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Assistant Scientist or Software Engineer III-IV (4758)

Company: National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Location: Charlottesville
Posted on: September 19, 2022

Job Description:

National Radio Astronomy ObservatoryPosition Description: Position SummaryJoin the development team that creates and maintains the algorithms and software used to analyze data from the worlds most powerful radio telescopes!The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is recruiting a scientific software developer with a background in radio interferometry algorithms and analysis techniques, and experience in the use of modern high performance and scalable frameworks for scientific computing. The successful candidate will work within the Common Astronomy Software Applications (CASA) development team to evolve our data reduction and analysis software towards supporting the algorithmic and computing needs of the Next Generation VLA (ngVLA) telescope and the upgraded ALMA telescope. The option of a scientific-staff appointment (with research time) will be made available to qualified candidates. CASA is currently a collection of Python and C++ routines that process radio telescope data and produce images used by Astronomers around the world. Our software primarily supports two of the worlds most productive ground-based radio telescopes, the VLA and ALMA, and is also used within science pipelines of other international telescopes. Over the next decade, our algorithms and software infrastructure must evolve to enable several orders of magnitude greater performance scaling to support the upcoming ngVLA telescope and ALMAs wideband sensitivity upgrade. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to participate in and guide the early stages of the software design and development towards these goals.Our CASA software engineering staff are responsible for all aspects of the software development lifecycle from requirements derivation through design, development, and integration into telescope operations. They interact closely with a diverse team of people distributed worldwide. Eligible candidates must possess both software engineering domain knowledge as well as the educational background, experience, and ability to understand the basic scientific and technical concepts of radio interferometry. The preferred location for the position will be based at one of the NRAO Sites Socorro or Albuquerque, NM, Charlottesville, VA. Telework and remote work options may be considered. In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective on the first day of employment. NRAOs retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participants base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.Job Duties SummaryResponsibilities will include, but are not limited to:Design, develop, integrate and maintain data reduction capabilities in the CASA codebase, in support of current operations as well as next generation telescopes. Adapt and evolve traditional CASA implementations to the more modern data-processing frameworks envisaged and under development for future instruments.Design and develop new radio interferometry algorithm implementations as needed by scientific objectivesMaintain existing algorithm implementations in support of ongoing telescope operations and research endeavorsBuild and maintain data processing and analysis software infrastructure necessary for scalable and high performance operations. Develop numerical test strategies and scripts for the objective evaluation of scientific validity and operational readiness of CASAs algorithms and features.Operate in a team environment, including with the broader NRAO scientific staff and world-wide CASA stakeholder communityTake ownership of a subset of functionality within CASA and provide technical direction, decision making, and subject matter expertise in that area, often working with limited guidance or specific direction.Work EnvironmentWork is typically performed in an office setting within a research or development environment. Domestic and international travel will be required.Position Requirements: Minimum EducationFor a software engineer appointment, a Bachelors degree in computer science, mathematics, physics or a related field is required. For a potential appointment to the NRAO scientific staff, a PhD with experience in the domain of radio interferometry or a similar scientific application is required. Equivalent experience may be considered for appropriate candidates.Preferred EducationAdvanced degree and background that includes Physics or Mathematics is highly desired. Technical experience within the domain of radio interferometry is also highly desired.Minimum ExperienceAt least three years of direct or related experience in scientific research and software development commensurate with stated qualifications. Candidates with progressively more responsible experience will be considered for a higher level position ranking.If appointed as Assistant Scientist (with a PhD), the successful candidate will also have 25% of their time for self-directed research, preferably in the general area of radio interferometry calibration and imaging, or its application to astrophysics. Appointments as Software Engineer will not have self-directed research time.Competency SummaryExperience with scientific software development, numerical processing techniques, linear algebra, digital signal processing concepts, and mathematical packages such as Python/numpy Experience in design and development using modern high performance computing platforms and frameworks such as Dask, Xarray, Numba/Numpy, CuPy or C++ for GPU acceleration, Docker/Kubernetes, Jupyter, Bokeh, etc.Experience with radio-interferometric observing and data-processing techniques in general, and a sound understanding of their application to astrophysical study of the universeAbility to learn new scientific concepts and apply learning to engineering implementation, specifically in radio astronomy and interferometryExperience with large development projects in C++ and Python and associated software life cycles.For a scientific staff appointment, a demonstrated record of scientific research publications.Additional RequirementsThe Observatory requires staff to be fully vaccinated against covid-19 to access our facilities. An offer of employment will be considered contingent until the selected applicant provides proof of vaccination. A selected applicant may request consideration for an accommodation for a disability or for a sincerely held religious belief.Application Instructions: Click the Apply button below. You will need to be prepared to upload your current CV/Resume and a letter of application describing interest and suitability for the position.Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:AUI is an equal opportunity employer. Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. To view our complete statement, please visit If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V)The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.PM20PI190654258

Keywords: National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Charlottesville , Assistant Scientist or Software Engineer III-IV (4758), IT / Software / Systems , Charlottesville, Virginia

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