Career Opportunities with Gemini Observatory

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At Gemini we seek individuals who are deeply committed and dedicated to exploring the universe and sharing its wonders. Our success stems from our globally diverse team in Hawaii and Chile, combined with the strong foundation provided by our international partners. You will find a challenging environment with innovative people, operating in a supportive culture that fosters collaboration and teamwork.


Administration and Facilities Admin & Facilities Manager - Hilo, Hawaii

Engineering Systems Engineering Manager

High Level Management Head of Engineering Operations - Gemini South

Information Systems IT Intern

Instrumentation Electronics & Detector Engineer

Project Manager

Science Gemini Science Fellows

Administration and Facilities

Admin & Facilities Manager - Hilo, Hawaii

  • Location: Hilo, Hawaii
  • Deadline for Application:
  • Job Code: ADM402P

The Administration and Facilities Manager is responsible for ensuring the functionality of all Gemini’s outside-the-dome infrastructure, integrating these sites’ processes and technology for the benefit of Gemini’s operations and people, and for the delivery of high quality administrative services to the Gemini staff and user community. The infrastructure for which this role is responsible has a total footprint of 34,000 square feet and comprises the Observatory’s staff and visitor offices, its principal instrument laboratories, its main computing rooms, base facility control rooms, lecture hall, conference rooms, kitchen facilities,  restrooms and shower, landscaped gardens and the Observatory’s vehicle fleet, in Hilo - Hawaii. The administrative areas for which the role is responsible includes support to the Operations and Development functional areas (telescope-related administrative tasks; tasks, meetings etc.); Directorate support; Visitor support; Fleet services; Building-related administrative services (conference room bookings, mail, etc.), interaction with shared services providers, and the AURA Corporate Travel Department, which provides in-house travel ticketing, hotel and rental car bookings etc.

Education Required: Minimum:  A business degree is required combined with excellent previous administrative/facility and supervisory experience. Further education qualifications or equivalent experience] in facilities management, LEED training and certification, performance improvement methodologies (e.g. lean thinking, 6 Sigma), project management or information technology is very advantageous.

Experience Required: Previous successful supervisory experience at least five years] ideally in a fast-moving business; ideally customer-facing environment; ideally in a high-tech sector. Previous facilities management, LEED, project management, performance improvement or web development experience would be very valuable
Skills Required: Good organizational and supervisory skills. High degree of professionalism, discretion. Sound business ethics. Cool head. Excellent interpersonal skills and written and verbal communication skills. Knowledge of AutoCAD and facilities software a plus. A basic understanding of webpages and usability issues is highly desirable.
Good planning and organizational skills and ability to prioritize tasks. Excellent telephone etiquette and customer service skills. Sound business ethics. Meeting skills. Ability to handle multiple tasks and competing demands with minimum of stress and frustration.  Ability to remain calm in tense situations.  Skilled at presenting best image of company at all times. Advanced level knowledge of Microsoft Office products e.g. Excel, Access, PowerPoint, MS Word required. An ability to communicate in Spanish a real plus.

How To Apply | Apply Online


Systems Engineering Manager

  • Location: Hilo, Hawaii or La Serena, Chile
  • Deadline for Application:
  • Job Code: 13-0063

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The Gemini Observatory is recruiting for a Systems Engineering Manager. This position is key to both operations and development activities at Gemini Observatory. The position will lead a Systems Engineering Group(SEG) that supports the high priority, complex projects that cross functional boundaries. The Systems Engineering Manager designs and implements the SE infrastructure to support risk reduction activities such as Requirements Management, Change Management, Interface Management, Documentation Management, Quality Plans, and Integration, Verification and Validation (IV&V) efforts of systems into our continuing operations. The Systems Engineering Manager is expected to work closely with other groups and Project Managers to ensure that SEG support is provided for their projects in a timely and efficient manner. The Systems Engineering Manager also works as a Systems Engineer for Observatory operations and development projects.

