Adaptive Optics, Optical, Mechanical, Electronic and System Engineer for AO instruments

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Monday, March 4, 2019
Archive Date: 
Monday, April 1, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Engineering
Institution Classification/Type: 
Bologna and others
Job Announcement Text: 

Adaptive Optics projects at INAF.

INAF (Istituto Nazionale di AstroFisica) is deeply involved in several projects related to ESO-ELT as well as in other 8-m class projects at ESO and LBT telescopes.

MAORY (Multi-conjugate Adaptive Optics RelaY) is the most prominent one – it is a post-focal adaptive optics module for the 39 m diameter optical-infrared European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), the that the European Southern Observatory (ESO) will build in the next decade in collaboration with its community of member States. MAORY supports the MICADO near-infrared camera by offering Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) adaptive optics modes.

MAORY is expected to complete the Preliminary Design Phase within one year from now and be delivered at the telescope in 2025.

Other projects include HIRES (a high resolution spectrograph proposed as 2ndgeneration ELT instrument), ERIS and MAVIS at VLT, as well as upgrades of the adaptive optics facility and the SHARK-NIR and SHARK-VIS instruments at the Large Binocular Telescope.

The Roles

INAF is developing these instruments in its premises of Florence (Arcetri), Bologna, Milan(Merate), Roma(Monte Porzio), Napoli, Padova and Teramo, and is actively seeking talented post-doc researchers in several fields (see below) to join these projects.

All positions entail the availability to intensively travel abroad to attend meetings and commissioning runs in Chile or Arizona.

In particular, we are looking for:

Optical Designer (Padova): The candidate will directly contribute to the design, evaluation of the performances, tolerance analysis and the definition and simulation of the alignment procedure of both the MAORY main path optics and its Laser Guide Star objective. Experience in ray tracing software is required (ZEMAX preferably) as in analysis tools (MATLAB and/or PHYTON).

Adaptive Optics Experts (Arcetri-Florence) The candidate must have a previous experience in the design of adaptive optics systems for astronomy, in any of: (1) E2E numerical simulations of AO systems and related sub systems, (2) analytical computations and error budget, (3) wavefront sensor analysis and design, (4) deformable mirror and their specifications, (5) MCAO system design and tomography, (6) AO system calibrations. Additional assets may be (a) the ability to develop design code in IDL, (2) experience of operation of real OA system in laboratory or at the telescope, familiar with processes of PSF reconstruction.

Software Engineer for Instrument Control (Padova and/or Teramo) The successful candidate will contribute to the Instrument Control System Software work package by participating to the gathering and definition of the software requirements, their analysis, and the design of the control software in the context of the ESO ELT-software framework, its implementation, testing and documentation.

Real-Time Control Specialist (Padova) To be directly involved in the design and implementation of the Real Time Computer (RTC) for MAORY. Work functions include contributing to the definition and analysis of requirements, collaborating with internal teams and external contractor[s] on the design, construction, testing and verification for the RTC.

Opto-Mechanical Thermal Engineer (Merate-Milan) The position will be focused on the opto-mechanical design of Astronomical structures. The candidate must have experience with 3D mechanical design. Preference title is Experience in Finite Element Analysis with particular focus on mechanical static analysis, modal analysis and thermal analysis. Experience on Assembly and integration of opt mechanical instrumentation is also an added value.

System Engineers (Bologna and/or Merate-Milan) The candidate must have experience with system engineering of technological products. Preference title are: 

· Experience in system engineering of astronomical projects and/or subsystems;

· Experience in Alignment Integration and Verification of opto-mechanical systems;

· Basic knowledge of sysml;

· Experience in Model Based System Engineering.

System Assembly Integration and Verification (AIV) Engineer (Padova and/or Bologna) The successful candidate will participate to the preparation and realization of the whole AIV process during the integration of the MAORY instrument in the Bologna laboratory.

Electronics Engineers (Bologna and/or Arcetri and/or Naples and/or Teramo) To be directly involved in the design and development of the instrument Control Hardware at System and Sub-system level. Modern techniques for electronics design and simulation of control system (Matlab/Simulink/ORCAD/Autocad) will be used. S/he will work in an international team and will participate to the commissioning activities at the E-ELT Observatory in Chile.

About you

You will have a degree in Physics, Astronomy/Astrophysics, Engineering and preferentially have working experience in the fields described above. A PhD in these disciplines or three post-degree years of experience in the fields are mandatory to be considered. Experience in non-academic fields is also positively evaluated.

What we offer

INAF will offer 3-years contract as Post Doc Research Assistant, with net salaries starting from 25,000€ per year, potentially increasing for candidates with long experience and high qualification. The package includes a flexible working scheme, a pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and full personal and family health coverage through the Italian public system. Italian researchers who have been working abroad since more than 3 years might be eligible to a tax weaver.

How to apply

This announcement is not a full call yet – the formal selection procedure will be started soon. This announcement is aimed at pre-selecting suitable candidates for the positions described above.

Applicants need to submit an letter of interest for the position by contacting the MAORY PI Paolo Ciliegi by e-mail (

The mail must contain: an updated CV, a letter of interest specifying the profile that the candidate is interested in, an ideal time for the potential hiring, and any other information that the candidate may be willing to provide. The process is open and positions will be filled as soon as suitable candidates are found.

Application Deadline: 
Monday, April 1, 2019
Selection Deadline: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Paolo Ciliegi