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Job Details

Requisition Number 16-0368
Post Date 12/27/2016
Title Senior Infrastructure Engineer
City Baltimore
State MD

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is looking for a Senior Infrastructure Engineer to help design and develop a new generation of tools and services for the STScI data archives.


As the operations center for NASA's flagship science observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope (set to launch in 2018) we serve data products to the astronomy community for these and a further ~20 community efforts such as the Kepler Space Telescope, PanSTARRS, SWIFT, FUSE and GALEX. With upwards of 4 PB of multi-mission, multi-wavelength data we hold many of the highest-value datasets in astronomy.



The role:


With a heavy R&D focus, the Senior Infrascture Engineer will be working directly with the Head of the Data Science Mission Office, our IT technology teams, and existing engineering staff to evaluate cloud-based services for data storage and large-scale compute/analysis to support the work of our data science mission. The work is a combination of technology evaluation, infrastructure design and benchmarking prototype solutions together with our astronomers, data scientists and engineers. The ability to communicate effectively your ideas with an audience of mixed technical skills and backgrounds is critical.


About you:


You're an experienced software engineer with significant experience of building cloud-based infrastructure to support complex data and compute intensive tasks. You've developed scalable, reliable, highly-available secure and supportable production systems and take pride in shipping high-quality, secure-by-design code using a modern development toolchain.


You thrive in an environment that offers you significant freedom to develop novel solutions but you also have a demonstrated commitment to shipping. You enjoy solving hard technical problems and explaining your solutions to your peers as well as management. You enjoy getting stuck into large, legacy codebases and developing roadmaps for their migration to new environments. You understand the challenges of scaling large projects and understand the critical role that automation plays in building reliable systems. You embrace the 'DevOps' mentality and believe that engineers should share operations ownership of the systems they build.




- Designing and developing prototype solutions for STScI's next generation data archive services

- Evaluate potential new technologies for STScI data management

- Provide technical guidance to other engineers and data scientists at STScI

- Work with research groups to gather technical requirements for enabling data-science workflows for their domains

- Contribute to technical roadmaps for migrating existing technologies and workflows to new solutions




- Significant experience (4+ years) of designing, developing and shipping cloud-based solutions for data intensive analysis tasks

- Experience leading the development of complex technical projects with multiple peers

- Strong proficiency in Web Services (RESTful APIs, SOAP etc)

- Extensive experience of developing solutions in virtualized/containerized environments such as AWS, OpenStack, Docker, etc.

- Strong written and verbal communication skills

- Good working knowledge of configuration management tools such as Chef, Puppet or Ansible


Good to have:


- Experience of contributing to open source

- Experience of working in a security-compliant (ITAR) environment

- Experience of developing computing infrastructure to support academic users

- Experience developing automated monitoring and reporting tools (e.g. Nagios)

- Experience of working with (and migrating) legacy codebases


Interested candidates are requested to complete an on-line application through our website at Please provide a CV/resume and a cover letter stating your interest in the position and qualifications you bring to the position in the "Resume Upload Section." Please include job # 16-0368 in the filename. Applications received by 1/27/17 will receive full consideration.


AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion.  AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce.  Learn more at


As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA and all of the centers, do not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations.  We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting.  Your responses are kept strictly confidential.



STScI sees the diversity of our staff as a strategic priority in our desire to create a first-rate scientific community. We reflect that deep commitment in strongly encouraging women, minorities, veterans and disabled individuals to apply for these opportunities.

Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process can contact us at EOE/AA/M/F/D/V   Voted to the Baltimore Magazine Hall of Fame in 2015 – Top 25 Places to Work in Baltimore.




  • Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information.
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