Telescope Operations Engineer

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 a Telescope Operations Engineer to work at the twin 6.5m Magellan Telescopes at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. The Observatories operate the Magellan telescopes on behalf of a consortium of universities, as well as a suite of telescopes, 2.5 meter and smaller.

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.

Websites:; and

Job Description:

Responsibilities and task:

We are seeking a highly skilled and motivated Telescope Operations Engineer to work with a team of scientists, programmers, engineers and technicians in an engineering and project support role for the Magellan Telescopes. Duties include operations support, assist in development and completion of telescope projects including active mirror support and other telescope control systems, assisting in managing observatory projects. The candidate will be expected to contribute to the update and maintenance of manuals, operation procedures and software, document troubleshooting methods for known issues, establish best practice procedures and report daily activities. The work responsibilities will be carried out on a nominal shift schedule of eight days on six days off. Some international travel may be required.


  • An advanced degree in engineering, astronomy or physics.
  • Experience in operations support and troubleshooting for an astronomical observatory or similar scientific environment.
  • Experience in optical systems, active or adaptive optics.
  • Programming expertise including analysis and control algorithms (Python preferred)
  • Systems engineering or project management experience a plus.

Skills/ abilities:

  • Analytic and organizational skills, ability to learn quickly and show above-average initiative.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Spanish, including technical reports and protocol documents.
  • A valid driver’s license (B).
  • Ability to work at 2300 meters.

A pplication 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:

Only electronic applications submitted through our website will be considered. Thank you for submitting your application by clicking the "Apply Now" button below.
Please include the desired salary range in the application form.

Applicants are encouraged to apply by 01 May, 2023, when application review will begin. However, the position will remain open until filled. Only select candidates who meet our requirements will be contacted.

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.

Note: The hiring will be through a national contract in Chile, at the Las Campanas Observatory. Therefore, you must be able to be authorized to work in Chile (Chilean nationality, residence visa or visa subject to a work contract).

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