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Requisition Number 16-0300
Post Date 10/24/2016
Title Real Time Software Engineer
City La Serena, Chile or Hilo, Hawaii
Description Position Summary: 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. Gemini Observatory has an immediate opening for a talented Real Time Software Engineer, with willingness to relocate to either La Serena,
Chile or Hilo, HI. The successful applicant will design and implement new software for the operation of the Gemini Observatory. Support and maintain existing, installed software for the optimum performance of the telescopes and instruments. Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Provide daytime and night-time operational support by troubleshooting, diagnosing and solving problems with installed software systems. 2. Design and develop software for telescope systems, in collaboration with other groups including Science, Information
Systems and the rest of the Engineering team. 3. Follow a rigorous software development life cycle, including all phases: requirements gathering, design, documentation, development, testing, deployment, production and disposal. 4. Assist during commissioning,
integration, and testing of new instruments in collaboration with external instrument building teams. 5. Collaborate with engineers from other disciplines as well as the science staff to gather and document requirements for new software systems and improvements
to existing systems. 6. Prepare and provide technical documentation for software subsystems (for example, software interface control documents and user manuals). 7. Assume technical ownership and future development, for one or more software systems applying
the software development cycles employed at the Observatory. 8. Perform as primary point of contact for software operations support, as needed. Job Specifications: This position requires the ability to design, develop and maintain software systems. The successful
applicant will be proficient at technical analysis incorporating multiple interacting systems, often drawing on information and experience from other disciplines. Requires excellent verbal and written skills in order to create software requirements, document/implement
software changes, and work within a dynamic team environment.
Requirements Education Required:

Minimum requirements: Bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, or a related field. Master's degree may be considered in place of some of the required experience.

Experience Required:

Minimum of two years of experience in software development and user interfaces design would be ideal. Requires experience troubleshooting complex software systems. Previous experience in an astronomical research environment highly desirable.

Skills Required:

Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills. Must be proficient in a wide range of software design principles. Must have excellent software development skills. Must have strong software/hardware troubleshooting skills.
Experience in the field and proficiency in several of the following areas will be considered:
• Significant development experience in C, especially for low-level control and hardware device drivers.
• Significant object-oriented design and development experience in C++ or Java.
• Experience with software frameworks including EPICS, LabView, DRAMA.
• Experience with scripting languages, like Python.
• Experience with unix system admistration and development, in particular Linux.
• Experience with revision control systems, like SVN or GIT.
• Real-time systems development under VxWorks or RTEMS for different target architectures (ppc, 68k, intel).
• User interface development in Java, QT, GTK+ or other toolkits.
• Data analysis in Matlab, IDL, Python or Yorick.
• Knowledge of software design patterns.

Essential Job Functions:

Part A - 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 and

Part B - 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, horns 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.

Part C – Must be able - to sit for long periods of time; must be able to drive a 4-w drive vehicle and possess a clean driving record; to take and pass high altitude physical; to travel internationally and must possess or be able to obtain a valid passport.

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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