Telescope 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 Telescope Engineer for the twin 6.5-meter Magellan telescopes. The Observatories manage the Magellan telescopes at 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.

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.

This is a full-time position based in La Serena, Chile. The work responsibilities correspond to a nominal shift of 8 days at the Observatory and 6 days off. Occasional domestic and international travel may be required. The Telescope Engineer will report directly to Dr. Povilas Palunas, LCO Telescope Scientist.


  • An advanced degree in engineering, physics or astronomy is required.
  • Engineering experience with large optics may be substituted for some degree experience.
  • 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 15 March, 2019 and continue until position is filled.

Only select candidates who meet our requirements will be contacted.

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