The universe awaits

Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineer
  • Full-Time
  • Engineering
Tucson, AZ
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.

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.


Primary Mirror Subsystem


Primary Mirror Subsystem Manager


The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) project is seeking a Mechanical Engineer to join the Primary Mirror Subsystem (M1S) team who are responsible for the active optics, static support, and thermal control systems of the primary mirror. The active optics control system consists of pneumatic actuators that support the weight and controls figure error of the mirror segments and linear actuators that position the mirror segments. Additionally, thermal figure error is controlled by actively regulating each mirror segment temperature using air handler units with CO2 refrigerant.  The M1S team is currently testing the prototype active optics control system and preparing for bench testing of the prototype air handler unit. The M1S team is seeking an entry to mid-level Mechanical Engineer to help with upcoming integration and test activities, incorporating lessons learned, qualifying the updated designs with prototype regression testing, preparing for the final design review, and supporting production.

The Mechanical Engineer will be responsible for mechanical design, analysis, drafting, hand-on-integration, and fabrication oversight of assigned mechanical assemblies and support equipment. This role will support Test Cell integration and test activities occurring at the University of Arizona Tech Park in Tucson, AZ. This role will support preparation of lessons learned workshops, incorporating lessons learned into the design, updating requirement documents, and releasing drawings leading up to the Final Design Review. The Mechanical Engineer will also support the M1S control system production and integration at the site in Chile. This position will work closely with cross-functional engineering and partner organizations and the mechanical engineering team within the M1S team.

The successful candidate must have the aptitude to work in multidisciplinary teams that deliver complex, high-precision mechanical systems. This position will be responsible for producing SolidWorks 3D models and 2D drawings using full ANSI Y14.5 GD&T and supporting hands-on lab prototype development and testing. This position will also be responsible for producing technical reports, requirements documentation, statements of work, and presentations in their area of responsibility at project meetings and design reviews. The candidate must be capable of working closely with suppliers, partners, and other technical teams to design, develop, and procure the various subassemblies within the system. The candidate is expected to be a motivated self-starter who can work with engineers to resolve technical problems, establish approaches for solutions, and complete product development scope of work on-time and within budget.


  • Update requirements documentation, interface control documents, 3D models, 2D detailed drawings using GD&T, and specifications of assigned the M1S hardware.
  • Participate in the procurement process for engineering services and fabrication of these systems, including identification of potential vendors/suppliers, preparation of technical specifications and statements of works, participation in the selection process, and overseeing fabrication.
  • Participate in integration, test, and resolving and dispositioning of non-compliances of mechanical systems in the laboratory and on the telescope.
  • Write and/or review procedures for assembly and test operations for component level and assembly level mirror support components and the thermal control system. Analyze results and document in test reports.
  • Ensure compliance with GMT quality assurance and safety requirements within their area of responsibility.
  • Write technical reports and prepare and deliver technical presentations.
  • Evaluation and checking of technical drawings.
  • Prepare and present at design reviews
  • Ensure the consistent application of engineering best practices and that all activities undertaken under your control are conducted to common standards in accordance with GMTO processes.


  • BS in Mechanical Engineering or equivalent is required
  • Background in structural design, drafting, solid-modeling, and FEM analysis
  • Experience working in cross-functional teams, is collaborative, and a team player
  • Possess good written and verbal communication skills
  • Listens effectively and possess initiative to accomplish assigned tasks in a timely fashion
  • Experience with GD&T
  • Familiar with CAD/CAM tools: SolidWorks preferred
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Familiar with working with machine shops and manufacturing subcontractors
  • Familiar with quality control, process improvement, and value engineering
  • Self-starter, ability to work with minimum supervision and deal with ambiguity


  • 5 years of related experience
  • MS degree in Mechanical Engineering or equivalent technical discipline with experience in design and construction of precision mechanical and electro-optic systems
  • Experience in ground base telescope mirror cell design, production, integration, and test a plus
  • Knowledge of precision pneumatic actuator systems
  • Knowledge of HVAC systems for thermal control of the primary mirror
  • Knowledge of thermal control systems
  • Knowledge of product and quality assurance requirements for optical systems


  • Periodic travel between Tucson and Pasadena required
  • Occasional trips to suppliers and Chile when production cell integration begins
  • Normal office environment


  • Ability to work at an altitude of 8,200 feet for extended periods


  • 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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