Chief Engineer- #026743

Baltimore, Maryland
Feb 14, 2019
Mar 15, 2019
Engineer, Executive, Chief
Nonprofit, Research
Full Time

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is the science and flight operations center for multiple NASA missions. The Data Management Division (DMD) is seeking a Chief Engineer reporting to the head of the DMD at STScI.  The DMD receives, processes, calibrates, and distributes data downloaded from NASA’s flagship science observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope, TESS, Kepler, and the soon to launch James Webb Space Telescope.  They archive data in the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) and provide tools for the astronomical community to analyze astronomical data.  With upwards of 4 PB of multi-mission, multi-wavelength data we hold many of the highest-value datasets in astronomy. These data and services are instrumental in making the world’s astronomical information accessible to all while advancing the state-of-art of astronomical data, archives, and tools for scientific discovery.

STScI offers an excellent and generous benefits package, tuition reimbursement, flexible work schedules and a stimulating and diverse work environment.

Your role and job responsibilities:

Provide expert technical guidance and oversight for activities and assets.  This includes the following:

  • You leverage their current technology expertise and industry trend knowledge to support the development/evolution of technology product and service roadmaps.
  • You work with Chief Engineers in other Divisions to align as appropriate and leverage synergies.
  • You validate that technical solutions fit within roadmaps, can be implemented within the proposed schedules, resources and long term maintenance costs.
  • You serve on software architecture review boards including chairing as appropriate.
  • You participate in cross-divisional coordinating teams and technology governance forums as assigned.
  • You approve the start of technical activities through review and sign-off of appropriate start up documents. Enable continued technical activities via approval of appropriate reviews and documents.
  • You participate in the systems engineering and design phases for efforts within their domain. Review all domain system designs and approve or reject them based on their alignment with the Mission/Institute's goals and strategies.
  • You coordinate changes within their domain to ensure implementation teams' successful completion of their work within scope, schedule, and cost.
  • You support Mission Offices (Program Managers) in addressing issues by providing options to adjust effort, scope, resources, and schedule across teams.
  • You recognize risks and track and validate mitigation approaches to those risks as they affect the development of systems within their domain.

Provide technical coordination of teams within the domain.  This includes the following:

  • You ensure and approve that proposed technical solutions are feasible. Support teams in their development of technical solutions.
  • You look for collateral impacts of design and/or technical choices and alert appropriate team and mission managers.
  • You work with Branch (engineering department) Managers and others to establish standards for systems in their domain and ensure that processes are in place to verify compliance.
  • You enforce technical expectations for product development deliverables, by ensuring that overall quality standards are designed into products through their personal approval of technical documents.

Partner with the Mission Offices, and other sponsors, in identifying, scoping and establishing new work, and support the Mission Offices as the work progresses. This include the following:

  • You lead technical cost estimation efforts for future business opportunities within their domain. Support the appropriate Mission Office or proposal lead in the development of information (technical or programmatic) needed to respond to these opportunities.
  • You investigate technology advances within their domain. Provide accurate and timely information comparing STScI products to competing products.  Seek and foster opportunities to incorporate innovative technical approaches where appropriate that improve the value of STScI products.
  • You support the Mission Offices in responding to proposals, SOW changes, ROMs, other requests by drafting schedules, estimating costs, developing work breakdowns, defining resource needs and work priorities as required.
  • You work with and between Mission Offices to resolve conflicts to resource needs, schedules, and work priorities as needed.
  • You represent DMD and present status and plans to Mission Offices and Stakeholders at reviews.

Your Qualifications and Job Requirements:

Candidates must be a US citizen or Permanent Resident. Qualification for ITAR clearance is required.  The position level and salary are commensurate with education and experience.

Expert knowledge of:

  • Both on premise and cloud based development and operations (DevOps)
  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC) technologies such as Helm, Terraform, Ansible, Chef
  • Transitioning from on premise to cloud-based
  • Technology roadmap development including industry trend analysis
  • Advanced data engineering and data management infrastructures
  • Tools, techniques, processes, and standards for developing software products and services
  • Software system design and development, integration and test of hardware and software, process, and project planning
  • Continuous integration, continuous deployment and test automation
  • Ability to successful manage technology and tools transitions

Knowledge of:

  • Fluent knowledge of a range of programming languages such as C, C++, Go, Java, Python, Ruby, Visual Basic, etc.
  • Fluent knowledge Linux and Windows computer operating systems
  • Distributed Version Control Systems such as GIT or Mercurial
  • Analysis of system utilization and design for high performance and high availability
  • SQL and NoSQL database systems
  • Monitoring and alerting methodologies
  • Containers and container orchestration
  • Space mission analyses and design processes

Excellent verbal, and written communication skills as can be utilized in technical writing and presentations. Proven ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships both internally and externally. Proven management skills (collaboration, negotiating, and teaming skills, ability to work with a diverse work force).

TO APPLY: You are requested to complete an on-line application through our website at: Please include a cover letter. Applications received by March 8, 2019 will receive full consideration.

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA and all of the centers, do not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements that are included for protection and to assist us in our record keeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

STScI sees the diversity of our staff as a strategic priority in our desire to create a first-rate scientific community. We reflect that deep commitment in strongly encouraging women, minorities, veterans and disabled individuals to apply for these opportunities.

Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process can contact us at EOE/AA/M/F/D/V Voted to the Baltimore Magazine Hall of Fame in 2015 – Top 25 Places to Work in Baltimore.