Duties and Responsibilities:
• Manage staff in the SEG, including interviewing, hiring, assigning work, training, and coaching to ensure consistent Systems Engineering practice, processes and procedures. Conduct performance evaluations and ensure employees are held accountable for their commitments. Line management duties may change as Gemini evolves its organizational structure.
• Develop and manage a SEG budget that meets the Observatory needs and constraints, ensures the Observatory SE infrastructure is improved or maintained, and allows group members to have sufficient opportunities for training and professional development.
• Develop a strategic plan and necessary infrastructure to ensure the SEG projects are aligned with the Observatorys needs and mission.
• Develop and standardize life-cycle models for operations and development projects taken on by the observatory. Ensure project deliverables are integrated into operations.
• Coordinate and oversee the approach to change, interface, and documentation management at the observatory, making sure the overall operational performance of the associated system is maintained or improved when the inevitable change is required.
• Coordinate the approach to system-level modeling and engineering budgets for errors, performance, and other measures as required.
 • Coordinate and facilitate technical discussions where functionality crosses group areas of responsibilities, and coordinate trade studies when needed. Skills and Abilities:
• Knowledge of systems engineering best practices and procedures as applied in a multidisciplinary observatory environment
• Knowledge of operational systems, the concepts behind the systems, and the stakeholders that interact with them
• Ability to apply systems engineering processes to operational and development activities under known technological constraints
• Ability to apply a holistic lifecycle view to any systems engineering process and at any stage of development, from cradle to grave
• Understanding of systems engineering management issues and how they apply to development efforts
• Ability to use a personal computer and various software applications (including, but not limited to project management, requirements management, system modeling, and word processing)
• Ability to establish priorities, work independently, build and maintain high-performing teams, and proceed with objectives without supervision
• Ability to recognize, handle, and resolve recurring problems
• Excellent communication skills (both written and verbal) are essential Education and Experience Required:
• BS degree or higher level with courses in engineering, physics, mathematics, or astronomy
• Experience of systems engineering in a scientific or industrial environment
• 5- 10 years related experience or equivalent combination of education and experience
• Experience with telescope or aerospace systems is strongly preferred
• Experience with project management techniques.

Must have some knowledge of optics, electronics, software design, cryogenic systems and mechanical design principles.   Must have a good driving record and be able to drive 4-wheel drive vehicles.  Must take and pass a high altitude physical to be able to work at 4300-meter (14,000 feet) elevation.  Must be fluent in English. Some proficiency in Spanish is highly desirable. Some international travel may be required. The position is preferably based at the Gemini North Observatory.

Essential Job Functions:

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, horns 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.


How To Apply | Apply Online

High Level Management

Head of Engineering Operations - Gemini South

  • Location: La Serena, Chile
  • Deadline for Application:
  • Job Code: DOP105P



Position Summary:

Oversees the Gemini South Engineering Operations group and all Gemini South Engineering activities. Ensures that it is responsive to scientific and operational priorities established by the Observatory and coordinated between the Operations and Development groups, and that this support is consistent with the overall scientific mission and budget of the Observatory.

Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Manages all Gemini South Engineers and the Gemini South Site Manager; includes performance assessment, staff training and the development of engineering talent

2. Oversees near- and long-term telescope facilities, instrument maintenance and upgrades

3. Effectively manages staff effort requests originating from Gemini North and requests effort from there as necessary.

4. Supports Development group activities by in particular providing engineering resources to Development activities enabling instruments to meet technical specifications and be delivered within budget and on schedule.

5 Conducts on-going evaluations of engineering operations activities.

7. Develops appropriate instrument maintenance and improvement costs and scope with the Associate Director of Development 

8. Plans to provide supporting infrastructure and resources to future and current operational instruments and for visiting instruments as needed.

9. Plans and schedules strategic projects; develops strategic management goals

10. Maintains excellent relations with internal and external customers

11. Financial management responsibility: Controls Gemini South Operations Engineering budget and authorizes purchases.



Job Specifications:

Requires high degree of professionalism and discretion. Must possess the skills to build and maintain a high-performing team. Requires the ability to delegate and to give employees a chance to reach their full potential. Must be able to handle conflict in such a way as to maintain productive relationships. Must have the ability to maintain a view of the “big picture” and communicate it to colleagues at all levels. Requires flexibility, adaptability and unflappable demeanor. Ability to reconcile competing demands and ensure that important issues are handled along with emergency or urgent issues. Requires excellent judgment and insight. Frequent international travel required. Must be willing to live in La Serena, Chile.

