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Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0183
Post Date 8/28/2017
Title Optical Integration 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 Optical Integration Engineer to provide professional Opto/mechanical engineering expertise and support for key aspects of the facility during the DKIST Integration, Testing and Commissioning, (IT&C) and handover to operations. Working as part of the IT&C team, the OIE will direct activities to install, align, measure and correct the optical sub-systems to achieve the optical performance required to meet the systems level requirements. The position is based in Maui, HI and is expected to last through construction, approximately September 2019.

Essential Functions:

  • Participate as a member of the IT&C engineering team(s) to install, align and commission optical sub-systems varying from very large single optics to complex optical instrumentation.
  • Measure the line of sight and wavefront error as successive sub-systems are integrated, feedback the installed data to the DKIST systems engineers.
  • Maintain optical element cleanliness throughout the integration and commissioning stages of the DKIST project.
  • Maintain optical system alignment throughout the integration and commissioning stages of the DKIST project.
  • Participate in the development optical handling, installation and alignment procedures. Update procedures to reflect the lessons learned from implementation
  • Participate in the coating of the 4m Primary Mirror with responsibility for testing, quality and durability of the coating.
  • Participate in Design Reviews, Laboratory and Site Acceptance for DKIST sub-systems.
  • Maintain the instrument preparation room and coudé laboratory clean room including the stocking of clean room supplies.
  • Execute clean room protocols.
  • Responsible for compliance with applicable safety standards and for safety of operations in areas under purview and reporting unsafe conditions and practices.
  • Bachelor's degree in physics, optics, opto/mechanical engineering, or other relevant field — Master's degree preferred
  • 5 years of experience in integration, alignment and maintenance of high precision optical systems
  • Working knowledge of optical design software (ZEMAX preferred)
  • Hands-on experience with delicate handling of medium to large size optics
  • Hands-on experience with cleaning and inspection of finished optical components
  • Working knowledge of high precision alignment equipment including optical precision theodolites, collimating telescope and interferometers.
  • Ability to read and interpret optical drawings and tolerancing.
  • Ability to read and interpret mechanical drawings and tolerancing.
  • Good organizational skills and good written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to thrive in a culturally diverse team environment.
  • 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.
  • Working knowledge of MS Office applications.

Preferred Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Experience in integration, alignment and test of Astronomical Observatory optical systems
  • Experience in clean room operation.
  • Experience with large mirror coating using vacuum deposition.
  • Experience in optical design and tolerancing using optical design software (ZEMAX preferred)
  • Working knowledge of Laser trackers, CMM arms or other metrology equipment
  • Experience in metrology software (Spatial Analyzer preferred)
  • Experience of wavefront analysis using Shack Hartmann generated data.
  • Experience with Adaptive and/or Active optical systems
  • Experience in alignment of cryogenic instrumentation
  • Familiarity with astronomical observatories.

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 25 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 25 lbs or more; d) maintain balance while performing work; e) remove parts, systems, tools of 25 lbs or more
  • Ability to work at 10,000’ elevation, sometimes during inclement weather, is required.
  • Ability to work all-day in class 1000 clean room environment
  • There will be occasional working at height utilizing fall protection equipment, ladders and scaffolding.
  • There will be overnight shifts when performing nighttime measurements.
  • Frequent travel to/from the mainland US to the Hawaiian Islands may be necessary.

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: 17-0183LastnameDocname. 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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