Job Opportunities

Systems Administration - Senior

The IPAC Support Group Systems Engineering team (ISGSE) provides systems engineering, network engineering and systems administration support for all IPAC projects as well as the organization at large. We manage tens of petabytes of data, high speed networks, compute clusters and the data centers to house them.  IPAC (www.ipac.caltech.edu) provides science and data management for astronomy missions (both space and ground telescopes), planning for future projects, and vital science archives. IPAC supports NASA, NSF, and privately funded projects, including: Spitzer, WISE, NEOWISE, the Zwicky Transient Facility, the Thirty-Meter Telescope, and the US centers for Planck, Herschel, and Euclid. IPAC operates the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive (IRSA), the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), the NASA Exoplanet Archive – a service of the NASA ExoPlanet Science Institute (NExScI), and the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA).
The ISGSE team is looking for an experienced Systems Administrator to help with everything from routine systems administration tasks to data center engineering projects. Typical duties include: 

  • Server installation and configuration. 
  • OS patching and upgrades. 
  • Third-party software installation. 
  • Email server management. 
  • LDAP configuration. 
  • Network performance monitoring. 
  • Storage systems configuration and management. 
  • Queuing systems configuration and management. 
  • Routine systems administration tasks such as account management and permissions. 
  • Backup configuration and management.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or related field. 
  • At least seven years of experience with Linux, specifically Red Hat, CentOS or Debian. 
  • Strong communication skills. 
  • Ability to work with others on a small team. 
  • Ability to organize and manage priorities across multiple assigned tasks. 
  • Must be able to lift and install equipment into server racks,; typically 35 lbs. 
  • Interest in science, particularly Astronomy: It’s what we do.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Data Center administration experience. 
  • Recent experience with Solaris 10 & 11. 
  • Recent experience with virtualization technologies including VMWare and RHEV. 
  • Recent experience with cloud computing, particularly AWS. 
  • Fiber-channel storage configuration. 
  • Filesystem configuration. ZFS, XFS and EXT-3 & 4. 
  • Backup systems experience; NetBackup or Networker. 
  • Tape Library operations; Quantum or StorageTek. 
  • Networking experience; CCNA would be great. 
  • Familiar with systems security best practices. 
  • Familiarity with software development tools like svn and git. 
  • Extensive scripting experience in sh, bash, tcsh, Perl, Python and Ruby. 
  • Configuration experience with systems monitoring tools like Zabbix, Xymon, or Nagios. 
  • DevOps experience, particularly Ansible. 
  • Programming skills in C, C++, or Java. 
  • Web server configuration.

To apply, please use the following link: https://chm.tbe.taleo.net/chm03/ats/careers/v2/viewRequisition?org=CALTECH&cws=37&rid=3237

Staff Scientist - NASA Exoplanet Science Institute

The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI; http://nexsci.caltech.edu) at the California Institute of Technology serves and supports the exoplanet scientific community as part of NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program.  NExScI is part of the operations team for the new precision radial velocity instrument NEID (http://neid.psu.edu) on the WIYN telescope for the NASA-NSF Exoplanet Observational Research (NN-Explore) Program. NExScI is responsible for operations of the NEID data reduction pipeline and the associated data archive, as well as community support in the use of this new powerful radial velocity resource expected to see first light in 2018.
NExScI anticipates being able to hire a staff scientist with experience in precision radial velocity (PRV) observations and PRV data processing in support of the operation of the NN-Explore/NEID pipeline. In addition, this position will be involved in the development of a community data processing pipeline for the Keck HiRES instrument which will enable community use of the HiRES instrument for the purpose of obtaining precision radial velocities sufficient for the detection of exoplanets.

NExScI also operates the NASA Exoplanet Archive, the Exoplanet Follow-up Observation Program website, the Keck Observatory Archive, and the LBTI Archive.  Further, NExScI runs the Sagan Summer Workshop and administers the NASA Keck Observatory time allocation which enables the general scientific community to utilize one of the world’s premiere telescopes. NExScI is part of IPAC at Caltech which is a research center currently supporting several space- and ground-based observatories and surveys including Spitzer, NEOWISE, ZTF, Euclid, WFIRST and LSST. IPAC operates several major archives, including the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive (IRSA), the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), and the NASA Exoplanet Archive. As part of the Caltech campus, IPAC scientists have access to Palomar Observatory, and are embedded in the vibrant research environment of Pasadena, CA.