• Strategic Management: Work with the Associate Directors and the engineering staff to ensure that, at the highest levels the Observatory continues to realize the goal of a single, cohesive, competent, focused, productive Observatory-wide Operations team of the highest quality. Requires a desire and the know-how to drive the effort to make the telescopes the best possible in ground-based astronomy. Responsible for management and planning of strategic, future engineering functions. As a member of Senior Management, will report directly to the Gemini Associate Director of Operations. 

• Operations Management: Responsibilities include oversight of infrastructure and support services required to conduct the day-to-day technical and observing functions of all systems within the telescope enclosures as well as daily and long-term maintenance of telescope facilities and instruments, hardware and software, telescope facility upgrades and instrument development; and engineering interfaces across all levels, internally within the Observatory and externally, as appropriate. Specifically, must provide line management of all engineers in Gemini South Engineering Operations, and for the Cerro Pachon Site Manager.

• Budgetary Management: Manages Gemini South Operations Engineering budget. 

Education Required:

Master’s Degree in Engineering or related discipline required; in exceptional cases, a BS in Engineering with equivalent, relevant experience may substitute for Master’s Degree. PhD in Engineering or Physics would be an advantage.

Experience Required:

Previous experience managing large projects and facilities; background in astronomical observatories, aerospace or similar area helpful; experience managing large software and or adaptive optics programs a plus. Previous experience in astronomical facility highly desirable. Previous experience managing large budgets for large projects required. Proven track record in establishing programs of excellence, innovation and inspiration. Previous experience in managing or overseeing large technical projects, and managing a multidisciplinary engineering team, is desirable.

Skills Required: 

Requires change agent and change management skills; demonstrated ability to work effectively in a team in an operational environment; proven track record in establishing programs of excellence, innovation and inspiration; excellent communication skills; ability to write clearly-worded reports at a level required by Gemini Governance and to develop/deliver clear and inspiring presentations using Power Point or other media/software. Must possess financial and accounting knowledge as well as experience with budgetary management software.

Consensus-building skills; ability to think on feet; requires flexibility and adaptability to work in a fluid environment.  Bilingual (Spanish-English) required. 


How To Apply | Apply Online

Information Systems

IT Intern

  • Location: Hilo
  • Deadline for Application:
  • Job Code: 13-0132

Gemini North has an opening for a 6 month renewable Internship in the Information Systems Group Department to assist in Linux and Mac Systems administration and related technical research and documentation.  The position is part time, averaging between 16-18 hours per week with flexibility on designation of days.

 The successful applicant will be enrolled in an undergraduate program with a major in computer science, management information systems, or similar information systems program or possess applicable experience with strong and broad information technology skill sets including:

 Demonstrated ability to configure, maintain, and troubleshoot Unix, Linux, and Mac OS X operating systems and software.

  1. High level of comfort working in a command line, shell environment, both at a local or remote console.
  2. Demonstrated knowledge of TCP/IP networking concepts and principles.
  3. Ability to work both independently as well as part of a team.
  4. Ability to research problems & present solutions to the team.
  5. Ability to follow written and verbal instructions.
  6. Articulate verbal and written communication skills.
  7. Ability to learn quickly and adapt to changes.
  8. Strong customer service / interpersonal skills.


