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Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0257
Post Date 11/15/2017
Title Systems Engineer
City Maui
State HI

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

The NSO Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) Project has an immediate opening for a Systems Engineer. Systems Engineers (SEs) have responsibility for system engineering activities of sub-systems level aspects of the telescope and support facilities during sub-system acceptance testing, the DKIST construction, integration and testing, commissioning (IT&C) and handover to operations. These tasks will be accomplished in close collaboration with the sub-system Lead Engineers and Senior Systems Engineers. The SE will participate in factory acceptance of major systems of the DKIST as assigned by the Lead Systems Engineer. The SE will participate in all compliance aspects of the project ensuring that the sub-systems and system integration achieve the top level science requirements.

Essential Functions:

  • Verify the DKIST science requirements
  • Develop a thorough working knowledge of the specifications, requirements and design of all major DKIST systems.
  • Utilize DOORS for requirement tracking ensuring traceability from the Science Requirements through systems level requirements and into sub-system requirements.
  • Utilize DOORS for requirement verification ensuring traceability from sub-system requirements verification, through systems level requirements verification and into the Science Requirements verification.
  • Assist team to define interfaces and develop interface control documents and verify conformance of the sub-systems to these interfaces
  • Work in collaboration with team members to study performance related issues, non-conformances and support the verification and acceptance of sub-systems.
  • Develop documentation standards and a configuration-control system for the project’s critical information products.
  • Coordinate efforts by the engineering team to define standards for acceptance-test plans, and review plans submitted by internal and external suppliers of subsystems.
  • Participate in IT&C activities on site to ensure that the facility meets requirements.

Required Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Bachelor's degree in system engineering (preferable), physics, electronics, optics, mechanical engineering, or other relevant field
  • Three years of experience in systems engineering or QA/QC
  • Experience in verification of engineering requirements and interfaces and dealing with nonconformance.
  • Experience in configuration management and change control.
  • Experience with requirements tracking applications.
  • Ability to resolve technical problems by application of general engineering, scientific, or mathematical techniques.
  • Familiarity with Root Cause Analysis, FMECA, RAMS.
  • Knowledge of safety requirements.
  • A thorough working knowledge of MS Office applications

Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Experience of work in a research and development or astronomical facility and of working with observing instruments.
  • Experience in using DOORS requirements tracking application.
  • Ability to differentiate and prioritize between critical and lesser non-compliances through Root Cause Analysis, FMECA, RAMS etc.
  • Ability to apply statistical techniques to the analysis of test data.
  • Experience in Hazard and Risk management processes.
  • Experience in 3d engineering modelling
  • Experience in Model Based System Engineering
  • Knowledge and experience executing Finite Element Analysis (static, dynamic and thermal) and Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations on complex systems
  • Previous experience with optical systems or other precision systems that require extremely high level of system performance
  • Experience in development of operations and maintenance documentation.
  • Experience with MATLAB/Simulink modeling of complex control systems.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and talk or hear.
  • The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; reach with hands and arms and stoop; kneel; crouch; or crawl.
  • The employee must regularly lift and /or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.
  • Must possess - sufficient mobility, strength, or dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to a) reach upward, sideways, downward to work with paper files; b) sufficient mobility and dexterity to utilize computer systems, fax machines, copiers, and other office machines.
  • Must possess – 1) ability to read and understand instructions, drawings, safety guides, and other written materials necessary to perform job; 2) sufficient visual capacity to perform the applicable functions without assistance of visual aids other than eye contacts or eye glasses; 3) sufficient spoken aural capacity to hear and understand instructions, warning bells, fire alarms, or shouted instructions without assistance of auditory aids other than a hearing aid; and 4) ability to impart information orally so that others understand and can respond appropriately
  • Must possess sufficient mobility, strength or dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to a) grasp, push, pull, turn or otherwise manipulate tools and mechanisms; b) push, shove, pull or otherwise safely and efficiently manipulate tools or mechanisms; c) lift, hold, maneuver, objects of 50 lbs or more; d) maintain balance while performing work; e) remove parts, systems, tools of 50 lbs or more
  • Some travel may be necessary in or outside the contiguous United States.
  • Ability to work at 10,000’ elevation, sometimes during inclement weather
  • There will be occasional working at height utilizing fall protection equipment, ladders and scaffolding

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: 17-0257LastnameDocname. 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. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
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