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Manager/Software Scientist

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Position Details

Position Information

Title Manager/Software Scientist
Department Large Binocular Telescope Obs (0463)
Location Main Campus
Position Summary

With two 8.4m mirrors on a common mount that can be combined to form an interferometer with an effective aperture of 23m, complemented with adaptive secondary mirrors, the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is the largest optical telescope in operation. Providing unprecedented ground-based resolution at near- and mid-infrared wavelengths, the LBT is a forerunner of the Extremely Large Telescopes. With a suite of state of the art instruments nearing completion, the observatory is moving to full operation while adding new capabilities such as ground-layer AO and new AO-fed instrumentation.

The LBT Observatory (LBTO) is headquartered on the Tucson campus of the University of Arizona and the telescope itself is located on Mt Graham (3200m), a 3.5-hour drive from campus.

LBTO is seeking a Manager/ Software Scientist who will lead the LBTO Software and Systems Administration Group at the observatory. As the principal of this group, the successful candidate will serve as a member of the LBTO management team and Observatory Council.

The main responsibility of the Manager/ Software Scientist is to create, guide, and manage the vision for software/ IT support at the observatory. This involves collaborative coordination with multi-disciplinary teams, to include Engineering, Mountain Support, Science Operations, Business Office, and the Director. It includes full life-cycle development, performance related monitoring and enhancements, and support for new instrument developments at the observatory. The Manager/ Software Scientist will manage day-to-day software/IT development and operations functions, and perform regular planning, scheduling, and budget oversight for the group.

This group consists of approximately 7 dedicated software developers and 2 systems administrators. Software development and maintenance support for Telescope Control System (TCS), Adaptive Optics (AO) software, facility instrument software, and Operations Support tools are all included. IT maintenance and troubleshooting support includes responsibilities for the Tucson office environment and two computer rooms at the telescope facility on Mt Graham.

The TCS is an object-oriented, distributed system written in C++ and consisting of a number of autonomous subsystems running on Linux platforms.

Facility Instrument software has been written in C/C++, Java, and Python by observatory partner institutions. This software has subsequently been delivered to the observatory for long term maintenance and enhancement by the software group. Also included in this category is Adaptive Optics software and Laser Guide Star subsystem software.

Coordination with external instrument and adaptive optics software teams is required. Preparation of software group annual budgets requests and budget monitoring is part of the job.

It is an organizational goal to maintain and further develop a professional software development environment at the observatory. This includes interface control, documentation, build and configuration control, requirements management, and a formal release process. The incumbent will be expected to actively promote best-practice software standards, tools, and methods at the observatory.

While the position is based in Tucson, significant amounts of work will occur at the LBTO site on Mt. Graham at an elevation of 10,470 ft.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

Accepting a new position is a big life step. We want potential candidates and their families to be able to make informed decisions. Candidates who are considering relocation to the Tucson or Phoenix area, and have been offered an on-site interview, are encouraged to use the free services offered by Above & Beyond Relocation Services (ABRS).Ask your department contact to be introduced to ABRS prior to your visit.

The University of Arizona has been listed by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers in the United States and WorldatWork and the Arizona Department of Health Services have recognized us for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona, please click here.

Duties & Responsibilities
  • Supervision of a team of professional software developers, directing the evolution of the team as the LBTO moves deeper into science operations with responsibilities for newly added facility instruments and performance related improvements.
  • Supervision of network, LInux and Windows system administrators, to include planning for maintenance and upgrades of network and computer hardware.
  • Provide leadership for maintenance, testing, and documentation, and upgrades for the TCS.
  • Maintenance and enhancement/upgrade of the inherited LBTO instrument control software packages. This involves building and maintaining productive relationships with the software groups of the various LBTO partner instrument teams.
  • Maintain and actively promote existing software and hardware standards.
  • Extract software development requirements from high-level functional and performance requirements.
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities
Minimum Qualifications
  • B.S. degree in Computer Science, Astronomy or a related field.
  • At least seven (7) years of experience in large telescope projects or similar scientific facilities.
  • Experience with project planning, including both development and management of budgets and schedules.
  • Experience with distributed software development, with a good understanding of configuration management and quality control procedures.
  • Experience creating written documents and reports, and oral presentations as required by management.
  • Ability to think and work at 10,500-foot altitude and lift 50 lbs.
  • Ability to drive according to the University Fleet Safety Policy.
Preferred Qualifications
  • M.S. or PhD degree in Computer Science, Astronomy, or related field.
  • Fifteen (15) years, or more, of experience with large telescope projects or similar scientific facilities.
  • Experience and capability in recruiting skilled software developers.
FLSA Exempt
Full Time/Part Time Full Time
Number of Hours Worked per Week 40
Job Category Administrative and Professional
Benefits Eligible Yes - Full Benefits
Posted Rate of Pay DOE
Type of criminal background check required: Name-based criminal background check (non-security sensitive)

Posting Detail Information

Posting Number A22115
Number of Vacancies One
Desired Start Date 12/04/2017
Position End Date (if temporary)
Limited to Current UA Employees No
Contact Information for Candidates

Gene Gardner

Open Date 10/05/2017
Close Date
Open Until Filled Yes
Review Begins On 10/30/2017
Special Instructions to Applicant
Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. We translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we encourage diverse candidates to apply, including people of color, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

Quick Link for Internal Postings

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Where did you first learn about this position?
    • Arizona Daily Star
    • Arizona Republic
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • Department of Economic Security (DES)
    • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
    • Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
    • Jobing.Com
    • LinkedIn
    • Local Job Banks
    • Pima County One-Stop
    • Professional Conference
    • Professional journal/publication
    • Referred by UA Employee
    • Invited by Dept to Apply
    • UA Website
    • Other
  2. * Do you have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science, Astronomy or related field and at least 7 years experience in large telescope projects or similar scientific facilities?
    • Yes
    • No

Documents Needed to Apply

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
Optional Documents