How To Apply | Apply Online


Electronics & Detector Engineer

  • Location: Hilo, Hawaii
  • Deadline for Application: 04/30/2013
  • Job Code: OPE458T

Gemini Observatory has an immediate opening at its Hilo, Hawaii location for an Electronics/Detector engineer to assume responsibilities in the design, analysis, specification, procurement, integration and testing activities of electronics associated with instrumentation, detectors, and data acquisition systems. The engineer will specifically be attached to the Acquisition & Guiding project (A&G-2) to improve reliability of electronics systems and upgrade of the wave front sensors. As a possible extension, the engineer might be required to lead wave front  sensors work packages for other projects, and consult for science detector upgrades at the Observatory.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Execute electronic activities associated with procurement, characterization and optimization of detector devices and miscellaneous electronics systems..
  2. Support and contribute to new proposals in the field of advanced electronics, detection electronics and data acquisition systems.
  3. Participate in project planning, scheduling, cost estimates and design reviews.
  4. Work independently in small projects or as a team member in larger groups of Scientists and Engineers from various disciplines
  5. Build relationships and communicate with vendors on project status through meetings and visits including the ability to make decisions on technical design tradeoffs. Also communicate the results of these interactions to relevant people within the observatory  through reports and presentations, whenever required.
  6. Perform circuit simulation analysis and support PCB layout activities related to electronic components requirements and design improvements.
  7. Support off site testing of detectors if required.
  8. Provide support in design, simulation, construction and commissioning of new instruments as assigned by Head of instrumentation.

Job Specifications:

The job involves various aspects of working with astronomical instrument front end design, such as: requirements definition, detector selection and conceptual instrument design. The position requires a solid knowledge base of electronics for astronomy, a deep understanding of state of the art detectors, the science requirements needed to operate the instruments, and the instrumentation engineering requirements. Testing, maintenance, characterization and optimization required of focal plane electronics for optical instruments and IR instruments.

Duty station: Hilo, Hawaii (Gemini North).

Position duration: 1 year renewable depending on available budget.

Education Required:

A PhD or Masters degree preferred in Electronics Engineering or related discipline.

Experience Required:

A minimum of five years of experience working on electronics projects associated with detector devices in a multi-disciplinary team environment.

Proven experience with project management principles and disciplines.

Experience with schematic capture, simulation and design tools and the management of vendor relationships.

Several years of experience testing, characterization and optimization of focal plane detector and electronics for optical instruments  in particular CCD, CMOS, EM-CCD and IR instruments leading to successful deployment.

Experience in astronomical Observatory highly desired.

How To Apply | Apply Online

Project Manager

  • Location: Hilo, Hawaii or La Serena, Chile
  • Deadline for Application:
  • Job Code: DEV309T


Description Position Summary:
Plan, execute and control a variety of observatory instrumentation projects according to strict deadlines and within budget. Support specific design and testing activities in a specific engineering field if needed in the projects. This position is for a 3 year term.

Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Perform all phases of project management, from establishing project business need and charter, defining milestones and detailed schedules, acquiring resources and coordinating the efforts of team members, third-party contractors or consultants in order to deliver projects according to plan. The Project Manager also oversees change and quality control throughout the project life cycle. 
2. Provides technical advice and leadership when required for instrumentation projects. This can involve design engineering in one specific area where the candidate is proficient.
3. Develop full-scale project plans and associated communications documents.
Effectively communicate project expectations and progress to team members and stakeholders in a timely and clear fashion. 
4. Draft and submit budget proposals, and recommend subsequent budget changes where necessary.
5. Whenever required, perform resource leveling by negotiating with other department managers for the acquisition of required personnel from within the Observatory. Alternatively, determine and assess need for additional staff and/or consultants and make the appropriate recruitments if necessary during project cycle. 
6. Identify and resolve issues and conflicts within the project team. 
7. Proactively defines and mitigates project risks.
8. Coach, mentor, motivate and supervise project team members and contractors, and influence them to take positive action and accountability for their assigned work. 
9. Resolve technical problems in the Development Division as requested by the Head of Instrumentation or AD of Development
Requirements Education Required:
Bachelors degree in math, computer science, engineering, physics, astronomy or related field. Masters degree preferred in one or more of the above disciplines.
Formal education and certification in project management is required.

Experience Required:
Must have at least 5 years of experience as project manager. 
Previous experience in astronomy environment highly desirable.
Experience in budget tracking a must. 

