Software Engineer

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ

ID: 7062513
Posted: November 27, 2019
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Position Summary
With two 8.4m mirrors on a common mount that can be combined to form an interferometer with an effective aperture of 23m, complemented with adaptive secondary mirrors, the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is the largest optical telescope in operation. Providing unprecedented ground-based resolution at near- and mid-infrared wavelengths, the LBT is a forerunner of the Extremely Large Telescopes. With a suite of state of the art instruments, the observatory is moving to full operation while adding new capabilities such as ground-layer AO and new AO-fed instrumentation.

The LBT Observatory (LBTO) is headquartered on the Tucson campus of the University of Arizona and the telescope itself is located on Mt Graham (3200m), a 3.5-hour drive from campus.

LBTO is seeking a talented and highly motivated Software Engineer to develop and maintain the Telescope Control System (TCS), Adaptive Optics Systems (AO), several facility instruments, and a suite of high level tools used for the preparation, planning and execution of observations.

The TCS is an object-oriented, distributed system written in C++ and consisting of a number of autonomous subsystems running on Linux platforms, distributed over RPC and ZeroC Ice. Facility Instruments and AO software are written in C/C++, Java, and Python. Our suite of user interfaces and observatory support applications are developed using HTML5/CCS3 web technologies, Qt and Java.

The successful candidate will be a member of the LBTO Software and IT group, consisting of 7 software developers and 2 system administrators.

While most work will occur at the LBT offices in Tucson on the UoA campus, some work will also occur at the LBT site on Mt. Graham, Arizona at an elevation of 10,470 feet. The candidate will be required to provide periodic nighttime, weekend, and holiday operations software support and incident response.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

The University of Arizona has been recognized for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona and relocations services, please click here.

The University of Arizona is in the process of creating a new classification and compensation architecture. This University Career Architecture Project (UCAP) will revolutionize the way we think about professions and manage compensation at the UA. It is a two year initiative that will replace the current classified staff and appointed professional categories of employment with market-based job functions and families. As an applicant, UCAP will create clearer career paths and opportunities and will help you make more informed pay decisions. To learn more about this project, please visit

Duties & Responsibilities
• Specify, design, implement, test and integrate software and upgrades for the telescope, instruments, adaptive optics systems and observatory tools.
• Extract software requirements from high-level functional and performance requirements.
• Participate in acceptance of deliverables and hand-over activities with our partners for new capabilities.
• Participate in software systems enhancement, maintenance, troubleshooting, and operational support.
• Prepare and deliver technical presentations at team meetings, reviews and conferences.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities
• Strong knowledge of Linux as a development platform.
• Good knowledge of C/C++, Python programming languages.
• Good knowledge of shell scripting, build systems, software packaging.
• Good knowledge of git revision control system and workflows.
• Skill developing graphical user interfaces using modern web technologies HTML5/CCS3, Qt or Java.
• Skill using middleware and distributed systems, ZeroC Ice.
• Skill with RDBMS/NoSQL databases.
• Good understanding of software quality insurance (QA) and continuous integration (CI) processes.
• Ability to think and work at 10,500-feet altitude.
• Ability to create written documents and reports, and make presentations.
• Excellent communication and reporting skills.

Minimum Qualifications
• B.S. degree in Computer Science, or a related field.
• Ability to drive according to the University Fleet Safety Policy.

Preferred Qualifications
• M.S. degree or higher in Computer Science, or a related field.
• Five or more years developing large and complex distributed systems, previous experience with Telescope, Adaptive Optics and Observatory software is a plus.


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