellent benefits package, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a very attractive work environment.

Preference will be given to qualified internal candidates.

Please list 3 professional references in your application and attach: a cover letter and a CV or resume, PDF files preferred. Please name any attachments with the following format: LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) manages several astronomical observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory and the Gemini Observatory) and construction projects (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and Daniel. K. Inouye Solar Telescope) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

Preference granted to qualified Native Americans living on or near the Tohono O'odham reservation.

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Technical Associate I Or II

National Optical Astronomy Observatory