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Instrument Scientist

North Ryde, Australia
$115,787 to $136,995 (Level B) plus 17% superannuation
Closing date
11 Jul 2024

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Job Details

  • Salary Package: from $115,787 to $136,995 (Level B) plus 17% superannuation and annual leave loading
  • Appointment Type: full-time, 3 years fixed-term
  • Location: Macquarie University Wallumattagal Campus, North Ryde


Australian Astronomical Optics - Macquarie (AAO-MQ) is seeking an outstanding early career academic with a track record in system design and development in astronomical instrumentation. The role will be split between research (40%) and instrument science project support (60%). The successful applicant will have a key role in a significant instrument contract recently signed between Macquarie University and the US, as well as working on other instrumentation projects.

They will be involved in the design, development, and delivery of ground-based or space-based optical instruments, including developing scientific and technical requirements, systems modelling, systems engineering, MAIT planning and testing, and instrument installation and commissioning. They will also be expected to take on the technical leadership of one or more projects, working with a project manager and a team of engineers and scientists.

The successful candidate will have access to fully equipped optical laboratories and will be working with a team of highly qualified experts in astronomical instrumentation including optical engineers, mechanical engineers, software engineers, electronics engineers, project managers, and a team of dedicated support staff.

Reporting to the Associate Professor - AAO-MQ, you will:

  • Lead system design and development on the key instrument contract, as well as on a number of additional instrumentation projects
  • Manage the Implementation, Integration, Verification and Validation (IIVV) plan and activities, and prepare associated review documentation.
  • Carry out research into instrumentation for astronomy or space-based observations, and to participate in the academic functions of the university.
  • Assist AAO-MQ in grant applications where needed to successfully obtain funding

About You

You will have completed a PhD in astronomical instrumentation or in a closely related discipline. You will have deep and broad experience as an Instrument Scientist with excellent skills in managing the IIVV plan and leading the design and development of astronomical instrumentation. You will have a passion for research and innovation and ensuring that quality outcomes are delivered.

You will be experienced in developing strong cases to obtain successful grant applications and funding in a competitive environment. A strong knowledge in systems engineering practices, as well as experience in optical/infrared astronomical instrumentation and/or adaptive optics systems is essential. You will be an excellent researcher and communicator with a proactive and flexible nature, and you will enjoy working both individually and as part of a team.

About Us

Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) at Macquarie University is an international leader in the development of optical instruments for astronomy, with a 40+ year heritage of building instruments for observatories across the globe, including major contracts with Subaru, Gemini, ESO VLT, and GMT. We are excited to take a significant role in leading and growing Australia's strength in astronomical instrumentation, partnering with the Australian National University and the University of Sydney under the banner of Astralis Instrumentation Consortium. Our strengths at the AAO include visible and near-infrared spectroscopy, imaging, integral field spectroscopy, fibre optics, fibre positioners, and astrophotonics.

The AAO-MQ works in a matrix structure with close collaboration across all its functional groups. There is a strong emphasis on communities of practice and a shared culture of learning and innovation. As part of our expansive new vision, AAO-MQ's team of experts will build on the University's existing strengths, with the aim of increasing industry engagement, identifying opportunities to apply AAO-MQ's expertise to medicine and defence, and expanding its presence in the fields of optics and sensing.

The AAO has state-of-the-art facilities including large integration halls, clean rooms, fully equipped optical laboratories, R&D labs, mechanical and electronics workshops. We will soon be moving into new purpose-built premises on Macquarie University campus.

For more information see:

Macquarie University is located in the leafy northern suburbs of Sydney, with excellent public transport links. The campus features large green open spaces, fantastic campus facilities, such as the Sport and Aquatic Centre and onsite childcare. Benefits of working at Macquarie University include a well-defined career path, generous leave entitlements, and excellent 17% superannuation contributions.

To Apply

To be considered for this position, please apply online by submitting your CV and a separate cover letter that clearly demonstrates how you meet the following selection criteria:


  • PhD in astronomical instrumentation or general scientific instrumentation, optics, photonics, physics or similar technical scientific discipline
  • Experience in astronomical instrumentation projects
  • Quality research and publication record in instrumentation, experimental science, or a related discipline.
  • Experience in the research, development and commissioning of complex instrumentation.
  • Knowledge of and/or training in systems engineering practises for technical projects.
  • Proven ability to win new funding in a competitive environment
  • Demonstrated proficiency in communicating technical information, including written reports and oral presentations.


  • Experience in adaptive optics and MAIT (manufacturing, assembly, integration, and testing).

Role Enquiries: Simon Ellis, Associate Lecturer at

General Recruitment Enquiries: Rebecca Phillips, HR Consultant at

Diversity and Inclusion

Innovation and ingenuity thrive at Macquarie University when diversity, equity and inclusion take centre stage. At the University, we embrace a culture where diversity of background, experience and perspective are fundamental to our success.

We do not discriminate on gender identity, age, culture, disability, sexuality, Indigeneity, family and caring responsibilities or religion. See our journey towards leadership in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education.

Flexible Work

At Macquarie, we believe by providing flexibility in when, where and how work is done, we can support our staff to manage their personal commitments, while optimising their work performance and contributions to the University. See how we lead in flexible work to enable an outcome focused and inclusive workplace. To learn more about our culture and hiring process, explore our Candidate Resource Hub.


Company info
NSW 2109

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