Head of Instrumentation
Lowell Observatory invites applications for the position of Head of Instrumentation (HOI), a leadership position in Lowell’s Technology Group. The HOI reports to Lowell’s Deputy Director for Technology (DDT) and will supervise the instrumentation staff that builds and supports the instruments at Lowell’s Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT), the smaller facilities at Anderson Mesa, and the Mars Hill Flagstaff campus in collaboration with the facilities Operations Manager and the DDT.
Lowell Observatory operates telescopes at three sites: its expanding Mars Hill campus (both research and public viewing telescopes), Anderson Mesa (1.1-meter, 0.9-meter, 0.6-meter telescopes, and the Navy Precision Optical Interferometer - NPOI), and Happy Jack (the 4.3-meter DCT). Lowell also operates a well-equipped instrument shop to support projects from design and development of modern instrumentation to restoration and preservation of historic observing facilities such as Percival Lowell’s 24” Alvan Clark refractor and the Pluto discovery telescope. The instrument shop is being redesigned and will be fully rebuilt in the coming years; the HOI will play a major role in developing that facility.
The HOI facilitates communication of priorities and goals between the instrument group and other Lowell Observatory groups. The position therefore requires someone having excellent skills with communication, project management, personal interactions, and an ability to define, balance, and advance multiple tasks based on priorities. The instrument-related activities require that the HOI have a proven track record with designing, building, and/or managing the development of astronomical instrumentation, as well as a demonstrated history in management and administration.
The HOI has the following responsibilities:
- Manages the daily activities of the instrument group, including the software team
- Manages budgets and personnel actions (recruiting, performance reviews, career growth) for the group
- Leads instrument-related projects and some telescope activities for the DCT, Anderson Mesa facilities, and the Public Program/Mars Hill. Also, guides software projects for telescopes and instruments, and occasional contract work (e.g., NASA, NSF)
- Provides elements of instrument design (e.g., optical, mechanical, detector, cooling, vacuum, software) and the systems engineering and management role for large projects
- Supports the Deputy Director for Technology (DDT) and Deputy Director for Science (DDS) in working with the Lowell faculty and Public Program groups, and in defining project priorities for the Observatory
- Develops, plans, and leads instrumentation activities for annual shutdown engineering
- Ensures that instrumentation and software are ready for observing every night at the various telescope facilities (shared with the Operations Manager)
- Develops and executes preventative maintenance plans and procedures for instruments
- Identifies, assigns, and tracks all projects required to correct or prevent system faults
- Directs the activities of contractors
- Procures and tracks the availability of spare hardware
- Assists the Deputy Director for Development (DDD) to obtain funds for projects
Qualifications for this position include an advanced degree in astronomy, physics, engineering, or a closely related field, or an equivalent level of experience in building, maintaining, and/or operating research-grade astronomical telescopes, instrumentation, electronics, and software. Experience in management of technical personnel is also required.
Status: Full Time
FLSA Classification: Exempt
Compensation Type: Salary – Full Benefits
Location: Flagstaff, Lowell Observatory’s Mars Hill Campus
Benefits Overview: In addition to 10 scheduled paid holidays, Lowell Observatory offers a Flexible Paid Time Off policy for all full-time, benefit eligible employees which allows you to determine how much time you need to rest and enjoy yourself outside of work. The cost of premiums for medical, life & long term disability insurances for benefit eligible employees is 100% paid by the company, and includes a contribution to either an H.S.A or HRA account for first dollar medical expenses.
Please complete a short application (https://lowell.edu/about/employment) send it with a resume, letter of interest addressing your qualifications, and phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses of three references to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications received by April 15, 2019 will receive full consideration.
Inquiries may be sent to Teznie Pugh, Acting Deputy Director for Technology (email@example.com).
Lowell Observatory is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and provides equal employment opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital and family status.
Lowell Observatory provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. This nonsmoking campus is at an elevation of 7,000 ft/2100m. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the Human Resources office for assistance.
All employment with the Observatory is on an "at will" basis. At-will employment means that the relationship may be terminated at any time by either the employee or the Observatory for any reason not expressly prohibited by law. Any representations to the contrary are invalid and should not be relied upon by any prospective or existing employee.