Instrument Specialist

California, United States
Thursday, 3 September 2020
End of advertisement period
Tuesday, 3 November 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
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 Caltech Seismo Lab seeks an Instrument Specialist/Electronic Technician to participate in the upgrade and operation of the Caltech/USGS Southern California earthquake monitoring network (SCSN). The duties include field work and laboratory work for deployment and maintenance of seismic sensors, dataloggers, digital data communications for data telemetry, including spread-spectrum radios, satellite systems, cell-phone modems, DSL, and the Internet. The successful candidate will work with a team to ensure efficient and reliable operations. This position is ideal for individuals who like the outdoors, traveling, and who would like to apply their technical skills and carry out field work across Southern California.

This is an Organizational Critical position. An employee designated as Organizational Critical is expected to be aware of the campus emergency management plan and to report to campus as soon as possible to assist in campus wide response and recovery efforts.

Job Duties

  • Work with the SCSN field team to perform technical and other field work at seismic stations in Southern California.
  • Prepare equipment for field deployment, including testing the performance of individual components. Troubleshoot various aspects of the seismic station equipment, power system, and data communication links, including VPN configurations.
  • Work with the team to verify instrument calibrations such as sensor gain, orientation, and polarities, and identification of malfunctioning sensors or other equipment.
  • Track and document inventory of equipment as well as materials and supplies. Maintain laboratory space in good order.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned, including varied technical assignments requiring the use of standard scientific principles, techniques, and process.

Basic Qualifications

  • Associate or Bachelor's degree in a STEM field such as electrical engineering, computer science, earth science, or related field.
  • Three or more years of experience in electronic and mechanical troubleshooting of scientific instrumentation and/or IT equipment.
  • Must possess or have the ability to obtain by the date of hire a valid California Driver’s License and maintain it throughout the course of employment and be able to drive long distances alone.
  • Demonstrate a high level of initiative, interest in field work, problem solving, and adapting new technologies.
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds, sometimes under adverse conditions.
  • Experience with diverse data communications hardware and transmission media such as routers, packet radios, DSL, satellite, and cellular communications.
  • Experience with using and updating scripts for Linux, OSX, or Windows computers.
  • Excellent project management and interpersonal communication skills and must also be self-motivated and capable of problem-solving, both individually (unsupervised) and as a team member.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Diversity of electronic and mechanical troubleshooting skills desirable. This would include experience with electronic test equipment (Volt-ohm meter, oscilloscope, radio spectrum analyzer, LAN tester, etc.), analog-to-digital conversion dataloggers, RF data transmission, electronic cable construction, and data communications networking skills.
  • Experience working with seismic sensors, and dataloggers in both lab and field situations.
  • Having worked for a seismic network or participated in other scientific field experience is desirable.

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Three references

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