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Job Details

Requisition Number 18-0047
Post Date 4/6/2018
Title IT&C Programmable Logic Control 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 an IT&C Programmable Logic Control Engineer. The IT&C PLC Engineer provides complex engineering support, for a project or for one or more related detail phases of a project or division of an engineering program, by planning and performing technical activities or resolving complex technically related problems exercising broad discretion. This may entail, supervising and directing supporting personnel, including subcontractors. Activities are usually within a specific field of expertise such as mechanical technology, electronics, design drafting, optics, computer applications or instrumentation.

Essential Functions:

  • Perform a lead or supporting role in complex technical/engineering activities such as PLC and controls programming, installation, startup, commissioning, debugging, testing/analysis and reporting.
  • Design, develop, document, program and test PLC code in IEC 61131-3 standard languages (Ladder-Diagram, Function Block, etc.).
  • Solve engineering problems where only the general objectives are stated.
  • Solve problems of a technical nature directly or in cooperation with other members of a project team.
  • Design and implement new PLC systems, and debug and enhance existing PLC systems
  • Develop techniques, procedures, and testing for compliance with technical requirements and approved budgets and schedules.
  • Coordinate activities for an assignment and interact with other engineering disciplines and suppliers or vendors when required.
  • Direct and coordinates activities concerned with construction, installation, and modification of electronic equipment and systems.
  • Monitor and report results of activities, notes unusual situations, and recommends corrective action.
  • Exercise discretion in the application of available resources for an assignment.
  • Responsible for compliance and development of applicable safety standards and for safety of operations in areas of responsibility, and for correcting and/or reporting unsafe conditions and practices.

Required Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering AND at least five years of related work experience. OR at Associates degree in Engineering Technology or equivalent Military Training and at least 10 years of experience in control system and PLC technology and engineering.
  • Experience with PLC-based industrial control systems, drives, software, hardware and ancillary items, e.g. Allen Bradley, B&R, Beckhoff, Siemens, Kollmorgen
  • Ability to resolve technical problems by hands-on application of engineering and physics principles relevant to project requirements in controls, electronics and mechanisms
  • Ability to read, speak, and write effectively, including review of applicable documentation and drawings, and preparation, review, and presentation of drawings, reports, and presentations.
  • Ability to cooperate with and obtain the support of others, and to take a leading role on a task when required.
  • Willingness to actively participate in team safety meetings and adhere to (and advocate for) safety procedures and protocols.
  • Sensitive to and respectful of cultural and environmental issues.

Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Familiarity with Functional Safety System requirements, design, installation, and testing
  • Familiarity with RSLogix 5000, ControlLogix, GuardLogix, and POINT I/O.
  • Familiarity with HMI and/or SCADA hardware and software (e.g., FactoryTalk, Ignition)
  • Familiarity with Industrial Ethernet/IP networking.
  • Experience with ePlan, AutoCAD Electric, SolidWorks, and/or similar CAD tools.
  • Working knowledge of control design and experience in complex analog and digital control systems implementation, including servo optimization and tuning.
  • Ability to specify, select, and install DC and AC electronic components for a larger system
  • Familiarity with codes and standards applicable to Controls Engineering
  • Experience with control system testing including use of current diagnostic hardware e.g. transfer function analyzers, excitation and vibration analysis and modal analyzers.
  • Familiarity with MATLAB/Simulink modeling of 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; talk and 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 25 pounds.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus and distinguish colors.
  • 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.
  • Some travel may be necessary in or outside the contiguous United States.
  • Ability to work at 10,000’ elevation, sometimes during inclement weather

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: 18-0047LastnameDocname. 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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