US-ELTP Software System Architect

Job Summary

Science Engineering
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

The United States Extremely Large Telescope Program (US-ELTP) is a joint initiative of the organizations building the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), and the National Science Foundation’s National Optical and Infrared Laboratory (NOIRLab). The goals of the US-ELTP are to complete construction of both telescopes, guaranteeing at least 25% of available observing time to US-based researchers, and providing world-class user services from proposal generation to final data exploration and publication tools.

Essential Functions:

The NOIRLab US-ELTP is looking for an experienced and talented Software System Architect to work with a growing team of scientists and engineers with extensive domain knowledge to establish and improve the scalable and extensible architecture of the US-ELTP user services platform. The platform will enable a broad, inclusive community of individuals and groups who wish to maximize the scientific output of the facilities to produce ground-breaking scientific advances from the GMT and TMT. The software and underlying infrastructure will prepare and submit proposals to use the observatories; manage time allocation processes; create detailed plans and adaptive schedules to acquire the requested observations; enable the transfer and storage of data from the two telescopes; produce standard data products from raw data; support exploratory data analysis; and search for and request distribution of data of interest.

The Software System Architect should have significant experience collaborating closely and effectively with distributed team members, and be technically proficient, with hands-on experience as an Architect and as a full-stack developer. The right candidate has been a successful developer yet has a systems-oriented mindset and a knack for collaborating to make clear and effective architectural decisions to move system designs forward.

Other Functions:. 

  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • 7+ years as a software architect with hands-on, full-stack object-oriented software engineering experience, such as Python, Java, C++
  • Experience with the design and/or implementation of large, distributed, relational and non-relational data storage systems and elucidating their relevant data models
  • Strong understanding of API development and related tooling, incl. REST and GraphQL
  • Strong understanding of primary front- and backend architectural patterns supporting scalable and extensible full-stack services
  • Experience with microservices, including their provisioning and orchestration, and a strong understanding of the tradeoffs between Kubernetes and non-Kubernetes solutions
  • Experience with event-driven, containerized, and workflow-based architectural elements
  • Strong understanding/experience with streaming technologies (e.g., Kafka) and/or queue-based messaging (pub/sub, e.g., RabbitMQ)
  • Experience architecting for on-premises systems and in commercial clouds (Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure)
  • Strong collaboration and clear communication skills, especially with talented technical and scientific peers
  • Ability to develop clear, unambiguous architectural diagrams and designs linked to requirements
  • Proven ability to lead integrated technical teams through challenging technical discussions resulting in effective solutions and approaches
  • Bachelor’s degree

Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Familiarity with astronomical data and user services
  • Familiarity with ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010 and SEI Views and Beyond
  • Familiarity with UML and/or SysML and their application to software architecture
  • Experience building systems supporting scientific research
  • Successful line management experience, for example as an engineering or architecture lead
  • Master’s degree

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; and talk or hear.
  • The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; reach with hands and arms and stoop; kneel; crouch; or crawl.
  • The employee must regularly lift and /or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.
  • Must possess - sufficient mobility, strength, or dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to a) reach upward, sideways, downward to work with paper files; b) sufficient mobility and dexterity to utilize computer systems, fax machines, copiers, and other office machines.
  • Must possess – 1) ability to read and understand instructions, drawings, safety guides, and other written materials necessary to perform job; 2) sufficient visual capacity to perform the applicable functions without assistance of visual aids other than eye contacts or eye glasses; 3) sufficient spoken aural capacity to hear and understand instructions, warning bells, fire alarms, or shouted instructions without assistance of auditory aids other than a hearing aid; and 4) ability to impart information orally so that others understand and can respond appropriately
  • Some travel may be necessary in or outside the contiguous United States.

While the preferred location is Hilo, Hawaii or La Serena, Chile, the job can be performed remotely from Chile or the US states that AURA operates in: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, D.C. Other options might be discussed.

The position will remain open until filled. To be considered in the first round of reviews, please submit your application by March 20, 2023.

Please enter 3 professional references in your application (references will only be contacted later in the recruitment process) and attach: a cover letter and a CV or resume, PDF files preferred. Please name any attachments with the following format: Lastname Docname.

Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to [email protected].

Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process should request assistance at [email protected]

AURA offers an excellent benefits package including paid time off and retirement plan contributions, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a very attractive work environment. Details on benefits can be found at

COVID-19 Policy Update: AURA has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy that requires all employees to be vaccinated including being up to date on boosters, unless qualified for an exemption based on medical or religious reasons. All new employees will be required to comply with this policy and will be required to present proof of full vaccination or submit a completed request (including supporting documents, if applicable) for an exemption at least five (5) business days prior to their start of employment. Individuals who fail to meet this deadline may have their employment start date delayed. This is a requirement for all employees working onsite or from home (telework or hybrid remote work schedule). Currently the vaccination requirement does not apply to any future AURA employees working in Chile, regardless of their nationality or type of contract.

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2023 Mar 08
Application Deadline
2023 Apr 05
Reference Code