Electronics Engineer

California, United States
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
End of advertisement period
Monday, 24 August 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.

Job Summary

The LIGO Laboratory (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) site in Livingston, Louisiana, seeks a highly motivated and skilled Electronics Engineer to work as part of a dynamic team utilizing creative problem solving associated with highly complex laser interferometers. This team carries out the design, manufacture, integration, testing and continual improvement to LIGO’s unique ultra-precision instrumentation and control systems.

LIGO is a National Science Foundation major facility dedicated to gravitational wave astronomy and astrophysics, jointly operated by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. LIGO’s observations launched the field of gravitational wave astronomy with the first observation of black hole merger, leading to the awarding of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics to its founders. LIGO consists of two widely separated (3,002 km), 4-kilometer-long interferometers in Louisiana and Washington State. The LIGO Livingston Observatory is located in Livingston Parish, at commuting distance from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It operates together with its sister site, the LIGO Hanford Observatory, north of Richland, Washington. The LIGO Laboratory also has operations on the Caltech and MIT campuses; technical and academic staff at all four locations work together to advance our science and technology. For more information, please visit the LIGO Livingston website at www.ligo.caltech.edu/LA.

LIGO is a family-friendly laboratory and strives to ensure everyone is able to achieve the work-life balance they desire. Employees have access to a wide range of benefits including a child-care assistance program.

LIGO Laboratory is committed to being a welcoming place for everyone regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status.

Job Duties

  • Troubleshooting and repair of interferometer electronics and subsystems, both analog and digital
  • Operational support for interferometer electronics on site. Help provide response to issues on a 24/7 basis during observational runs
  • Design of low-noise audio frequency and radio frequency analog electronics to meet specifications, updating drawings and documentation
  • Fabrication of electronics to design specifications
  • Acceptance testing of custom and vendor-provided electronics.  Creation of scripts for test automation, procedures for acceptance testing
  • Engage in hands-on creation of precise electronics prototypes in a laboratory setting
  • Work in cleanroom and laser environments for extended periods
  • Perform cross-discipline work involving mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and physics
  • Operate vehicles on site and while on travel to other sites
  • Lifting items weighing 20 or more pounds for installation, testing
  • Travel to other LIGO sites will be required a few times per year
  • Other duties as assigned

Basic Qualifications

  • BS in Electronics Engineering or equivalent
  • 2+ years of relevant experience. Experience can be from industry or academia, in a production or research environment
  • Electronics CAD experience
  • Precision electronics construction skills and experience, including soldering, repair and prototyping
  • Knowledge and experience in use of analysis or simulation software to predict circuit behavior
  • Excellent organization and time-management skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • A team attitude and high degree of professional discipline
  • Work effectively with cross-disciplinary teams.  Ability to take direction and to work independently with little or no supervision
  • Possess and maintain a valid driver’s license
  • Must be able to lift and/or carry 20 or more pounds of equipment
  • Must be able to travel to other LIGO sites

Preferred Qualifications

  • 5+ years of relevant experience
  • Electronics CAD experience from concept through to finished product
  • Experience designing low-noise (precision) analog electronics
  • Programming, circuit simulation, or noise/performance modeling experience
  • Experience designing or maintaining FPGA devices
  • Expertise in the use of electronics test equipment
  • Machine shop skills as applies to electronics fabrication
  • Demonstrated experience for which significant results were achieved due to candidate’s contributions, or is an established subject matter expert
  • Proven track record of adapting to changing needs and priorities in order to effectively address technical problems and/or facilitate project completion on time

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter