The universe awaits

Mechanical Design Engineer

Telescope Structures
  • Full-Time
  • Engineering
Pasadena, CA
Temporary remote work due to COVID-19
Position code


The Giant Magellan Telescope is the most powerful ground-based telescope ever engineered. It was designed to push the boundaries of human knowledge and discover the unknown. With unmatched image quality, seven of the world’s largest mirrors will launch our view into the universe to uncover the cosmic mysteries of dark matter, investigate the origins of chemical elements, and search for signs of life on distant exoplanets for the first time.

The 30-meter class telescope is under construction at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert, one of the best locations on Earth to view the heavens. From this unrivaled vantage into the southern sky, the Giant Magellan Telescope will produce the sharpest and most detailed images ever taken of our universe, ten times greater than the famed Hubble Space Telescope and four times the James Webb Space Telescope.

When complete in the late 2020s, the Giant Magellan Telescope will be the largest public-private funded science project in history. The endeavor was founded by an international consortium of leading universities and research institutions representing five countries, and is managed by the GMTO Corporation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Pasadena, California. Our culture is impactful, inclusive, and fearlessly innovative. We solve the most difficult engineering challenges and scientific questions with talented individuals who share a passion for revolutionizing humanity’s knowledge of the universe.

We invite you to join our team and leave your mark on astronomy’s future and beyond.

The Universe Awaits.


Telescope Structures


Telescope Structures Manager


Reporting to the Telescope Structures Manager, the Mechanical Design Engineer will be a member of the team engaged in the design and fabrication of the telescope structure. They will be responsible for (1) developing, reviewing, and maintaining requirements, (2) formulating design concepts and subsystem interfaces, (3) developing structures and mechanisms design solutions, and (4) reviewing progress of the design-build contractors including designs and analyses, shop inspection, progress validation and fabrication surveillance.

Duties will be performed at a high level with only general supervision and direction. The Mechanical Design Engineer will be called upon to write technical reports and make presentations in their area of responsibility.


The Mechanical Design Engineer will:

  • Develop and maintain requirements and interfaces for the telescope structure and its subsystems.
  • Provide engineering design of structural components of the telescope using static, dynamic and seismic solutions.
  • Conceptualize, develop, and complete detailed designs of hardware for various mechanical applications that address requirements and constraints.
  • Review, evaluate, and report vendor design and drawings.
  • Review, evaluate, and sign off design drawings of others (including contractors) for adherence to layouts, specifications, and complex engineering drafting standards.
  • Document results in technical reports, notes and presentations at reviews and meetings, and maintain updated documentation in a configuration management system.
  • Prepare and deliver presentations at reviews and meetings.


The Mechanical Design Engineer will work closely with others to:

  • Monitor, review and confirm the designs and analyses of the structure by contractors, to ensure designs meet functional, performance, and appropriate design code requirements.
  • Provide oversight of the fabrication of the telescope mount structural elements and subsystems at US and international vendor sites and at the GMT site in Chile.
  • Provide scope and schedule planning for tasks.
  • Interact productively with vendors, customers, and other associates outside the work unit.


  • B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering.
  • Minimum of 3 years of relevant experience in the design of dynamic structures
  • Incorporate advanced knowledge of 3D CAD modeling of design concepts using Solid Works CAD software.
  • Working knowledge of structural steel, concrete, and aluminum.
  • Working knowledge of connection design, member sizing, field construction, inspection and assembly.
  • Working knowledge of motors, bearings, brakes, and drives.
  • Proficient in use of SolidWorks (CAD) and 3D modeling.
  • Experience with finite element modeling and analysis (FEM/FEA)
  • Experience in creating and reading design drawings from the conceptual level through fabrication/shop phases
  • Experience and ability to prepare documents, reports, and oral presentations.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in a group setting.
  • Working knowledge of and practical application of the ASME Y14.5M Dimensioning and Tolerancing standards.
  • Previous experience working on large scale construction projects.
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Willingness and ability to travel to foreign and domestic vendor, partner, and observatory locations during the GMT design and fabrication phases.


  • Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering or a closely related field
  • Previous experience working on ground-based telescope systems


  • Medical insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • 401(k)


To apply send your resume and a cover letter to

If your skills and experience are a match for the position or if we need additional information, we will contact you. If we do not see a suitable match between your qualifications and the position, we will keep your information on file in the event future positions become available that are more suitable to your qualifications.

The GMTO Corporation is an equal employment opportunity employer.

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