Telescope Engineer

Telescope Engineer, Las Campanas Observatory (LCO), Chile. This is a fulltime position based at LCO, Chile.

The Carnegie Observatories, a department of the Carnegie Institution for Science and a non-profit, world- class astronomical institution with offices located in Pasadena, California, is seeking an individual with engineering experience working with telescopes and optics for the position of Telescope Engineer for the twin 6.5m Magellan telescopes. The Observatories operate the telescopes on behalf of a consortium of universities, as well as a suite of telescopes, 2.5 meter and smaller. Its telescopes are located in the Andes Mountains in Chile. The Las Campanas Observatory is located 160 km north of La Serena, Chile. The site is one of the finest on the planet in terms of natural seeing, enabling the Magellan telescopes to regularly achieve 0.5 arcsec FWHM image quality or better.

Websites:; and

Job Description:

The Telescope Engineer will work in a team of scientists, engineers and technicians to maintain and support operation of the two 6.5 meter Magellan Telescopes. Experience in troubleshooting, operation, and/or design of a range of mechanical equipment and instrumentation is essential including servo- control, opto-mechanical, pneumatic and HVAC systems. The successful candidate will be responsible for engineering upgrades to the telescope’s mechanical and opto-mechanical systems, leading instrument changes, assisting in coating and washing of telescope mirrors, and carrying out telescope tests and improvements during scheduled engineering time. The Telescope Engineer will also help supervise the telescope mechanical technicians.

The work responsibilities correspond to a nominal shift of 8 days at the Observatory and 6 days off. The position is based in La Serena, Chile. Occasional domestic and international travel may be required.


  • Minimum requirements are: an advanced degree in engineering, physics, or astronomy.

  • Engineering experience working with large ground- or space-based optics may be substituted for

    some degree requirements.

  • Fluency in written and spoken English.

  • Knowledge of Spanish is an asset.

  • Ability to work at 8,000 feet.


Application Process:

Carnegie is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
Complete job description is contained in this advertisement – no phone calls please. Email address for inquiries about job:

Only electronic applications submitted through our website will be considered. Thank you for submitting your application by clicking the "Apply Now" button below.

Applicants are encouraged to apply by May 1, 2017, when application review will begin. However, the position will remain open until filled. Only select candidates who meet our requirements will be contacted. 

Apply Now