AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all qualified candidates.
INTRODUCTION: SAO is at the forefront, internationally, of the scientific exploration of the universe. Its programs range from ground-based astronomy and astrophysics research to space-based research, the engineering and development of major scientific instrumentation for space launch and use in large ground-based facilities, and research designed to improve science education. The research objectives of SAO are carried out primarily with the support of Government and Smithsonian Institution funds, with additional philanthropic support. Government funds are in the form of Federal appropriations or the form of contracts and grants from other agencies. In contrast, Institution funds are available to SAO through grants from the Institution's Restricted Funds, Special Purpose Funds, Bureau Activities, Business Activities, and non-Federal contracts and grants.
PURPOSE OF THE POSITION: The Computer Engineer's primary focus will be providing engineering support, predominately in software development, to projects in the Central Engineering Department of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO).
Duties at the grade 12 may include but are not limited to:
- Functions as a computer engineer with a focus on software development across the various astrophysics-based research, operational, and instrumentation projects which the Central Engineering department supports at CfA. Participates in and leads code reviews to maintain a high standard of code quality across CfA.
- Develops real-time, embedded device control software and high-performance data processing pipelines with web-based user interfaces.
- Leads the development of project software as an independent contributor, responsible for the project software schedule, delivering software which meets requirements both on time and within budget.
- Collaborates with scientists and engineers of other disciplines on projects. Provides software expertise where needed to inform non-software design decisions. Incorporates feedback from colleagues of other disciplines into software designs. Participates in system-level and software design reviews at all stages of design, including preliminary design, critical design, assembly, system integration, and commissioning.
- Writes software requirements. Validates and verifies software requirements through inspection, testing, and analysis.
- Documents software for both peer software developers and users of the software. Documentation includes both diagrams (UML, SysML), text, and code comments.
- Provides a good level of customer support to colleagues and other software users. Performs troubleshooting and failure analysis and provides long term support for projects.
- Develops software tests, including unit and regression tests, which are used to verify requirements and measure system performance.
Duties at the grade 13 will include those at the grade 12 in addition to the following:
- Functions as a senior computer engineer with a focus on software development across the various astrophysics-based research, operational, and instrumentation projects which the Central Engineering department supports at CfA. Leads code reviews to maintain a high standard of code quality across CfA.
- Develops real-time, embedded device control software and high-performance data processing pipelines with web-based user interfaces. Reviews the work of junior engineers.
(A) Degree: professional engineering. To be acceptable, the curriculum must: (1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or
(2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.
(B) Combination of education and experience--college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering.
Basic qualification requirements can be found at https://www.opm.gov/qualifications/SEC-IV/A/GS-PROF.asp and https://www.opm.gov/qualifications/SEC-IV/B/GS0800/0800.htm.
In addition to the Basic Requirements, applicants must meet the following requirements:
Grade 12: One year of professional experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to grade 11 level. Specialized experience for this position would typically include: Specialized experience may include designing software using modern programming languages to meet functional and performance requirements, documentation of designs in both text and SysML/UML diagrams, real-time device control, data processing, web application programming and/or formal software testing to verify that requirements are met.
Grade 13: One year of professional experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to grade 12 level. Specialized experience would typically include: designing software using modern programming languages to meet functional and performance requirements, documentation of designs in both text and SysML/UML diagrams, real-time device control, data processing, web application programming and/or formal software testing to verify that requirements are met.
This position has a mandatory education requirement; you must furnish a copy of your transcript of college work completed (unofficial copy is acceptable) or a copy of your degree certificate. Non-submission may result in you being rated ineligible for the position.
Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.
.Application Procedures: We are only accepting online applications for this position. To apply please visit USAJOBS
Conditions of Employment:
- Successful completion of a pre-employment background investigation.
- A one-year probationary period is required.
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.