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System Engineering Group Leader

TMT International Observatory, LLC, Pasadena, CA, United States
Employer Description

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project has been established to design, build and eventually operate an Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) with a primary mirror diameter of 30 meters. ELT’s will be the successors of the present day 8-10 meter world class telescopes. When complete the TMT will be the largest ground based optical/infrared telescope in the northern hemisphere providing the capability to study exciting astronomical problems from the nature of extra-solar planets to the first stars in the universe. An international collaboration consisting of the University of California, the California Institute of Technology, Canada, Japan, India, and China has been formed to deliver this exciting project.

The TMT project recently entered construction and will be completed and ready for science operations in 2028. The TMT project office is located in Pasadena, CA, USA. The design and construction of the various telescope systems will be distributed amongst the TMT partner institutions, collaborators, industry, and the Project Office.

Job Description
Job Summary

Reporting to the TMT Project Manager, the Systems Engineering Group Leader will be responsible for planning, coordinating and supervising the systems engineering activities required for the design, construction, assembly, integration and testing of the TMT Observatory System on Mauna Kea.

Job Responsibilities and Duties

The Systems Engineering Group Leader will lead a group that is responsible for:
  • Establishing and maintaining the technical configuration and architecture of the observatory.
  • Establishing and maintaining the observatory technical requirements and interfaces.
  • Establishing and maintaining the system models, performance estimates and budgets.
  • Establishing and maintaining the observatory test and evaluation strategy against requirements and interfaces.
  • Managing and executing the observatory system level test process.
  • Assessing and managing the observatory technical risk assessment.
  • Maintaining an evaluation of the system technical status against requirements.
  • Regularly reporting, including at system level reviews, the technical status of the TMT system.
  • Representing TMT through involvement with professional organizations and presentations to international conferences.

Specifically, the Systems Engineering Group Leader will be responsible for:
  • Leadership, planning and management of systems engineering group activities.
  • Supervision of staff members and recruitment of new staff.
  • Establishing, managing and reporting status of system engineering staffing plans, budgets and schedules.
  • Coordination of technical activities with department heads and group leaders, including in facilities, telescope, instrumentation, operations design, and project management including QA/QC.
  • Presenting system engineering status reports and technical presentations within the project and to external groups, including at reviews and conferences.
  • Organizing and conducting system level technical design reviews.
  • Reviewing and providing support for the establishment of TMT system engineering processes at TMT international partner organizations.
  • Maintenance and management of the system technical configuration.
  • Management of the change control process, including the initiation of system level change requests, as required.
  • Management of the development and maintenance of observatory technical requirements, interfaces and engineering budgets.
  • Management of the flow-down of science to system level requirements, working with the Project Scientist, Observatory Scientist and Science Advisory Committee.
  • Providing technical reviews of, including at major reviews, the state of development of subsystem requirements and interfaces, and their consistency with and trace-ability to system level requirements.
  • Guiding and managing the development and documentation of system performance models, and where appropriate their use in: the development of requirements and engineering budgets, the assessment of design performance, the support of technical trade-off studies.
  • Establishing the observatory test and evaluation strategy.
  • Managing the execution of the system level test process, including during the Assembly, Integration and Verification phase.
  • Based on test results, providing technical review of, and recommendations regarding, subsystem compliance with requirements and interfaces.
  • Tracking and managing the retirement of system level technical risks.
  • Regularly, including at major reviews, reporting on the status of system level technical risks.
  • During AIV and early operations, manage the identification, tracking, and resolution of system level technical issues at the observatory.

Job Requirements

Minimum Requirements

10 years experience in the scientific and technical aspects of system engineering and system science for complex scientific detector, telescope or aerospace systems with significant experience in mechanical, optical and controls technology. Significant experience leading a team in these activities is required. A doctoral degree in a related physical science discipline or an advanced degree in related engineering is strongly preferred. Experience in large projects is strongly preferred.

Position will be located in TMT International Observatory, LLC. office location in Pasadena, California. Significant travel will be required to partner, vendor and observatory locations.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Demonstrated record of leadership in complex scientific or technical projects involving technologies relevant for TMT. A significant record in leading projects and systems activities to completion and a record of publication in professional journals are required. Significant demonstrated accomplishments in one or more of mechanical, optical, controls, electronics, modeling and systems studies are required.


TMT is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

11 February 2019
13 March 2019
Sensing, Monitoring, Measurement, and Control