Position Description

Electrical Engineering Team Lead
Job Category Fulltime Regular
ExemptOvertimeEligible Exempt
Benefits Eligible Benefit Based
Apply Now

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.

Job Summary

LIGO Laboratory (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) seeks a highly motivated and skilled Electrical Engineering Lead to join its team. LIGO Laboratory is a National Science Foundation major facility dedicated to observing the newly discovered gravitational-wave universe. Jointly operated by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the LIGO Laboratory operates world-leading observatories near Richland, WA and Baton Rouge, LA as well as R&D centers on the Caltech and MIT campuses. The LIGO Laboratory’s mission spans a broad and vibrant array of activities related to gravitational-wave physics and astronomy, including detector operations, R&D toward detector improvements, gravitational-wave astrophysics, observatory operations, and education and public outreach.

For more information, please visit the Laboratory website at http://www.ligo.caltech.edu.

This position is located in Richland, WA.

Life at LIGO Hanford Observatory as a Caltech Employee
LIGO’s observatory in the shrub-steppe of Eastern Washington is an approximately 20-minute commute from Richland, WA., where it is located on the edge of the Department of Energy Hanford Site.  Caltech employs a staff of 49 at the Hanford observatory. Caltech has an extraordinary science impact across many fields. Its small size creates a community where innovation and collaboration are the norm. Caltech manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA, the leading US center for the robotic exploration of the Solar System. Caltech also operates large-scale research facilities such as the Palomar and Keck Observatories.

The Tri-Cities (Richland, Kennewick, Pasco) is a rapidly developing community set in the heart of wine-country in southeast Washington state, where the Columbia, Yakima, and Snake rivers meet. The rivers and nearby Cascade and Blue mountain ranges provide ample outdoor recreation opportunities from water-skiing to fishing to hiking. The region is known for its contributions to science and technology in the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the DOE Hanford Site.

People choose to work at LIGO for many reasons, often with fulfilling, long-term careers. LIGO is a family-friendly laboratory and strives to ensure everyone is able to achieve the work-life balance they desire. Employees have access to a wide range of benefits including a child-care assistance program. Caltech’s benefits program offers a quality, competitive benefits package that is affordable for you and the Institute. The program provides a strong base of coverage for you and your dependents, and the ability to choose the plan and the level of coverage that best meet your needs. We also offer a 403(b) defined contribution plan to eligible staff as well as a Voluntary Retirement Savings (TDA) Plan.

Caltech HR diversity page:  https://hr.caltech.edu/careers/2commitment-diversity

Caltech and LIGO Laboratory’s goal is to build a world-class, diverse workforce and support an inclusive environment that encourages professional development and offers top-notch benefits. Our talented staff, who work at the Caltech campus, or one of our Observatories, come from a variety of fields. Positions include scientists, engineers, information technology staff, outreach professionals, managers, writers, business professionals, and administrative staff. We are deeply committed to encouraging people of all backgrounds to apply for these opportunities. Our experience has demonstrated that the broader the styles, characteristics, backgrounds, and abilities of our staff—in other words, the more diverse our team is—the greater potential we have for success. Caltech is an equal opportunity employer.

LIGO Laboratory is committed to being a welcoming place for everyone regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status.

Job Duties

The Electrical Engineering (EE) Lead is responsible for coordinating a small team of engineers and technicians in the design, testing, installation and maintenance of low noise analog/digital electronics. The EE Lead must ensure the group delivers the desired electronics performance, operations, and data integrity. The working schedule is typically 5 days a week M-F, but in support of 24/7 operations, after-hours work may be required to restore systems.

  • Program, install, and troubleshoot PLC hardware. Tune control loops and improve performance of system.
  • Oversee electrical contractors ensuring proper installation following NFPA 70.
  • Lead within a diverse team environment, collaborating and effectively communicating with groups from around the world who have a broad spectrum of backgrounds, skills and educational preparation.  
  • Coordinate and prioritize electrical teams work.
  • Participate in the characterization of instrumental signatures in interferometer data and assist with the development of operational techniques and analysis methods to discriminate these signatures.
  • Occasionally participate in educational activities for the public, including detector engineering and science, astrophysical investigations, and basic science concepts.
  • Assist in the collaborative development of new technologies, methods, and protocols, in support the LIGO Laboratory’s ongoing mission. These efforts may require occasional travel to other LIGO installations and collaborating institutions in Livingston, Louisiana, Pasadena, California, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and possibly internationally.
  • Participate in general safety and laser safety training. Report any safety issues to the LHO Site Safety Manager and/or LHO Laser Safety Officer.
  • Conduct performance appraisals and other human resource requirements for the electrical engineering team.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

  • BS in Electrical Engineering or equivalent experience.
  • 7+ years of direct experience in electrical engineering, with at least 1 year in a leadership role.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in designing PLC hardware and programing.
  • General knowledge of National Electric Code.
  • Working knowledge of standard office computing applications (e.g. Word, Excel and web Applications).
  • Ability to communicate effectively both written and verbal.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Masters degree in Electrical Engineering.
  • Working knowledge designing systems with Beckhoff PLCs TwinCat3.
  • General knowledge of Altium Cad software.
  • Working knowledge using systems with Debian and UNIX operating systems.
  • General knowledge working on low noise analog circuit development..
  • Working knowledge of Safety interlock systems.
  • Working knowledge of Praming Industrial Contol Systems Using IEC 1131-3.

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter

COVID-19 Vaccine Required for All Employees

Caltech has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy effective October 15, 2021, requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees (with Institute-approved exemptions for religious or medical contraindications only). At present, an individual is deemed “fully vaccinated” when that person has received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson). As a condition of employment, employees must submit official COVID-19 vaccine documentation. More information may be found here.

EEO Statement

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

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

To read more Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) go to eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf.

Disability Accommodations

If you would like to request an accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to Caltech Recruiting at employment@caltech.edu

Back Apply Now