Operations Engineer/Scientist

Las Campanas Observatory (LCO), Chile. This is a full time position based at LCO, Chile.

The Carnegie Observatories, a department of the Carnegie Institution for Science and a non-profit, world-class astronomical institution with offices located in Pasadena, California, is seeking an Operations Engineer/Scientist  to work at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.  Carnegie astronomers and researchers representing a wide international consortium of institutions have initiated SDSS-V, an ambitious, multi-year, integrated visible and near-infrared spectroscopic survey including the Milky Way Mapper (MWM), Black Hole Mapper (BHM), and Local Volume Mapper (LVM) projects. The MWM and BHM surveys employ new state-of-the-art, robotic, multi-optical fiber positioners on the 2.5-meter telescopes at both LCO and at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico to feed the APOGEE and BOSS spectrographs. The Operations Engineer/Scientist will join our staff at LCO to support operations at the duPont 2.5m and Swope 1m telescopes and participate in these exciting, world-class, wide field survey programs.

 LCO offices and administrative headquarters are located in the coastal resort city of La Serena, while the observatory facilities are located 160 km north of La Serena at the southern extremity of the Atacama desert in the Andes mountains. 


  • https://www.lco.cl;
  • http://obs.carnegiescience.edu
  • http://carnegiescience.edu

Job Description:

The successful candidate will work with a team of scientists, programmers,engineers and technicians to maintain and support operation of the Carnegie telescopes and existing and forthcoming instrumentation and facilities associated with wide field, optical fiber-fed, spectroscopic surveys. 

The work responsibilities will be carried out on a nominal shift schedule of eight days on and 6 days off, following integration into the role adopting a weekly schedule on site Monday-Friday. Some international travel may be required.


  • An advanced degree in astronomy, physics or engineering.
  • Experience in operations support and troubleshooting for an astronomical observatory or similar scientific environment.
  • Computing expertise in a Mac OSX /Linux environment including experience with Python and/or similar high level programming is desired.
  • Ability to communicate and cooperate in a team environment.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English,including technical reports and protocol documents.
  • Knowledge of Spanish is an asset.
  • Organizational skills as well as the ability to learn quickly and show above-average initiative. 
  • A valid driver’s license. 
  • Desirable previous experience in observatory operations or astronomical instrumentation laboratory; experience with optical fiber maintenance and astronomical spectrographs and familiarity with survey observing techniques and data analysis and monitoring software.

 Application Process:

Carnegie is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Complete job description is contained in this advertisement – no phone calls please. Email address for inquiries about job: dosip@carnegiescience.edu

Only electronic applications submitted through our website will be considered. Thank you for submitting your application by clicking the "Apply Now" button below.

Please, necessarily include in the application form, the desired salary range.

Applicants are encouraged to apply by January 9, 2023, when application review will begin. However, the position will remain open until filled. Only select candidates who meet our requirements will be contacted.

Apply Now


At Carnegie, we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive community. We believe academic environments should be places where diverse groups of people with a variety of viewpoints and ideas can thrive and work together. As such, we encourage applicants from under-represented groups and backgrounds to apply.

The Carnegie Institution is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration of employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, veteran status or any other protected group status.

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