Argus Array Project Engineer

Job Summary

Science Engineering
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement
In-Person Location(s)

Chapel Hill, NC
United States

Job Description

The Argus Array will be the first large optical telescope array, with a light collecting area equivalent to a 5-meter telescope and a 55-gigapixel digital camera which will be the largest ever built. The Array will push our observations of the universe into a new regime, scanning the sky 100,000x faster than current nightly-cadence sky surveys. Argus will capture a continuous two-color, 55-gigapixel movie of the night sky, shared with the entire astronomical community in real-time through public transient alerts, images, and light curves with millions of epochs for hundreds of millions of stars.

Joining our team of astronomers, telescope-instrumentalists and data scientists, you will be responsible for the Argus Array’s project management. Three years of prototyping efforts have developed and validated the system design and all major subsystems; we are now funded to scale up to the full Argus Array. This scale up involves the design and construction of the system’s external enclosure and tracking mount; the at-scale production of the telescope assemblies; construction of the array’s computing cluster, and the final assembly and commissioning of the Array. Major components of the Array, including the optical and sensor assemblies and the telescope cradle, will be manufactured by contractors under your supervision, in collaboration with the Argus Array Director and project team.

Our project management philosophy emphasizes a small and local team; flat management structure; and a highly-collaborative working environment. We routinely produce prototypes and complex hardware in-house, and all members of the team can expect to perform significant hands-on engineering for Argus subsystems. Array deployment sites currently under consideration include mountaintop observatories in North America, the Chilean Andes, and the Canary Islands. The expected timescale for this position is four years, with possibility of extension to further projects.

Learn more about the project here:


Leading the coordination, project management and oversight of the Argus Array hardware engineering program, including the design, manufacturing, construction, safety, quality management, risk and project schedule.

Participating in the development of hardware components of the system (adaptable with experience and qualifications), in collaboration with project staff and graduate students.

Managing project documentation and participating in external design reviews.

Management of the site preparation and array deployment program and leading the on-site engineering commissioning of the array.

Required Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience:

We are searching for an experienced engineer with at least ten years of construction/fabrication project management experience; at least four of those years in a lead management role. You don’t have to have astronomy experience, but leadership experience in complex technical projects is required.

Preferred Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience:

Understanding of structural, mechanical, electrical, and infrastructure systems.

Experience at working with and overseeing contractors and vendors, especially in on-site construction.

Qualifications in engineering project management.

Mechanical and/or electrical engineering experience.

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation Notes

Industry-competitive compensation dependent on experience.

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2024 Mar 14
Application Deadline
2024 Apr 15


Nicholas Law