Instrument Maker / CNC Machinist

The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science is a world-class astronomical research organization headquartered in Pasadena, California and operating telescopes at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Our scientists study extrasolar planets, nearby stars, the Milky Way and its neighbors, distant galaxies, and the cosmological structure and formation of the universe. To support these efforts, we operate an instrument development laboratory to produce research tools including optical and infrared imagers and spectrographs, detector systems, and telescopes at all scales. Current projects include instrumentation for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey V, our 1-meter, 2.5-meter and 6.5-meter telescopes, and the 25-meter Giant Magellan Telescope.

We seek an individual with extensive CNC machining knowledge to join our instrument lab’s technical staff. The successful applicant will work with other machinists, engineers, and scientists to design and build the next generation of instruments and telescopes, with opportunities to contribute at all levels through design optimization, fabrication, assembly and testing. Our Pasadena campus includes a 3,300 square foot air-conditioned machine shop. Primary equipment includes two Haas vertical machining centers along with a DMG-Mori live- tooled, multi-axis lathe. These machine tools are complemented with manual mills, a manual lathe, and horizontal and vertical saws along with inspection equipment.

The position is based in Pasadena, California.

Desired skills and qualifications

  • 6+ years of experience with programming, set up and operation of CNC machine tools, ideally in R&D, prototyping, or high-tech job shop environments.

  • Expert in Mastercam programming for 3-5 axis CNC mills and mill-turn lathes.

  • Ability to effectively communicate with scientists, engineers, vendors, and occasionally the public.

  • In depth knowledge of tooling, materials, processes and fixture design.

  • Capacity to offer design for manufacturability advice to our engineers and scientists.

  • Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines.

  • Someone that seeks continual improvement of both self and the work environment.

  • An interest in mentoring student machinists.

Application Process

At Carnegie, we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive community. We believe academic environments should be places where diverse groups of people with a variety of viewpoints and ideas can thrive and work together. As such, we encourage applicants from 

under-represented groups and backgrounds to apply. The Carnegie Institution is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race/ethnicity, protected veteran status, disability, or other protected group status.

Application acceptance will continue until the position is filled. No phone calls please. Only select candidates who meet our requirements will be contacted, and only online applications submitted through our website will be considered.

Apply Now