The staff scientist will help lead the development and operations of the NEID PRV data reduction pipeline and will help to organize the development and support for the community HiRES precision radial velocity pipeline. Specific near-term tasks may include working with the NEID instrument team and the NOAO observatory staff to establish the archival-level operations data pipeline and analysis and evaluation of current data post-processing algorithms suitable for the HiRES exoplanet-finding data pipeline.  In addition, the scientist will be expected to conduct an independent research program in an area related to precision radial velocity and/or exoplanets.

Basic Qualifications

  • PhD in Astronomy, Physics, or a related scientific field.
  • Experience in precision radial velocity observations, data analysis, or simulations.
  • Strong communication skills, and the ability to work well with others on a small team.

Preferred Qualifications

  • 1+ years professional experience in astronomy, which can include postdoctoral positions.
  • Professional experience in exoplanet astronomy particularly using precision radial velocity instruments and data.
  • Experience in using or developing advanced post-processing methods for precision radial velocity data.
  • Experience with software development and familiarity with languages such as C or python.

To apply, please provide a CV, publication list, a short (<2 page) statement of research interests and experience, and the names and contact information of three references to Mary Ellen Barba (meb@ipac.caltech.edu).   For full consideration, applications should be received by September 8, 2017.  The preferred start date is January 2018.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Related URLS

Application Deadline

  • Friday, September 8, 2017

To apply, please email Mary Ellen Barba at meb@ipac.caltech.edu.

Database Management - NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive
Job Summary
IRSA (irsa.ipac.caltech.edu) is the steward of scientific data sets, ancillary data products, and documentation delivered by NASA's Infrared and Sub-millimeter missions. IRSA is part of IPAC (www.ipac.caltech.edu), which supports a variety of NASA, NSF, and privately funded space and ground-based astronomy and astrophysics projects, including the Spitzer and NEOWISE space telescopes, the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), the NASA Exoplanet Archive, the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), and the Keck Observatory Archive. IPAC is also a participant in major upcoming projects including WFIRST, LSST, Euclid, and the Thirty-Meter Telescope.
IRSA is seeking a Database Engineer to assist in the design, implementation and operation of IRSA's database infrastructure.  Our existing Oracle and PostgreSQL scientific databases include some of the largest astronomical catalogs in professional astronomy today. As our database tables grow into the petabyte, trillion-row scale, the candidate will help develop and operate the infrastructure that makes those holdings available to researchers at the frontiers of astronomy and astrophysics around the world.
The ideal candidate will have a solid foundation of database and system engineering skills and the ability to move between technologies as needed. The candidate will also be IRSA's primary contact for database operations and support, and must be able to balance engineering and operations responsibilities.
Job Duties
  • Develop, build, and optimize IRSA's DBMS infrastructure to support new and existing datasets and capabilities.
  • Manage and support the IRSA databases, including health and performance monitoring as well as backups and disaster recovery.
  • Coordinate with IRSA management and team leads to maintain development and delivery schedules.
  • Other tasks as assigned.
Basic Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or related field.
  • Experience as an Oracle Database Administrator.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in SQL, relational databases, and data warehousing.
  • Experience with computer and database security, backup and recovery procedures, performance monitoring, and routine system health checks.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and in a team environment, and follow through on assignments with minimal direction.
  • Ability to work productively and to organize multiple tasks in situations with conflicting demands and deadlines.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Master’s or equivalent in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or related field.
  • Experience as a PostgreSQL Database Administrator.
  • Experience working with science data sets and applications.
  • Fluency in scripting languages such as Python and Perl.
  • Experience as a Unix System Administrator, including server performance analysis and tuning, and storage device management.
  • Experience scaling extremely large databases, including the use of distributed and/or parallel databases.

To apply, please use the following link: https://chm.tbe.taleo.net/chm03/ats/careers/v2/viewRequisition?org=CALTECH&cws=37&rid=3264