Position Description

Network and Security Engineer
Job Category Fulltime Regular
ExemptOvertimeEligible Overtime Eligible
Benefits Eligible Benefit Based
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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

IPAC has an opening for a Network and Security Engineer to support scientific data processing for several active and upcoming NASA- and NSF-funded space missions and ground telescopes, as well as major science archives. We are part of the Physics, Math, and Astronomy Division at Caltech (www.caltech.edu) and provide science operations, user support, data and archive services, and scientific vision to maximize discovery with observatories both in space and on the ground.  Activities supported by this position will include network design and administration. This position will also be heavily involved in developing and maintaining IPAC’s overall cybersecurity posture. Join us and be part of keeping track of over 5,000 exoplanets, searching for asteroids, finding supernovae, and participating in spacecraft operations.

This is an on-site role located in Pasadena, California.

Your role as a network/security engineer at IPAC will be to:

  • Develop and maintain the overall network architecture.
  • Manage and audit firewall rules and configurations.
  • Develop and maintain the various security plans needed for each project and IPAC in general.
  • With management support, help define and implement security policies to support the controls indicated in the above-mentioned security plans.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Information Technology, Computer Science or related field and 5+ years of experience as described below.
  • Network design and administration experience especially with Arista and Palo Alto equipment.
  • Cybersecurity expertise.

Preferred Qualifications

Beyond these basic qualifications, there are a set of skills and experiences which will add to your ability to contribute to the roles and responsibilities of an IPAC Network/Security Engineer. The following might give you a head-start here, but even if these do not describe you or your experience, we would still like to hear from you:

  • Cisco networking experience.
  • WAN implementation experience.
  • Linux System Administration skills.
  • Experience with scripting and programming.
  • Familiarity with NIST800-53 security controls.
  • Cloud platform security.

Required Documents

  • Resume

Life at Caltech/IPAC

IPAC is located on the campus of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California by the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Caltech is small, but has an extraordinary science impact, with 39 Nobel Prizes awarded to faculty and alumni. Caltech manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory 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, and LIGO, which in 2016 observed gravitational waves from colliding black holes for the first time.

Pasadena is a city known for its contributions to science and technology, and its rich history, cultural treasures, scenic beauty, and year-round comfortable weather create a desirable environment for life and ideas to thrive. See Bill Nye’s take on our city.

People choose to work at IPAC for many reasons, and the casual, employee-centric culture often leads to fulfilling, long-term careers and lasting relationships. 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. IPAC staff have access to the Institute’s facilities, including the athletic center, libraries, on-site daycare, professional development and enrichment classes, and Athenaeum club membership.

Hiring Range

$41.75 - $52.50 Per Hour

The salary of the finalist(s) selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to, internal equity, experience, education, specialty and training.

As one of the largest employers in Pasadena, CA, Caltech is committed to providing comprehensive benefits to eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Our benefits package includes competitive compensation, health, dental, and vision insurance, retirement savings plans, generous paid time off (vacation, holidays, sick time, parental leave, bereavement, etc.), tuition reimbursement, and more. Non-benefit eligible employees will have access to some benefits such as onsite counseling and sick time. Learn more about our benefits and staff perks

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). Upon eligibility, employees are required to receive the COVID-19 booster as part of the vaccine mandate. 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

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