RESEARCH SCIENTIST, Kavli Institute (MKI) for Astrophysics and Space Research, to collaborate with MKI and MIT Astrophysics Division faculty and research staff on the design, construction, and use of optical/infrared astronomical instrumentation. Will take an architect-level
role in one of two fully funded instruments--an arcminute-scale, facility-class optical integral field spectrograph for the Magellan telescopes; or a wide-field near-IR camera on a dedicated 1-meter telescope for robotic transient surveys of the Northern Sky. Will also maintain freedom
to choose new research directions using the Magellan telescopes or other MIT facilities. May collaboratively apply for internal seed funds to support development of future capabilities. Responsibilities include translating scientific needs of observing community into technical requirements for new instrumentation; designing optical systems on paper and in ray
tracing (sequential and non-sequential) simulations; developing mechanical and system instrument models in collaboration with MKI engineering group; leading fabrication/procurement and integration, alignment, and testing of designed systems; commissioning new instruments at observatory sites in Chile and Southern California; developing proposals for future instrument capabilities using established MKI practices for estimating scope and cost; mentoring--in conjunction withfaculty supervisors--graduate/undergraduate students working in the instrument lab; participating in off-site observing runs (roughly once per year); and other duties as needed.
REQUIRED: Ph.D. in astronomy, physics or astrophysics; at least one additional year of post-PhD professional experience; demonstrated creativity in the design of astronomical instrumentation and observing programs; proficiency with Zemax or equivalent optical design software and SolidWorks or equivalent mechanical design software; hands-on optical alignment and/or cryogenic systems experience; ability to work with a team using project management software tools; and strong communication skills.