University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Instrumentation Engineer I - Electro-Mechanical in Boulder, Colorado

Instrumentation Engineer I - Electro-Mechanical

Tracking Code


Job Description

Job Title: Instrumentation Engineer I - Electro-Mechanical

Location: Boulder, CO

Type:Full-time, Exempt


Relocation assistance is available for this position.

Work Authorization:

  • U.S. Citizenship, Permanent Residency, or other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3) is required for this position.

  • UCAR/NCAR will not sponsor a work visa (e.g., J-1, H1-B, etc.) for this position.

Who We Are:

Located in Boulder, Colorado, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is one of the world’s premier scientific institutions, with an internationally recognized staff and research program dedicated to advancing knowledge, providing community-based resources, and building human capacity in the atmospheric and related sciences. NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

What You Will Do:

Perform instrumental electro-mechanical design and development in support of a broad range of instrumentation projects supporting solar and earth upper atmospheric scientific research. Also support efforts in developing instrument control software.

As part of a small team of scientists and engineers, design, build, test, deliver and support instruments for ground-based and balloon-based observation of earth’s upper atmospheric and solar phenomena. Instruments include but are not limited to spectro-polarimeters, coronagraphs, polarimeters, Fabry-Perot Interferometers, photometers, telescopes, spectrographs and high altitude balloon equipment, and range in aperture size from 0.2 to 1.5m.

The instruments are typically used for the measurement of magnetic fields in the solar corona, measurement of the polarized brightness of the solar white light corona, measurement of emission lines from the solar chromosphere and prominences, magnetospheric and thermospheric measurements.


Electro-Mechanical Systems Design and Integration

  • Work with scientists, engineers, project managers, customers, vendors, end users and other stakeholders to identify, develop and translate science instrumentation goals and requirements into electrical and software systems requirements and specifications

  • Document systems using schematic capture software

  • Electrical engineering duties include performance analysis, optimization, detailing electrical designs, procuring, fabricating and building, hands-on hardware testing, and documenting.

  • Create detailed electrical designs and specifications for all system electronic assemblies, including but not limited to power systems, motion control, computer controlled actuators, scientific camera interfaces and data acquisition systems including sensor interfacing.

  • Mechanical engineering duties include performing 3D solid modeling and drawing creation using SolidWorks

  • Support and participate in design reviews, and create design review documentation

Software Development for Instrument Control

  • Work with other engineers and scientists to design software control algorithms, and graphical user interfaces

  • Implement software designs and specifications for instrumental control programs

  • Work with internal and external software collaborators to program scientific instrument control systems and user interfaces

Assembly and Integration

  • Work with other engineers, scientists and technicians in hands-on instrumentation fabrication, assembly, test, deployment and operations

  • Develop detailed instrument assembly and integration methodologies, and develop tooling as needed

Test Engineering

  • Develop and document detailed electronic and software test plans and procedures based on engineering specifications and requirements verification

  • Develop specific test methods for testing instrument electronic and software systems.

  • Conduct electronic and software testing

  • Write test reports to document instrument performance

What You Need:

Education and Years of Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree in engineering, physics or mathematics and at least one year of engineering experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Experience with motors, amplifiers and encoders.

  • Experience writing instrument control software in C++ or LabVIEW programming languages.

  • Familiarity with computer based data acquisition and instrumental control

  • Familiarity with sensor interfacing and signal conditioning issues.

  • Familiarity with schematic capture software.

  • Demonstrated ability to create and read electronic schematics as well as construct electronic assemblies.

  • Demonstrated ability to work as an effective member of a team of scientists and engineers.

  • Experience in an R&D environment

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

  • Strong technical ability to articulate problems and formulate alternative solutions to engineering problems.

  • A good understanding of of current engineering technologies

  • Basic knowledge of design and testing for systems that integrate into larger systems.

Note to Applicants:

  • Willingness and ability to travel up to approximately 30 days per year in support of field projects.

  • This position requires willingness and ability to work at 11,000 feet elevation.

What’s In It for You:

  • Compensation

  • PTO

  • Paid Holidays

  • Tuition Reimbursement

  • Benefits (Medical, Dental, Vision)

  • Retirement Plan

  • And more!

EEO/AAP Statement:

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer that strives to develop and maintain a diverse workforce. UCAR is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy.

Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). We are committed to inclusivity and promoting an equitable environment that values and respects the uniqueness of all members of our organization.

Job Location

Boulder, Colorado, United States

Position Type


Appointment Type

Regular, Full-Time (R1)