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Job Details

Requisition Number 16-0299
Post Date 10/21/2016
Title Senior IT Administrator
City Boulder
State CO

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

The National Solar Observatory (NSO) Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) Project has an immediate opening for a Senior IT Administrator. The Senior IT Administrator will support the scientific, engineering, and administrative staff contributing to the construction and operations of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope. The DKIST is under construction on Maui, Hawaii on the summit of Haleakala. Organizationally, staff are located at the National Solar Observatory headquarters, housed on the Boulder campus of the University of Colorado, co-located with the National Optical Astronomy Observatories at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and in offices in Maui.

This position is a combination of hands-on administration and management, and the incumbent will be expected to have both technical fluency and demonstrable leadership experience. The incumbent will share technical administration responsibilities with a small staff. Technically, the Senior IT Administrator will focus on the administration and support of staff and server systems in a heterogeneous computing environment comprised of client, server, and scientific computing systems utilizing Windows, various flavors of Linux, and Mac OS X. This includes administration and deployment of high-performance scientific computing hardware and software supporting DKIST scientific programs.

In addition, the Senior IT Administrator will provide line management to one or more staff members, and will report on status and initiatives to DKIST management regularly and on request. The incumbent will be required to provide current and forward-looking budget scenarios, and advocate for additional resources to senior DKIST management. The incumbent will generate appropriate work schedules and be capable of correctly assigning staff to existing work. The Senior IT Administrator will coordinate closely with other DKIST staff directly involved in the design, deployment, maintenance, and upgrade of IT and computing services, by maintaining close communications and effective service levels are maintained to proactively support existing and ongoing efforts in Boulder and Maui. Finally, the incumbent will coordinate institutional-level initiatives with IT service providers at the University of Colorado and University of Hawaii will be required, as well as engagement with vendors during approved procurement activities.

Finally, the Senior IT Administrator will be responsible for the design, deployment, and guiding construction of the IT physical infrastructure (structured cabling, power/cooling/space) and service infrastructure (networking, business, scientific, and application services) for the DKIST Remote Operations Building, to be constructed in Maui. In this role, the incumbent will work closely with the DKIST Project Manager, DKIST Data Center Project Manager, or delegates, to ensure the appropriate network connectivity and services are maintained through contractual partner agreements and deployment of hardware and software supporting network transfer of data from the DKIST to Boulder. The incumbent will also closely work with DKIST staff planning and executing scientific and technical operations of the DKIST from the ROB.

Essential Functions:

  • Provide accountability and responsibility for DKIST IT, engaging with DKIST and NSO management to optimize IT services, prioritize existing and incoming work, and schedule infrastructure deployment
  • Provide systems administration support for heterogeneous equipment, operating systems, and services providing business and scientific computing capability and continuity
  • Plan for and deliver responsive, professional, and effective deskside support
  • Plan, maintain and upgrade DKIST web services
  • Plan and maintain infrastructure for service and package updates, software patches, and bugfixes
  • Plan and implement backup, disaster recovery, and colocation services and hardware
  • Configure, administer, and monitor file and application servers, networking equipment (e.g., routers, firewalls, load balancers, network switches and tunnels), and infrastructure (e.g., power and cooling systems)
  • Support and maintain software licensing tools and services
  • Support and maintain configuration and inventory management processes and systems for hardware and software under DKIST IT management
  • Maintain videoconferencing and teleconferencing systems
  • Build and maintain standard provisioning environments, including disk images, antivirus and malware protections, and standard office and business software
  • Contribute to compliance with NSO, U. Colorado, U. Hawaii, and AURA security policies
  • Contribute to strategic IT and business continuity planning
  • Comply with applicable electrical, hardware, and software industry standards and best practices
  • Bachelor’s degree in a technical or business field
  • At least ten years of progressively responsible experience in deployment and administration of network, voice, and computing systems, with at least five years in a customer-facing role and at least two years with supervisory responsibilities
  • Demonstrable knowledge of OSI network model and relevant protocol and service implementations
  • Demonstrable experience providing needs analysis and requirements capture for IT infrastructure, technology, and service
  • Demonstrable experience designing, deploying, and testing physical infrastructure, including structured cabling and network equipment, power systems and distribution, cooling, and space planning, both personally and in oversight of contracted work
  • Experience planning and deploying highly robust LAN, WAN, and SAN topologies and technologies, physical and virtual infrastructure
  • Experience implementing security standards, protocols, and equipment (e.g., IPsec, SSL, firewalls)
  • Extensive experience troubleshooting Mac, Linux, and Windows desktop operating systems and common applications
  • Experience providing professional server and client systems administration for multiple Linux distributions, including Redhat/CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu
  • Experience deploying and maintaining directory services (e.g., AD, LDAP, single sign-on)
  • Experience developing and implementing disaster recovery, failover, and Experience with deploying and maintaining helpdesk support systems and demonstrated ability to provide effective, on-time support and service
  • Experience documenting and advertising end-user information
  • Experience working with vendors providing contracted support
  • Experience soliciting bids and executing procurements for enterprise hardware, software, and services
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and deskside support abilities
  • Ability to speak and write effectively, including preparing technical memos, providing status reporting, and making presentations to staff and management
  • Demonstrable experience managing helpdesk functions
  • Experience with enterprise videoconferencing systems (e.g. Polycom, WebEx, Zoom)
  • Exquisite and demonstrable time and stakeholder management skills
  • Occasional travel (<10%) expected

Desirable Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Demonstrable success in deploying IT infrastructure for large scientific facilities
  • Demonstrable experience working with scientific or engineering staff and organizations
  • Experience planning enterprise antivirus and malware solutions, as well as compliance tools (e.g. Centrify)
  • Experience with Microsoft Server 2003-2012, including implementation management of domains, Active Directory, Group Policy
  • Experience with update services (e.g., WSUS, yum, apt)
  • Experience configuring and administering enterprise VoIP systems (e.g., Cisco UC, Asterisk, Shoretel)
  • Demonstrable experience with scripting languages (e.g. shell, Python, Ruby)
  • Experience with system monitoring frameworks (e.g., Nagios, SolarWinds)
  • Experience developing security policies and implementing security procedures for distributed organizations
  • Experience building and hardening networks
  • Experience deploying and maintaining enterprise wireless networks
  • IT and networking certifications, such as MCSE, LPI, RedHat CSA, Oracle (OCA/P), CCNA/P

NSO will begin reviewing applications the week of November 14th, 2016 and will continue to accept applications until the position is filled. Please be sure to submit a completed application along with supporting documents by no later than Friday, November 11th 2016 to be considered in the first review

Please list 3 professional references in your application and attach a CV or resume (PDF files preferred) to your application. Please name any attachments with the following format: 16-0299LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to

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 does 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.

  • 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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