Senior Project Manager

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Saturday, November 10, 2018
Archive Date: 
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Management
Institution Classification/Type: 
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

We are currently seeking a Senior Project Manager, based at the Gemini North (GN) Observatory in Hilo, Hawaii. The Senior Project Manager is to be directly involved in the construction of a new multi-conjugate AO (MCAO) system for Gemini North, leveraging modern yet mature technologies to facilitate an aggressive 6-year project timeline.  The program is funded by the National Science Foundation and the baseline concept includes multiple side launched Laser Guide Stars, an Adaptive Secondary Mirror, Real-Time Control System, and an Adaptive Optics bench hosting additional Deformable Mirrors and Wave Front Sensors.

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is a consortium of 40 US institutions and four international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories. AURA’s role is to establish, nurture, and promote public observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research. AURA is responsible for managing the operations of the Gemini Observatory, the National Optical Astronomical Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, the Space Telescope Science Institute, and the construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope.

Essential Functions:

  • Leads the project management activities of the GN Adaptive Optics (GNAO) and Real Time Computer (RTC) projects, from initial project planning and design through commissioning at Gemini. Work with internal and external teams to review and oversee work quality from a technical perspective. Provide the programmatic interface to Gemini with external teams.
  • Provide thorough cost, schedule, and technical oversight of the projects assigned.   Identify potential issues early in the project planning and design stages. Review and help ensure proper implementation during the build phase.
  • Working with the project Systems Engineer, provide necessary technical and engineering assistance to project teams so they understand Gemini's interfaces and meet project requirements.
  • Responsible for the safety of activities of self, employees and contractors under their purview. Ensure the safe conduct of operations and activities of subordinates. See that safety is built into projects and plans for the future.
  • Set the Gemini standard for ethical execution of programs.

Required Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • BS degree in engineering, physics, astronomy or related field.
  • Must have at least ten years of experience working with large astronomical instruments from a technical, engineering, and operations perspective.
  • Must have a broad understanding of the different engineering disciplines (including mechanics, electronics, optics, and software) that go into the design and construction of a Gemini instrument. Preference is to have demonstrated specific competencies in each of these areas.
  • Must demonstrate familiarity and experience with project management and systems engineering methodologies.
  • Adaptive Optics project management experience.
  • Adaptive Optics engineering experience.
  • Adaptive Optics software development experience.
  • Must have a valid Driver’s License; clean driving record; ability to drive a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
  • Proficiency with computer systems, presentation tools and project management tools.
  • Ability to create clear and accurate presentations.
  • Ability to clearly communicate technical information and proposed solutions to problems aurally, in written documents, and presentations.
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal) are essential to effectively managing the project’s many stakeholders.
  • Must be able to foster cooperative problem resolution, planning and technical discussions.
  • Must be able to support frequent international travel.

Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Advanced degree in engineering, physics, astronomy or related field.
  • PMP certification.

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.

We will interview candidates who meet the minimum basic qualifications upon receipt of application. The position will remain open until filled.   All applicants must submit a cover letter with their CV that describes their interest in this position and their relevant experience. Please include a list of 3 professional references with contact information.

Preference will be given to qualified internal candidates.

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.

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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