Support Scientist/Astronomer - JRID47838

Submission Dates
Archive Date: 
March 31, 2014
Deadline to Apply for Job: 
April 30, 2014
Job Details
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution/Company Name: 
Large Binocular Telescope Observatory
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
Submission Address for Resumes/CVs
Attention To: 
Christian Veillet
Large Binocular Telescope Observatory
Street Address Line 1: 
933 North Cherry Avenue
Zip/Postal Code: 
Contact Information For Inquiries About Job
Email Address for Inquiries:
Job Announcement Text: 

Support Scientist/Astronomer 

Large Binocular Telescope Observatory

933 North Cherry Avenue Tucson, AZ 85721

FAX: 520-626-9333

- Applications have to be submitted through UA Career Track, the University of Arizona's on-line employment and recruitment system at - Job# 54541

- Review of the applications will start April 1st, 2014 and continue until the position is filled.

- Email Inquiries:

- URL:

Position Summary:

With its two mirrors 8.4m in diameter on a single mount, the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is the largest optical telescope in the world, as powerful as an 11.8m telescope in collecting area. Its adaptive secondary mirrors enable exquisite adaptive optics performance. Offering the spatial resolution of a 22.8m telescope, LBT is also the forerunner of the next generation of Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs). The LBT Observatory (LBTO) is an international collaboration of German, Italian, and US research institutions and universities.

The commissioning of the first generation of facility instruments is nearing completion. A pair of wide-field prime focus imagers (LBC) has been in operation for years. The second of two optical faint-object spectrometers (MODS) will be operational by the end of 2014. LUCI1, used since 2011, is the first of a pair of near-infrared imagers/spectrometers for imaging, long-slit spectroscopy, and multi-slit spectroscopy. LUCI2 is currently being commissioned in seeing-limited mode and both LUCIs will eventually work in diffraction-limited mode using the excellent adaptive optics (AO) capabilities of the telescope, enabled by two adaptive secondary mirrors and by ARGOS, a ground-layer system dedicated to the LUCIs to be operational in 2015.

In addition, two infrared interferometers (LBTI and LINC-NIRVANA) as well as an ultra-high spectral resolution, fiber-fed, bench mounted optical spectrometer (PEPSI) are currently at various levels of commissioning, assembly, integration, or testing by LBT partners in collaboration with LBTO staff. Next generation instruments, mainly exploiting the AO or interferometric capabilities of the telescope, are in conceptual development phase.

LBTO seeks one Support Scientist/Astronomer to join the science support group. Rank and salary will be dependent upon qualifications and experience. Up to 25% of the incumbent's time may be designated for personal research. Support Scientists work at the LBTO headquarters on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson with regular and frequent work on the Mount Graham summit (3200m elevation) to support science or commissioning observations (driving license required). Travel to LBT partner institutes in the US and Europe may also be required. 

As LBTO is moving to full operation after a long period of construction and instrument commissioning, the science support at the observatory is evolving, with a strong emphasis given to observing efficiency in challenging observing modes. Delivery of high quality pre-processed data, development of service observing in queue mode, or routine extreme-AO or interferometric observations are some of the endeavors in which LBTO could embark. They offer a unique opportunity to someone eager to bring his/her experience to an observatory with amazing possibilities!

If you have much experience at an operational observatory and feel ready to tackle with enthusiasm the many facets of a Support Scientist/Astronomer position at LBTO, we will be happy to review your application!


Duties and Responsibilities:

As an LBTO Support Scientist/Astronomer, your activities will span a wide range of duties and responsibilities which will depend on your skills, experience, and interests as well as the needs of the observatory. You will support visiting astronomers. You will train and assist visiting astronomers, providing both on-site and on-call support. You will have the opportunity to become the champion of a facility instrument, monitoring and improving its performance, data quality and documentation. You will also participate in (and possibly lead) commissioning activities and in-house projects related to operations (data processing pipelines, queue observing developments …)  

You will work in the LBTO Science Group, joining a small but dedicated and growing staff of currently four astronomers.


Preferred Qualifications:

A Ph.D. degree is required. Previous observatory work, as well as familiarity with all aspects of modern astronomical instruments and their support, observing techniques, and data reduction are desirable.

Potential candidates should submit a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae, bibliography, salary history, and the names of three references to the above address. Review of applications will begin April 1st and continue until the position is filled.  The University of Arizona is an EEO/AA Employer-M/W/D/V.

Included Benefits: 

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, vision and life insurance; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for eligible employees and their spouses and dependents; access to campus and recreational activities; state retirement; and more!