Systems Engineer

Updated: 6 months ago
Location: Pasadena, CALIFORNIA
Deadline: 10 May 2024

Systems Engineer


Job Category:

Fulltime Regular

Exempt Overtime Eligible:


Benefits Eligible: Benefit Based

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.

Job Summary

Caltech Optical Observatories (COO) seeks a talented systems engineer to join its Optical and Infrared (OIR) Instrumentation group. The OIR group designs, fabricates, and commissions advanced astronomical instrumentation for Palomar, Keck, and the Thirty Meter Telescope, while fostering a community of respect, learning, and individual growth. The qualified engineer will provide technical coordination through all project phases including conceptualization, detailed design, integration, testing, and commissioning, as a key member of multidisciplinary teams pushing back the frontiers of planetary science, astronomy, and cosmology.

Diversity and Inclusion is a core values at Caltech and in the COO. We are passionate about building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable work environment for all. We believe every member of our team enriches our diversity by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, design and ultimately deliver unique and world-class astronomical instruments.

This position is based on the Caltech University campus in Pasadena, California, but may require occasional travel to Palomar Mountain, San Diego, California, and Mauna Kea, Hawaii. COO encourages a healthy work-life balance, with work schedule flexibility and results-oriented performance evaluation and mentorship.

Essential Job Duties

• Provide systems engineering for Caltech's astronomical instrumentation program through all phases of development from conceptual design to commissioning instruments on telescopes.

• Lead customer-driven system requirements to capture and subsystem functional and performance requirements flow-down.

• Develop and maintain multidisciplinary error and performance budgets.

• Identify and recommend risk mitigation strategies to project management.

• Develop and manage instrument document trees (e.g., use case document, design requirements document, detailed design description, maintenance and user's manuals).

• Manage interfaces with client observatories and interface control documents within projects.

• Participate on project change control boards in support of project management.

• Development, documentation, and execution of system-level instrument test and alignment plans.

• Support commissioning and verification in a mountaintop environment.

• Generate and maintain COO's quality and assurance procedures.

• Generate system safety plans.

• Generate project hazard analysis and risk assessments.

• Generate failure modes and effects analysis documents.

• Generate reliability reports.

• Generate verification cross-reference matrixes.

• Technical coordination of scientists and engineers with diverse discipline expertise.

• Support cost estimation and procurement activities.

• Apply sound engineering judgment to meet requirements within schedule and budget.

• May require occasional travel and work assignments at high altitudes, and/or in limited light environments.

Basic Qualifications

• B.S. degree in Systems Engineering or equivalent and 8+ years' systems-related experience; or an M.S. degree in Systems Engineering or equivalent and 6+ years' systems-related experience.

• Exemplary written and oral communication and organizational skills.

• Demonstrated effective coordination of diverse teams.

• Ability to collect and synthesize inputs from optical, mechanical, electrical, and software engineers.

• Execute systems engineering tasks with accuracy and careful attention to detail.

• Proficiency in managing large data sets and plotting and analyzing data.

• Demonstrated ability for patience and humility.

This position requires a pre-employment DMV check and successful physical including vision screening.

Preferred Qualifications

• Experience with formal requirements engineering practices.

• Understanding of and ability to guide engineers to conform to engineering standards.

• Familiarity with manufacturing processes.

• Experience with commercial design tools (e.g., SW, ZEMAX, CODE V).

• Record of successful deliveries of full instruments.

• Astronomy experience.

Required Documents

• Resume

• Cover Letter

To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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