Telescope Manager

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, February 1, 2019
Archive Date: 
Friday, March 1, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Management
Institution Classification/Type: 
La Serena
Job Announcement Text: 

This position is based at Cerro Pachón, 1.5 hrs away from the Gemini offices in La Serena, manages and leads a group of 8-10 technicians (mechanical, optical, electronics).

Ensures that the Gemini South Engineering summit group works as an integral part of a single, cohesive, competent, focused, productive Operations team following applicable observatory standards of quality,  safety and financial responsibility.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Line management: lead crew of electronic & opto-mechanical technicians and is responsible for their professional development by setting clear goals, conducting regular performance evaluations, setting career paths and aligning training needs with this. Foster an environment of personal and organizational growth and enrichment. Prepare delegates to cover duties during absence of Telescope Manager. Provide direction and guidance to facilities lead, to ensure all plant equipment and required facilities for telescope operation are readily available.
  • Planning and coordination: Key role in preparing monthly and weekly planning of telescope activities. Lead daily coordination of all telescope activities, chairing coordination meetings, interact with other groups (sci, ITS, SW).
  • Process documentation: Maintain strong focus on process orientated work, set standards for documenting activities, strive for continuous improvement by periodic audit of all processes used during telescope operations. Sets and monitors KPIs.
  • Financial management: Manage the Site budget. Prepare annual forecast, taking into account upgrades and larger maintenance activities, training needs and fluctuating energy costs. Track the budget on a quarterly basis to ensure meeting budget envelope to within -2%, +3% as defined in the observatory goals.
  • Maintenance management: Manage and plan the corrective and preventive maintenance programs for the entire telescope facility, implementing upgrades to complex systems. Identify performance and efficiency improvements by applying proven industrial standards on reliability and quality. Provide input and strategic direction for upgrades, obsolescence mitigation programs.
  • Safety: Ensure implementation of Gemini’s Safety Policy by training, educating, guiding summit staff and ultimately enforce compliance. Take action on any safety related issues by consulting safety group and report back to Head of Engineering Operations. Lay out appropriate training plans for summit crew, ensure safety walkthroughs are completed, Job Safety Analysis are completed whenever appropriate. Conduct incident investigation in collaboration with safety department applying methodologies aimed a continuous improvement.
  • Communication: Maintain excellent relations with internal and external customers, attend telescope visits, present periodic reports during meetings internal and external to the observatory. Foster an open communication working environment to stimulate inclusiveness and participation in continuous improvement initiatives by all group members.
  • Strategic Management: Work with the Head of Engineering and the engineering staff to ensure that, at the highest levels the Observatory continues to realize the goal of a single, cohesive, competent, focused, productive Observatory-wide Operations team of the highest quality.  Requires a desire and the know-how to drive the effort to make the telescopes the best possible in ground-based astronomy.
  • Operations Management:  Responsibilities include oversight of telescope systems and support services required to conduct the day-to-day technical and observing functions of all systems within the telescope enclosures as well as daily and long-term maintenance of telescope facilities and instruments, telescope facility upgrades and instrument development; and engineering interfaces across all levels, internally within the Observatory and externally, as appropriate.  

Job Specifications:

Requires high degree of professionalism and discretion. Must possess the skills to build and maintain a high-performing team.  Requires the ability to delegate, to give employees a chance to reach their full potential.  Must be able to handle conflict in such a way as to maintain productive relationships.   Must have “big picture” mentality.   Requires flexibility, adaptability.  Ability to reconcile competing demands and ensure that important issues are handled along with emergency or urgent issues.  Requires excellent judgment and insight.   Some international may be travel required.  Must be willing to live in La Serena, Chile.

Education Required:

Master’s Degree in Engineering or related discipline required; in exceptional cases, a BS in Engineering with equivalent, relevant experience may substitute for Master’s Degree.     

Experience Required:

Previous experience managing large projects and industrial facilities; At least 10 years of previous experience in managing engineering groups in complex high-tech environments, astronomical facility highly desirable.  Proven track record in establishing programs of excellence, innovation and inspiration. 

Skills Required: 

Consensus-building skills; ability to think on feet; requires flexibility and adaptability to work in a fluid environment.  Bilingual (Spanish-English) required.  Must possess leadership, organizational and communication skills. Ability to employ standard office suite software (Word, EXCEL etc.) and their online equivalents (gsuite etc.).

Essential Job Functions:

  • 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.
  • Must be able -  to sit for long periods of time; to drive 4WD company vehicles and possess valid license plus a clean driving record.
Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 1, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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Attention To: 
AURA Human Resources
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