Skills Required:
Must be proficient with PC computer systems, presentation tools and project management tools like Microsoft Project. 
Ability to create clear and deliver inspiring presentations.
Must have some basic or advanced knowledge in one or more areas of optics, electronics, software design, cryogenic systems and mechanical design principles. 
Excellent communication skills (written and verbal) are essential.
Must be able to foster problem resolution, planning and technical discussions. 


How To Apply | Apply Online


Gemini Science Fellows

  • Location: Hilo, Hawaii
  • Deadline for Application: 06/21/2013
  • Job Code: 13-0065

Gemini has an opening for a Science Fellow at Gemini North, Hilo, Hawaii. Science Fellows at Gemini acquire significant training and experience in large ground-based telescope operations—becoming proficient both in state-of-the-art astronomical instrumentation and research, and in the techniques of modern, queue-based observing methods, pioneered by Gemini Observatory.

Science Fellows at Gemini are actively involved in personal research projects and have fourty percent (40%) of their time available for independent astronomical research, supported by a research budget. In addition, a fraction of the time available on both Gemini telescopes is used for successful peer-reviewed staff proposals.

Science Fellows can expect to spend approximately 15 to 20 nights per semester executing observations on the telescope utilizing any of the three or more active instruments. Science Fellows also support investigators in the community in preparing their observations; and employ queue planning tools to construct nightly observing plans from a large database of potential observations. Science Fellows have the opportunity to become intimately involved in instrumentation projects, data analysis tools, or other observatory development projects, depending on their interests.

The highest demand instruments on Gemini North are the optical multi-object spectrograph GMOS and the near-IR spectrograph GNIRS. Applications are especially encouraged from individuals with prior experience in using and supporting spectroscopic instrumentation in the near-IR. The ideal applicant has experience in both near-IR and optical spectroscopy.

Gemini offers an attractive and competitive salary and benefit package. The duration of Science Fellow positions is three years, with a possible two-year extension. The majority of the successful applicants’ time is spent at the base facility. The Gemini North base facility is located in Hilo, Hawaii, a town with a very diverse population of about 43,000 people, a tropical climate, and a substantial international astronomical community supporting the observatories on Mauna Kea.

Requirements: Ph.D. in astronomy, physics or related discipline. Observational, data analysis and/or instrumentation experience in one or more of the following areas is a plus: near-IR spectroscopy and imaging; optical and multi-object and IFU spectroscopy; adaptive optics and high spatial resolution imaging.

Must be safety conscious; possess or be able to obtain a valid passport; willing and able to travel internationally; possess a valid drivers license with a good driving record; and be able to drive 4WD vehicles.  Applicants must be able to work nights at the altitude of the Mauna Kea summit, 4200 m.

The Gemini Observatory is a partnership of six countries: the USA, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and Chile, conducting forefront astronomical research with 8-m optical/infrared telescopes in Hawaii and Chile.

Send resume, cover letter relating your experience and education to the duties of the position, statement of past and planned research, and a statement of Observatory support interests. All documents are required to be considered for the position. Application materials should be submitted online through the Gemini web site. Arrange to have letters from three professional references submitted by e-mail to  Please include the AAS Job Register number in your cover letter.  Applications will be considered as they are received and all applications received by June 21, 2013 will receive full consideration.  The starting date is negotiable but is expected to be between August and October 2013.

For further information about the positions please contact Dr. Inger Jørgensen, Gemini-North Head of Science Operations (, or Dr. Andy Adamson, Associate Director for Operations ( Further information on Gemini can be found at: .

How To Apply | Apply Online

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Employment FAQs

Employment FAQs

How do I edit my profile?
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When will I hear from you?
How do I check the status of my application?
I was not selected for a position, can I apply for others?
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Do you have internship opportunities?
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  1. Click on Edit Your Profile at the top of the page.
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The Edit Profile option allows you to view your profile and any documents that have been uploaded and attached to your application(s). This is also where you update your information, as well as add and/or delete files. Please note that changes made to your profile affect all applications on file.

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When will I hear from you?
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Application Status Legend
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An Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer Gemini Observatory does not discriminate because of race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual preference, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, or mental or physical handicap.