SPIE Career Center
NOTE: You will be creating an SPIE user account. After the account is created you will be redirected back to the Career Center to sign in.
Browsing Job 105 of 164
In order to Apply for this job you must be signed into your user account. New users can register by selecting Create an Account.
Save Job
In order to Save this job you must be signed into your user account. New users can register by selecting Create an Account.

Telescope Engineer

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 2034. The TMT project office is located in Pasadena, CA, USA. The design and build 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 Telescope Optics Group Leader, the Telescope Engineer will be responsible for finalizing the design, fabrication, and on site commissioning of various optical subsystems being delivered by the TMT Optics Group. These systems may include equipment associated with recoating telescope optics, in-situ cleaning of optics and in-situ optical metrology for the TMT.

The equipment will be fabricated by TMT partners and industry selected through competitive bidding.  As such, the Telescope Engineer must have excellent technical, project management, and communication skills, as well as the ability to work in TMT’s multi-cultural environment.

Job Duties
The Telescope Engineer will have broad responsibilities, including:

  • Lead responsibility for the design, manufacture, assembly and delivery of subsystems, including all testing, support tooling, shipping and handling.
  • Finalizing requirements and interfaces.
  • Leading development of the procurement plans, the bidding process and contract negotiations.
  • Working with suppliers on production programs, including precision machining, integration and all related quality assurance activities.
  • Understanding and ownership of the system engineering deliverables, including performance budgets and interfaces
  • Leading the planning and execution of the on-site assembly, integration and verification.
  • Management of development and production contracts using earned value to measure progress.

The Telescope Engineer will be fully cognizant of all aspects of the design and manufacturing of the telescope optics, including performing the following activities on a regular basis:

  • Monitor, coordinate and direct activities by international partner institutions & suppliers
  • Utilize SolidWorks to guide and monitor design efforts
  • Direct and perform mechanical testing
  • Prepare Statements of Work (SOWs) and Requests For Proposals (RFPs)
  • Ensure compliance with TMT quality assurance and safety requirements
  • Prepare technical reports and deliver technical presentations
  • Maintain key deliverables such as Drawings, Requirements Documents, Interface Documents and Error Budgets
Job Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • A degree in optics, mechanical engineering or equivalent; advanced degree preferred
  • 5 years of experience, including some experience in Project Engineering or Project Management
  • Experience with large optical telescopes is a positive factor
  • The project office is located in Los Angeles and residence in the area is required.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
The Telescope Engineer must have strong personal skills, including all of the following:

  • Excellent organization skills
  • Proven leadership ability
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to write clear and concise technical documents
  • A cooperative team-player who strives to make the team successful
  • Ability to multi-task a substantial number of parallel activities
  • Practical problem solving skills

The Telescope Engineer must have strong technical skills in many of the following areas:

  • Mechanical design and understanding of kinematic principles
  • Understanding of manufacturing and assembly techniques
  • Analytical approach to problem solving
  • Knowledge of structural mechanics and engineering materials
  • Experienced using Geometrical Dimensioning & Tolerancing per ASME Y14.5

The Telescope Engineer must be ready to demonstrate project management skills in many of the following areas:

  • Developing and managing to a schedule
  • Developing and managing to a budget
  • Product Assurance and Quality Assurance knowledge
  • Experienced in technical contract management


TMT offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package, including impressive retirement plans. If you are interested in applying for employment with TMT, please apply online. 

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.


14 January 2022
13 February 2022
Bachelor's Degree
Advanced Manufacturing