Detector Engineer

Canberra, Australia
26 May 2018
End of advertisement period
01 Jul 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

ANU College of Science
Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre


The Advanced Instrumentation Technology Centre (AITC) program at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) requires a high-level engineering team to develop innovative state-of-the-art instrumentation for observing the distant Universe from the ground and space, as well as providing support to the existing RSAA telescopes at Siding Spring Observatory (SSO). The Detector Engineer provides specialist technical advice and skills in support of the program and will be expected to maintain an up to date knowledge of awareness of state-of-the-art technology in the field and is required to work in a matrix project management structure under the daily direction of the Senior Optical Engineer and project manager(s).


Position Dimension & Relationships:

Under the broad direction of the AITC Technical Program Manager and Senior Optical Engineer, the Detector Engineer provides design, development, validation, and maintenance expertise for approved AITC projects and activities. A close working relationship is required with engineers in Optical, Mechanical, Electronics, Software, and Systems areas. The Detector Engineer will follow AITC technical management procedures to ensure optimum results for complex, multi-disciplinary instrumentation projects, often within the framework of international consortia.

Role Statement:

Under the broad direction of the AITC Technical Program Manager, the Detector Engineer will:

  • Provide advice and technical expertise on complex detector engineering assignments from concept through to implementation, entailing technical specifications, detailed planning and supervision of internal and external technical personnel.
  • Maintain a working knowledge both of best-practice engineering procedures in the context of prototype and one-off constructions, and an awareness of relevant state-of-the-art technologies that might be applied to astronomical or space research within the context of AITC engineering management procedures.
  • Undertake the detector engineering design for complex new instruments, with or without minimal technical guidance, and using a high level of initiative and expertise.
  • Provide a high level of engineering advice to the AITC project managers, facilitate interdisciplinary design solutions, and provide guidance and mentoring to design engineers and technical support staff.
  • Analyse detector proposals and advice on their feasibility, costs and resource implications.
  • Participate in commissioning, implementation and optimisation of astronomical and space instruments.
  • Prepare technical documentation and descriptive articles for general publication.
  • Maintain an awareness of and help promote Work Health and Safety (WH&S), Equal Employment Opportunity(EEO), Diversity, Gender balance and other policy priorities of the university.
  • Comply with all ANU policies and procedures, and in particular those relating to work health and safety and equal opportunity

Other duties as required within the classification of this position.


  1. Extensive relevant practical experience OR an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education/training. Experience working in structured system engineering environments is highly desirable.
  2. Demonstrated proficiency and expertise in instruments in area of solid state, IR detector systems and/or CCD detector systems including CCD controller electronics (hardware and software) particularly in the area of astronomy and space science
  3. Strong background and extensive experience in analogue and digital electronics, including the modern electronics design and construction techniques: CAS, PLD, PCB layout, SMD, EMS, etc.
  4. Extensive experience in design, characterisation, assessment and implementation of: (i) solid state devices with demonstrated efficiency and low noise (ii) systems level deployment, including controller development and optical, thermal and mechanical packaging issues (iii) special implementation of such a detector.
  5. Demonstrated high level proficiency and experience with scientific programming for hardware controls and user interface on Unix, PC, and/or DSP platforms and image processing software.
  6. Proven ability to work independently, prioritise work to meet conflicting deadlines, and to quickly adopt to new environments including a demonstrated ability to use initiative, sound judgment and work with minimal supervision individually and in team environment.
  7. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to consult, negotiate and liaise effectively with a range of stakeholders, including demonstrated ability to document work, make oral presentations and prepare design review documents and presentations.
  8. A demonstrated high level understanding of  equal opportunity principles and  a commitment to the application of EO policies in a university context