Opto Mechanical Engineer

Las Campanas Observatory (LCO), of the Carnegie Institution for Science Observatories - a world-class astronomical institution - is seeking an individual with engineering experience working with telescopes and optics for the position of Opto Mechanical Engineer for the twin 6.5-meter Magellan telescopes. The Observatories manage the Magellan telescopes through LCO on behalf of a consortium of research institutions. LCO offices and administrative headquarters are located in the coastal resort city of La Serena, while the observatory facilities are located 160 km north of La Serena at the southern extremity of the Atacama desert in the Andes mountains. http://www.lco.cl

Job Description:

The Opto Mechanical Engineer will be responsible for documentation and critical maintenance for optics for the 6.5m Magellan Telescopes. Responsibilities include:

  • Maintain critical optics including regular CO2 snow cleaning and washing of large and small telescope mirrors and optics.

  • Monitoring of reflectivity/throughput and environmental effects for telescope optics and test samples

  • Assist in mirror coating.

  • Assist in other telescope and instrument maintenance activities.

This is a full-time position based in La Serena, Chile. The work responsibilities correspond to a flexible schedule of 8 days at the Observatory and 6 days off in a two-week period. The Opto Mechanical Engineer will report directly to Dr. Povilas Palunas, LCO Telescope Scientist.


  • Experience with handling, cleaning and maintaining astronomical optics

  • An advanced degree in engineering, physics or astronomy is required

  • Sufficient observatory or laboratory experience may also substitute in part for advanced degree requirements. 

  • Ability to communicate and cooperate in a team environment.

  • Full command of English is required as clear communication with off-site 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. Only electronic applications submitted through our website will be considered. Thank you for submitting your application by clicking on the "Apply Now' button below.

Application review will begin on 23 August, 2019 and continue until position is filled.

Only select candidates who meet our requirements will be contacted.

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