Adaptive Optics Operations Scientist

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Archive Date: 
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
W.M. Keck Observatory
Street Line 1: 
65-1120 Mamalahoa Hwy
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Do you want to help Keck’s Adaptive Optics (AO) systems deliver the highest image quality possible? The W. M. Keck Observatory seeks an Adaptive Optics Operations Scientist to lead and support efforts in the science operation of the Keck AO Systems; optimizing performance, efficiency, and reliability for the purpose of understanding the physical universe. This position reports to the Science Operations Lead. Interested and qualified persons are encouraged to apply to join our team and make the most powerful and scientifically productive telescopes on earth even better.

The W. M. Keck Observatory on the Big Island of Hawaii operates the world’s two largest optical/infrared telescopes from the summit of Mauna Kea. The Observatory seeks an Adaptive Optics Scientist who is a motivated self-starter, has knowledge, experience, and expertise in laser guide star AO systems, and who appreciates the chance to work at the cutting edge of discovery in astronomy.

Principal Activities include

  • Work with observing support and AO development teams in the commissioning of new AO capabilities and the handover to operations.
  • Work closely with the AO Operations Lead, AO Operations team, AO instrument Masters, and AO development teams to set priorities for AO tasks, projects, upgrades, etc. while maintaining the integrity of the operational systems.
  • Work closely with the AO Operations Lead and Support Astronomers in the more advanced and comprehensive calibrations of the AO system.
  • Play a lead role in the characterization, optimization and improvement of the operational AO systems to maximize science productivity.

Required Qualifications

  • PhD level degree in adaptive optics or high angular resolution astronomy, or equivalent experience.
  • Three (3) years’ of relevant experience in the development and/or use of adaptive optics for astronomical research.
  • Two (2) years’ of work experience in instrumentation development or operations.
  • A broad understanding of the multiple engineering disciplines needed to develop and operate adaptive optics systems.
  • Experience in data visualization, spectral data reduction and analysis.

Required Skills

  • Microsoft Office Proficiency.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities.
  • Ability to develop an expert level knowledge of the Keck AO systems.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong written and oral English communication skills

This is a regular, full time position offering a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including relocation assistance and independent school (K-12) tuition support for dependent children. Salary is dependent upon qualifications and experience.

To learn more about this position and to apply, go to:

EEO Employer

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Selection Deadline: 
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Jeannette Mundon