Current Vacancies

Mechanical Engineering Manager, Executive Level 2 , Australian Astronomical Observatory

Apply now Job no: 493787
Employment type: Non-Ongoing - Specified Task
Location: Sydney
Categories: Executive Level 2

Why join us?

The Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) is a division of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. We operate the Anglo-Australian and UK Schmidt Telescopes on behalf of the astronomical community in Australia. The AAO provides world-class observing facilities for Australian researchers, enabling them to do excellent science. We are a world leader in astronomical research and in the development of innovative telescope instrumentation and take a leading role in the formulation of long-term plans for astronomy in Australia.

The AAO seeks a suitably qualified and experienced candidate to undertake the role of Mechanical Engineering Manager. The primary responsibility for this key role is to lead a group of 8-10 engineers and technicians in the development of innovative astronomical instrumentation. The AAO supports flexible working arrangements, including part-time options, as appropriate.

What we're looking for

This position requires a Bachelors degree in mechanical engineering or physics/optics, with extensive experience working with leading edge scientific instrumentation systems, preferably in astronomy and/or space science and defence. Masters degree in mechanical engineering, physics/optics or Business Administration is highly desirable  Also required is an understanding of typical astronomy instrumentation and facilities - spectrographs, fibre feeds, telescope operational models, detector systems and knowledge and experience necessary to reliably cost and schedule the development of such systems.

The main duties of this position:

  • Manage the optical system and mechanical engineering groups including recruitment and performance evaluation.
  • Facilities management for machine shop, laboratories and assembly integration and test facilities.
  • Development of new project bids.
  • Provide input for costing and scheduling of ongoing projects.
  • Interface with end customers including presenting customer design reviews to resolving field failures.
  • Managing the completion of instrumentation design studies from conceptualization through analysis, detail design, build and test.
  • Perform advanced optical and mechanical design analysis using finite element analysis software packages including ANSYS, NASTRAN and INVENTOR.
  • Perform stress, vibration and thermal analyses including radiative heat transfer.
  • Translate optical prescriptions into ZEMAX and CAD for integration into an opto-mechanical design.  Experienced in iterating optical designs to optimize an optical mechanical package.
  • Designing for manufacturability and work with engineers, technician and manufacturing vendors to create producible designs.
  • Perform and supervise drafting to facilitate complete fully detailed drawings.
  • Select and design suitable high performance materials including" aluminium, stainless steel, bearing steel, beryllium, titanium and composites.
  • Design and test to Australian, ISO and MIL standards.
  • Develop and implement mechanical / optical subsystems.
  • Review and propose renewal of laboratory and workshop assets and facilities for the Instrumentation Branch.
  • The impact you'll have

     This is a critical position for the AAO as the Mechanical Engineering Manager is responsible for motivating and managing the mechanical engineering section including recruitment and performance evaluation, management of speciality contractors and supervision of manufacturing by vendors. The incumbent will also manage laboratory and workshop facilities and design and provide engineering and technical support for the Instrumentation Group in Sydney and for Telescope Operations at Siding Spring. 

    Sound like you? Apply now!

    You are required to complete your application online. Aligning your responses with the above job description, provide:

    1. an explanation of how your skills, knowledge and experience will be relevant to this role (limit your response between 300 and 500 words)
    2. detail about three (3) professional achievements, within the last 5 years, that you are proud of (limit your response between 300 and 500 words)

    You are also required to provide your current CV with your application. (CVs must be in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format)

    Please note: Non-ongoing opportunity will be offered for a specified task - For an initial 3 year period, with possibility of extension.

    Learn more about the department

    Check out the links on the left-hand side of the page for more useful information about a career with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

    Contact information

    For more information regarding this opportunity, please contact Dr. Pascal Xavier on or +61 29372 4878


    Advertised: AUS Eastern Daylight Time
    Applications close: AUS Eastern Daylight Time

    Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend

    Share this: | More


    Filter results

    Work type




    Share this: | More