Australian Astronomical Observatory
  Job Profile
  Position Title: Mechanical Engineer
  Location: North Ryde
  Classification: APS6

Salary Range:
$84,658 to 91,527
(plus 15.4% employer superannuation contribution)
  Tenure: 2 years
  Applications close: 6th October, 2012
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  Job Description
  Selection Criteria
  Employment Information Package

Job Application Cover Sheet (pdf)
Job Application Cover Sheet (word)
  Terms and Conditions of Employment

About the AAO



                                                            Mechanical Engineer

The Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) seeks a qualified Mechanical Engineer for the mechanical engineering section.  This section is responsible for the opto-mechanical design and engineering of instrumentation projects for application in the field of astronomy. The mechanical engineer will hold responsibility for various instrumentation projects initiated at AAO.  Job responsibilities will include the design, procurement, build, and test of instrumentation assemblies while maintaining schedule and budget.  The mechanical engineer will report the mechanical engineering manager.

As one of the world’s leading astronomical organizations, the AAO has an international reputation for the successful development of astronomical instruments both for its own telescopes and for other international observatories. It operates major optical telescopes on Siding Spring Mountain near Coonabarabran in north-western NSW and has organizational headquarters and instrumentation facilities at Eastwood.  The operations will be moved to North Ryde, NSW in early 2013.  Employment will be based at Epping for a few months and after the relocation, at North Ryde; some travel to Coonabarabran and overseas may be involved.

The appointment will be ongoing upon successful completion of a 6-month probationary period.

In order to apply you need to follow the instructions for applicants at:

(Follow the link to Australian Astronomical Observatory jobs.)
Selection information is is the AAO website:                      

Please note that all applicants must apply through our on-line recruitment system, eRecruit.  All prospective candidates should be directed to our Career Centre which in turn takes the candidate to our positions vacant which are published on eRecruit.  The candidate is then required to apply for the position on line.  Only applications received through the on-line system will be accepted.

Contact Officer - Pascal Xavier - 02- 9372 4878 or

Application information - Rajni Prasad (02) 9372 4863

The Australian Astronomical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer.

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  Job Description

Position Title: Mechanical Engineer

Work Unit: Instrumentation

Classification: APS6

Supervisor: Mechanical Engineering Manager

In the position the successfully candidate will be acting as a lead mechanical engineer working on the various instrumentation projects that are  ongoing at the Australian Astronomical Observatory.

The successful candidate will have a minimum qualification of B.S. in mechanical engineering and eight years of relevant experience.  The candidate must demonstrate a strong ability to work independently on projects with an awareness of cost and schedule constraints.    Experience in designing opto-mechanical assemblies is a must.  The successful candidate must have a flexible, positive attitude and be able to work with other disciplines to ensure the success of the project.

As the projects have varying size and scope the candidate must be able to perform in multiple capacities.  The responsibilities can include proposal writing, conceptual design, some project management, estimating, design and analysis, specification writing, assembly and testing.

This position requires an individual who is capable of designing and detailing components and assemblies utilizing CAD software.   Individuals with prior experience with Autodesk Inventor will be viewed favorably.  Experience with FEA analysis, in particular ANSYS, will be a plus.   The candidate must demonstrate strong organizational skills, and have the ability to manage projects from concept to finished product.   This position requires individuals to be hands on at times.  Candidates who have prior experience working with piezos and fibre optics will have an advantage.  Candidates who have also demonstrated systems engineering experience in the field of opto-mechanics will also have a strong advantage. In addition, candidates with previous astronomical or space-based instrumentation experience will have an advantage.

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  Selection Criteria

Selection Criteria 

In general, the selection criteria are designed to assess the abilities of the applicant as determined by the quality of past achievements, especially in regard to academic record. Applicants should specifically address the selection criteria in their applications.


·        The candidate will have a minimum qualification of a B.S. in Mechanical engineering with a minimum of 8 years experience in a relevant field.

·        Experience in designing opto-mechanical assemblies.  Must demonstrate opto-mechanical design principles:  kinematic design, flexures, athermalization, environmental effects.  The candidate must demonstrate an understanding of optical alignment technique including the use of lasers, interferometers, autocollimators.

·        Develop   plans   and   costing   (effort   and   material   estimates)   for   the   mechanical   elements   of instrumentation projects.  Deliver personal project milestones on time and within budget.

·        Expertise with mainstream MCAD and FEA software.  Specific experience with Autodesk Inventor and Ansys will be favourable.

·        The ability to perform structural and thermal analysis:  finite element analysis, stress in optics, creep and stress relaxation, modal analysis,  heat transfer, temperature gradients, thermal transients, thermo-elastic analysis.

·         The ability to take conceptual designs to finalized drawings.  Experienced with tolerance analysis, GD&T, error budgeting, flow up and flow down of requirements. 

·        The candidate must be able to demonstrate self-motivation with ability to prioritize tasks, show problem solving ability, flexibility, and positive attitude.  The ability to work well with other team members is an absolute priority.  The candidate must demonstrate the ability to work with and manage vendors.


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