The universe awaits

Senior Systems Engineer, SEF

Site, Enclosure and Facilities
  • 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.


Site, Enclosure and Facilities (SEF)


Site, Enclosure and Facilities (SEF) Manager


Under limited supervision the Site, Enclosure and Facilities (SEF) Systems Engineer will report to the SEF Element Manager. The successful candidate will work within the SEF team and will coordinate with the Project Systems Engineering team to lead the systems engineering functions in the SEF element.

Typical responsibilities for this position will include development and management of requirements and traceability from GMT system-level requirements for the site infrastructure, enclosure, and facilities (SEF), associated subsystem requirements, definition and management of functional and performance requirements and their associated verification methods, documentation of verification methods and verification results, management of performance allocations and error budgets for SEF subsystems, and management of SEF interface control documents (ICD) through the design, fabrication, construction, integration, verification, and early operational phases.

Other responsibilities will include identification, application, and management of industry standards for design, fabrication, and construction specifications, including development of requirements for quality, Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, Safety (RAMS), testing, and operations.

The SEF Systems Engineer will develop AIV (Assembly, Integration, and Verification) and commissioning plans and processes, and will support design and construction contractors in the development of AIV and commissioning plans for the SEF subsystems (e.g., mechanisms, structures, and control systems).

In addition, this position will coordinate and collaborate with multiple GMT element teams including Telescope Structures, Systems Engineering, Optics and Opto-Mechanics, and Science Instruments.

The selected candidate will be called upon to write programmatic and technical reports and make presentations in their area of responsibility at project reviews and conferences.


  • Derive and manage site, enclosure, and facilities system and subsystem requirements, internal and external interfaces, Interface Control Documents (ICDs), analyzing enclosure system and subsystem performance, generating and maintaining error analyses and error budgets
  • Prepare, maintain, and execute element-level AIV, commissioning, RAMS, and quality assurance plans
  • Manage SE documentation and configuration control for the site, enclosure, and facilities
  • Prepare technical reports to document the design and performance of the SEF systems and subsystems
  • Prepare and deliver programmatic and technical presentations at reviews and conferences
  • Lead the development of top-down and bottom-up system and subsystem performance estimates and allocations
  • Lead the development and coordinate the execution of the SEF AIV and commissioning plans


  • A bachelor’s degree in physics, engineering, or equivalent technical discipline
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience with execution of systems engineering functions for complex structural, mechanical, electrical, electronic, and software-controlled systems
  • Demonstrated experience and expertise with systems engineering tools and processes appropriate to the development of large and complex remotely operated systems
  • Demonstrated experience with organization of CAD (Computer Aided Design)/PDM (Product Data Management) systems, managing documentation and configuration control systems
  • Demonstrated experience with AIV and commissioning of large-scale technical programs
  • Knowledge and experience executing systems engineering efforts according to international standards e.g., INCOSE (International Council On Systems Engineering), ISO (International Organizational Standards), and/or IEC (International Electrical Technical Commission 15288:2008)
  • Strong analytical ability with demonstrated written and oral communication skills in English
  • Demonstrated leadership and management skills
  • Flexibility to work outside of core business hours and travel to GMTO member locations, vendor premises and the GMT site in Chile when necessary to accomplish goals.
  • Ability to work at an altitude of 8000 feet for extended periods


  • M.S. or Ph.D. degree in Physics, Engineering, or an equivalent technical discipline with 10 years of relevant experience with systems engineering for large and complex systems
  • 5 years of experience with ground-based telescopes or systems of comparable complexity
  • Intermediate to advanced ability with written and spoken Spanish (e.g., CEFR B1-C1)
  • Experience with computerized systems engineering management tools (e.g., DOORS)
  • Experience with Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools and processes (e.g., BIM360)


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



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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