Project Manager for Fast Radio Burst and Pulsar Instrument on the CHIME Radio Telescope

Academic Associate, Department of Physics, McGill University

CHIME is a novel radio telescope consisting of 4 20×100 m2 cylindrical reflectors that have no moving parts, with an array of radio receivers along the focus, all fed into a massive correlator. CHIME will observe in the 400-800 MHz band over half the sky each day as the Earth turns. CHIME was designed for cosmological measurements. CHIME will also be an excellent detector of radio pulsars and of the newly recognized phenomenon of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). CHIME is currently under construction in Penticton, British Columbia and first light is expected in 2016.

CHIME/FRB/pulsar project is seeking an experienced Project Manager, ideally a radio astronomer with project execution and/or management experience, to be based at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. The Project Manager will help develop the CHIME FRB/pulsar search backend, which will detect FRBs in the CHIME field-of-view in real time at a rate of at least several per day. The FRB search backend will consist of a custom, dedicated computer cluster that takes in data provided by the CHIME cosmology correlator. This position is a contract position for two years commencing Fall 2015, with an automatic review performed after one year. The salary will be commensurate with experience, $70,000 – $80,000 per annum.

The successful candidate must possess strong management and technical skills, and have experience in fast-track development. This individual will oversee the project using planning, monitoring and controlling management tools. The Project Manager, working closely with the Principal Investigator and the rest of the CHIME/FRB team, will be responsible for coordination and completion of the project and to this end will perform a variety of tasks including setting deadlines, assigning responsibilities, and monitoring and summarizing progress of the project. The Project Manager will report to the Principal Investigator.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Creates and executes project work plans and revises as appropriate to meet changing needs and requirements
Identifies resources needed and assigns individual responsibilities
Manages day-to-day operational aspects of project
Assists in procurement processes at McGill, UBC and U. Toronto
Organizes external reviews
Prepares and presents project reviews / projections to the PI and CHIME/FRB Steering Committee
Manages project budget
Maintains membership and email lists
Conducts regular status and project meetings with the team
Resolves conflicts or escalate issues tactfully and in a timely fashion
Remains on the forefront of emerging industry practices
Identifies opportunities for improvement and makes constructive suggestions for change
Assists in mentoring of students and postdocs
Assists in writing of scholarly journal articles
Professional Qualifications & Required Skills

MSc or PhD in relevant field
Knowledge of radio astronomy techniques and instrumentation
Knowledge of radio astronomical science, particular fast transients and/or compact objects a plus
Knowledge of distributed computing
Knowledge of digital signal processing
Ability to understand the technology being used without necessarily being an expert
Facility with project management tools
Understand cost-to-completion projections
Ability to facilitate team and stakeholders meetings effectively
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral
Delivery of engaging, informative, well organized presentations

Special Requirements:

Travel will be required to effectively utilize the CHIME observing site at Penticton, BC, and to interface with CHIME team members at other institutions, and with suppliers.
Application procedure: Please send CV and expository cover letter describing relevant experience and why this position is of interest. Also provide names and contact information for 3 potential references. All application materials should be combined into a single pdf and emailed to Prof. Victoria Kaspi,, with subject line “Application for CHIME/FRB/pulsar Project Manager”. Skype interviews will be conducted for applicants with promising credentials. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.
McGill University is committed to equity in employment and diversity. It welcomes applications from Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, visible minorities, women, and others who may contribute to diversification. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

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