Job Summary

Reporting to the Telescope Optics Group Leader, the Primary Mirror System (M1) Lead Engineer will be responsible for control of the design and production of 574 Primary Mirror segments for the TMT, culminating in the delivery of the segments to the observatory site, the integration in to the telescope, and commissioning.

The M1 segments are to be fabricated by TMT partner suppliers in the U.S., Japan, India and China to the same exacting standards.  As such, the M1 Lead must have excellent technical, project management, and communication skills, as well as the ability to work in a multi-cultural environment.

Job Duties
The M1 System Lead Engineer will have broad responsibilities, including:

  • Lead responsibility for the design, manufacture, and delivery of the mirror segments, including the mechanics, polishing, metrology, support tooling, shipping and handling.
  • Leading the final stages of design-development of the Primary Mirror Segments and Segment Supports.
  • Working with suppliers in U.S., Japan, India and China to establish segment production programs, including polishing, metrology, precision machining, integration onto the support system, and all related quality assurance activities.
  • Working with the contractor responsible for segment final finishing to establish optical testing capability and Ion Beam Figuring production.
  • Understanding and ownership of the system engineering aspects of the M1 segments, including performance budgets and interfaces.
  • Leading the planning and execution of the Assembly, Integration and Verification of the segments into the telescope.
  • Management of development and production contracts using earned value to measure progress.

The M1 System Lead Engineer will be fully cognizant of all aspects of the design and manufacturing of the telescope optics, including performing the following activities on a regular basis:

  • Direct engineers and designers in working to deliver the system.
  • Monitor, coordinate and direct activities by international partner institutions & suppliers.
  • Utilize SolidWorks to guide and monitor design efforts.
  • Review FEA results and direct analysts work.
  • Direct and perform Mechanical and Optical analysis and testing.
  • Prepare Statements of Work (SOWs) and Requests For Proposals (RFPs).
  • Ensure compliance with TMT quality assurance and safety requirements.
  • Prepare technical reports and deliver technical presentations.
  • Maintain key deliverables such as Drawings, Requirements Documents, Interface Documents and Error Budgets.


‚ÄčMinimum Requirements

  • A degree in mechanical engineering, engineering mechanics or equivalent; advanced degree preferred.
  • 10 years of experience, including some experience in Project Engineering or Project Management
  • The project office is located in Pasadena and residence in the area is required.
  • Regular international travel to visit suppliers in China, India and Japan will be necessary in order to fulfill the duties of this position.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

The M1 System Lead Engineer must have strong personal skills, including all of the following:

  • Excellent organization skills.
  • Proven leadership ability.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Ability to write clear and concise technical documents.
  • A cooperative team-player who strives to make the team successful.
  • Ability to multi-task a substantial number of parallel activities.
  • Practical problem solving skills.
  • Fluency with Japanese or Chinese is a positive factor.


The M1 System Lead Engineer must have strong technical skills in many of the following areas:

  • Mechanical design and understanding of kinematic principles.
  • Understanding of manufacturing and assembly techniques.
  • Analytical approach to problem solving.
  • Understanding of geometric optics.
  • Knowledge of structural mechanics and engineering materials.
  • Experienced using Geometrical Dimensioning & Tolerancing per ASME Y14.5.
  • Knowledge of large-optics fabrication and testing methods.
  • Experience with large optical telescopes is a positive factor.


The M1 System Lead Engineer must have strong project management skills in many of the following areas:

  • Developing and managing to a schedule.
  • Developing and managing to a budget.
  • Knowledge of earned-value reporting.
  • Supply-chain management.
  • Product Assurance and Quality Assurance knowledge.
  • Experience with FMEA.
  • Experienced in technical contract management.


TMT International Observatory, LLC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, Minorities, Veterans and Disabled Persons are encouraged to apply. 

Department: Telescope
This is a reg full-time position

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