Instrument Support Engineer/Scientist

Electronics  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 engineer/scientist to work at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile in the role of instrumentation and operations support at 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. 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.




Job Description:

The successful candidate will work in a team of scientists, engineers and technicians to maintain and support operation of the 8+ Facility Instruments deployed between the two 6.5 meter Magellan Telescopes. Experience in troubleshooting, operation, and real time data analysis of astronomical instrumentation is essential. The support engineer/scientist will provide afternoon and evening support for visting astronomers as needed. The successful candidate will also be responsible for afternoon setup and night time operation of a wide variety of instrumentation during scheduled engineering periods as well as the reduction, analysis, and documented monitoring of calibration observations. The candidate will also be expected to contribute to the development, testing and use of data reduction pipelines; implementation and testing of new observing procedures and scripts; as well as development of support tools for observing proposals.

The work responsibilities correspond to a nominal shift of 8 days at the Observatory and 6 days off.


  • A degree in physics, astronomy, or engineering, and a strong familiarity with instrument operations modes and calibration techniques.
  • Computing expertise in a Mac OSX environment including substantial experience with IDL, IRAF, and Python is desirable.
  • Full command of English is required as clear communication with visiting astronomers as well as off-site instrument teams is of paramount importance; 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 July 31, 2017, when application review will begin. However, the position will remain open until filled. Only select candidates who meet our requirements will be contacted.

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