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Faculty in the area of Astronomical Instrumentation

Simons Observatory, Santiago, Chile
Employer Description

The Simons Observatory (SO) is an $80 million dollar project supported by the Simons Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and member organizations, dedicated to understanding how the universe originated and evolved over the past 13.8 billion years. The SO project began in 2016 and is comprised of the design and deployment of four special-purpose telescopes, a high-altitude site, and cryogenic detectors. The SO will collect a comprehensive range of data spanning angular scales from one arcminute to nearly 70% of the sky visible from its site in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, at an altitude of 5200 meters (17,200 feet) above sea level.

The SO is comprised of over 40 institutions world-wide with over 300 participating members, representing scientific/academic/educational personnel, engineers, managers, and other parties. Upon completion, SO will be the largest, most ambitious observatory of its kind designed to probe the composition and evolution of the entire universe. The Simons Observatory Project Office at UC San Diego is responsible for the construction and operation of the Simons Observatory.

Job Description

The School of Engineering at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, one of the leading engineering academic institutions in Latin America, invites highly qualified candidates to apply for a full-time faculty position at the Assistant or Associate level in the area of Astronomical Instrumentation (AI) at the Department of Electrical Engineering. Exceptional candidates in other areas of electrical engineering will be considered as well. The applicants must have a demonstrated ability and commitment to excellence in independent research and teaching. Previous experience in teaching and research, having led or participated in research and development projects, and having a technological or experimental approach based on the foundations of the discipline are desired.

The successful candidate is expected to carry out teaching not only in AI but also in topics related to the fundamentals of instrumentation, such as electromagnetics, electronics, control, and optics. Research topics other than AI, are also welcomed, especially with other disciplines of engineering, physics and astronomy.

Main Duties: 
High quality teaching at undergraduate and graduate levels primarily at the Department of Electrical Engineering and conducting independent research are mandatory. Additional duties include knowledge transfer and outreach.

Job Requirements

Applicants are required to hold a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physics, Astrophysics, or related fields at the time of hiring. The search is open to all areas of astronomical instrumentation, defined as experimental hardware and software developments for the study of the cosmos and aerospace exploration. These areas include but are not limited to: visible and near-infrared spectroscopy and imaging, adaptive optics, millimetric astronomy, data processing and astronomical simulations based on high performance computing. The successful candidate will be affiliated with the Center of Astro Engineering (AIUC, www.aiuc.puc.cl), an interdisciplinary initiative of the Faculties of Engineering and Physics, created to promote the development of astronomical technology in Chile, taking advantage of the presence of major international observatories in the country.

Candidates do not need to be fluent in Spanish at the time of application but should be willing to learn and teach in the language within two years. Fluency in English is a requirement.

Applicants must demonstrate a strong commitment to all aspects of academic life and public good of the institution. They must be highly motivated to continuously improve their teaching skills, have a genuine interest in getting involved with our graduate programs (specially the doctoral program) and be able to develop and maintain an active research agenda leading to high quality publications, securing research grants, generating and participating in interdisciplinary projects, leading scientific and industry-liaison initiatives, strengthening and creating national and international academic networks, etc. The successful candidates may also be expected to create new undergraduate and graduate courses and teach traditional courses in related areas.

The Chilean scientific community has access to world class astronomical facilities present in the country, 10% of the observing time of all telescopes installed in Chile is reserved to the Chilean community.

Application instructions:
Applicants should submit the following documents to vacantes-academicas@ing.puc.cl by January 13th, 2023 (late applications will be considered until the position is filled):

  • A research statement (in English) indicating the immediate and long-term goals of the applicant’s research plan and detailing potential collaboration networks with other researchers and plans for interactions with scientists in Chile and other countries.
  • A teaching statement of purpose (in English) indicating why the applicant should be considered for the position and the plans for teaching. The applicant should be as specific as possible by providing examples of the plan to transfer knowledge to undergraduate and graduate students.
  • An updated curriculum vitae.
  • If available, copies of five recent Web of Science publications that are relevant to the context of the application.
  • At least three letters of recommendation, which must be e-mailed directly by the signatories to vacantes-academicas@ing.puc.cl.

In the email subject, please indicate: Faculty position in Electrical Engineering – Astronomical Instrumentation). The applicant will get a response from the email address vacantes-academicas@ing.puc.cl confirming that the documents have been received.

22 November 2022
22 December 2022
Professor / Faculty
Research and Development
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