Post Doctoral Researcher- #0006107

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, September 9, 2022
Archive Date: 
Friday, October 14, 2022
To event remaining 8 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Small Academic
Space Telescope Science Institute
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Russell B. Makidon Optics Laboratory at the Space Telescope Science Institute seeks one or more Postdoctoral researcher to help advance optical instrumentation for future large space observatories. Do you want join a team developing systems to one day search for life on habitable Earths outside our Solar System? Our laboratory operates several experiments dedicated to exoplanet imaging with space telescopes.  

As a Postdoctoral researcher you will work on the High-contrast imager for Complex Aperture Telescopes testbed (HiCAT), which is dedicated to the demonstration of high-contrast coronagraphy on segmented aperture telescopes.  The testbed includes a segmented aperture telescope simulator, a coronagraph and two continuous face sheet deformable mirrors to create a high-contrast dark zone. The testbed already includes a low-order Zernike wavefront sensor, and as the postdoctoral researcher you will design, build and implement a second-stage mid-order Zernike sensor to observe and analyze the entre aperture of the telescope before the coronagraph.  Our software infrastructure enables multiple concurrent closed loops for wavefront sensing and control, and you will explore control architecture scenarios to stabilize the dark hole under both natural and artificial drift conditions.

Essential Functions:

You will design, build, align the mid-order Zernike wavefront sensor inside the HiCAT experiment.

You will calibrate , develop control loop software and proceed to multi-control loop experiments under various assumptions of artificial temporal drifts to demonstrate the stabilization of the high contrast dark hole.

You will explore new control algorithms combining our low, mid, and high-order loops, under realistic testbed disturbances.

You will be integrated in the broader lab team and will contribute to all activities of the HiCAT team, including for example hardware and software development, calibrations, hardware reconfigurations, and modeling and simulations.

You will present HiCAT results at conferences and write peer-reviewed publications


PhD completed with a focus on Astronomical Optics Instrumentation

Expertise in high-contrast imaging coronagraphy, including Fourier Optics simulations. At least some experience with optics hardware is required, and experience with high-contrast instrumentation hardware is desired.

Expertise in Python scientific programming, and additional familiarity with C++ would be a plus.

You will need to spend prolonged time in a low-humidity cleanroom environment. You will get to wear appropriate cleanroom gowning (aka "bunny suits"). Cleanroom activities include working over optical tables, use of ladders and carrying delicate equipment up to 40 lbs.

While the team work supports remote some amount of hybrid work, this position requires a majority of in-person presence in the office and associated laboratory.

Applicants should submit the following materials in a single pdf file:

1) a curriculum vitae,

2) a list of publications,

3) a research statement

ONLY use this link to apply:

Applications received by October 14, 2022 will receive full consideration. References will be contacted through the application system for the letter submissions. Emails will come from: [email protected]. Applicants should contact their letter writers separately to inform them of the process. Letters are due no later than October 21, 2002.

The diversity of the STScI staff enhances the dynamic and collegial atmosphere of our scientific community, and reflects our commitment to inclusivity in the broadest sense. Accordingly, women, minorities, veterans, and disabled individuals are strongly encouraged to apply for these positions.

As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, STScI does not discriminate because of race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, or mental or physical handicap. Veterans, disabled or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process can contact us at [email protected].



Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 14, 2022
Selection Deadline: 
Friday, October 21, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Christine Rueter