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Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0005
Post Date 1/4/2017
Title IT System Engineer
City La Serena

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

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Project is in construction of a large ground based observatory in Chile. The 8.4-meter LSST will survey the entire visible sky deeply in multiple colors every week with its three-billion pixel digital camera, probing the mysteries of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, and opening a movie-like window on objects that change or move rapidly: exploding supernovae, potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids, and distant Kuiper Belt Objects. The LSST Project is divided into several integrated technical components, namely the Telescope and Site (T&S) Group responsible for constructing the summit facility/telescope observatory and the base facility/data center, the Camera Group responsible for delivering the science instrument, the Data Management (DM) Group responsible for delivering the data reduction and processing pipeline systems, the Commissioning Group responsible for integrating all subsystem components together, and Project Systems Engineering responsible for the overall requirements.

The LSST IT System Engineer will be responsible for implementing and maintaining the design and integrity of the LSST IT systems including liaising closely with personnel at NCSA, Illinois and LSST, Tucson. The IT System Engineer will be responsible for the design and implementation of the LSST Chilean systems from the ground up. As a member of the Service TeamLSST Data Management and Telescope and Site teams, the IT System Engineer will configure and operate IT equipment, and provide onsite and remote support to our users who have critical response time requirements for developing the LSST to enable astronomical research. You will be required to work independently or as part of a team to answer service desk calls, and troubleshoot problems over the phone/onsite or via remote access. The position may require out of normal office hour duties as 24/7 is required to be covered by the IT team.


  • Help tune performance and ensure high availability of infrastructure
  • Build out the DNS, Radius, email, web server, LDAP or AD systems and other required services.
  • Assist in populating racks with servers and configure
  • Design and develop infrastructure monitoring and reporting tools
  • Develop and maintain configuration management solutions
  • Develop test automation frameworks in collaboration with rest of the team
  • Create tools to help teams make the most out of the available infrastructure Technical Proficiencies ( including but not limited to)
  • Experience with Linux servers in virtualized environments
  • Familiarity with the fundamentals of Linux scripting languages
  • Experience installing, configuring, and maintaining services such as Bind, Apache, MySQL, nginx
  • Strong grasp on configuration management tools, such as Puppet and Chef .
  • Familiarity with load balancing, firewalls
  • Proficient with network tools such as iptables, Linux IPVS, HAProxy, Cactii, Perfsonar, Solarwinds
  • Experience with o Virtualization technologies, such as Xen, Vmware, KVM o Cloud Computing technology o Anti-Virus management o Authentication Services o VPN systems
  • Ability to build and monitor services on production servers
  • Knowledge of servers and switches along with basic hardware troubleshooting and replacements. Knowledge of Windows OS required
  • Basic level of Cybersecurity management
  • Backup and Disaster Recovery planning
  • University degree or equivalent in applicable subject
  • At least 5 years IT experience
  • Redhat or Equivalent certification
  • Spoken and written English
  • Clean driving record
  • Must be able to work at an altitude of 2800 meters when working at the summit of Cerro Pachon

Please list 3 professional references in your application. Please attach a statement of professional interests or cover letter and CV or resume (PDF Files preferred) to your application. Please name any attachments with the following format: 17-0005LastnameDocname. 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

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