Organizational Unit: Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics
Language Requirements: English
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Help bring research to life and drive your career forward with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canada’s largest research and technology organization.
We are looking for an Electronics Technologist, Radio Instrumentation Support to support our Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre (HAA). The Electronics Technologist, Radio Instrumentation Support would be someone who shares our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Respect and Creativity.
We are looking for an Electronics Technologist, Radio Instrumentation Support to join a world-class team of scientists, engineers, and technologists in the development of new instrumentation for radio astronomy and support of existing facilities operated by NRC and its international partners at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO). DRAO is Canada’s National Facility for radio astronomy, operated by the Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre (HAA).
The total staff complement of HAA is about 200 people, of whom 40 work at DRAO, comprising NRC employees and visiting workers from partner institutions. DRAO staff operate world-class radio telescopes on site, develop and build leading-edge radio telescope equipment and other facilities for international radio astronomy projects, and carry out scientific and engineering research. DRAO’s radio telescopes are currently the 7-element Synthesis Telescope (an array of 9-m antennas), the 26-m single antenna John A. Galt Telescope, two instruments dedicated to Solar flux monitoring (a redundant pair of 2-m narrow-band antennas plus a 4-m wide-band antenna), and the DVA2, a 15-m antenna employing a single-piece molded composite reflector that has achieved unprecedented surface precision. All are in the process of major upgrades, including the modernization of the Solar flux monitors and the Synthesis Telescope, the latter employing an entirely new digital backend and a novel approach to clocking/timing. DRAO is also home to the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), operated by a UBC-led consortium of Canadian universities.
The Electronics Technologist, Radio Instrumentation Support will proactively provide technical expertise in the operation, maintenance, and improvement of the DRAO telescopes, which are complex assemblages of custom analog, digital, and radio-frequency systems, operating with highly precise timing and sensitivity in order to capture faint cosmic radio emissions. Identifying and diagnosing faults, and repairing and/or modifying this equipment is a key responsibility of the position. The position also involves site-wide monitoring and mitigation of radio frequency interference (RFI), an essential element in maintaining an environment in which the radio telescopes can detect these emissions.
In addition, the Electronics Technologist, Radio Instrumentation Support, working with NRC and its partners, will assist with the development and construction of new radio astronomy instrumentation, ranging from adding new receivers to existing telescopes, to deploying cutting-edge new radio experiments, to commissioning unique radio telescopes. Major initiatives underway currently include the deployment of new wide-band receivers on DVA2, the Galt Telescope, and the Synthesis Telescope; experimentation with wide-band RFI detectors; the construction of a 4-m spinning antenna for the UBC-led Canadian Galactic Emission Mapper (CGEM); and the construction of the Canadian Hydrogen Observatory and Radio-transient Detector (CHORD), a large project in collaboration with McGill University, the University of Toronto, the University of Calgary, and the Perimeter Institute, which will build and deploy a 512-element array of 6-m antennas at DRAO over the next four years.
DRAO lies in a rural environment 24 km south of Penticton, BC, the nearest major centre, which has a population of 33,000, and 84 km south of Kelowna, BC, a city of 180,000. The site has one large building complex, occupied by laboratories and offices, as well as telescope buildings, fabrication shops, garages, equipment buildings, and storage buildings.
**As an employer who values diversity in its workforce, we encourage candidates to self-identify as members of the following designated groups: women, visible minorities, aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities. Priority may be given to candidates who self-identify.
Applicants must demonstrate within the content of their application that they meet the following screening criteria in order to be given further consideration as candidates:
Diploma from a 2400-hour Electronics Engineering Technology Program. An equivalent combination of education and relevant experience may be considered.
For information on certificates and diplomas issued abroad, please see Degree equivalency
• *Recent experience in the design, fabrication, and testing of analog and digital radio-frequency circuits and systems in a team environment;
• Recent experience in the operation, maintenance, and trouble-shooting of complex electronic systems in a team environment; and
• Recent experience working with suppliers and vendors in the procurement of electronic components and supplies.
*Recent refers to experience acquired within the past 5 years.
Condition of Employment
All employees of the National Research Council are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and attest to their vaccination status unless accommodated based on a medical contraindication, religion, or another prohibited ground of discrimination as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Information on language requirements and self-assessment tests
Candidates will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:
• Strong abilities in communications principles, and analog and digital radio frequency electronics and devices;
• Strong abilities in trouble-shooting techniques to test and diagnose faults to the component level in complex electronic systems;
• Strong abilities in fabrication techniques used for electronic circuits and devices and their housings, including soldering, and use of common machine-shop tools such as drills, drill presses, saws, and sheet-metal brakes and benders;
• Strong abilities in operating specialized software for computer-aided design of mechanical and electronic components, such as Solidworks;
• Strong abilities in operating laboratory instruments, including oscilloscopes, network analysers, and spectrum analysers, and interfacing them to computers for making complex measurements; and
• Technical documentation skills with the ability to write clearly and concisely.
The following competencies will be considered assets:
• Abilities using electronic motor drives and control systems;
• Abilities using modern computer languages such as C, C++, Java, or Python;
• Abilities using real-time programming and/or operating systems; and
• Knowledge of test procedures for evaluating radio frequency interference.
• Research Technician/Technologist – Creative thinking (Level 3)
• Research Technician/Technologist – Results orientation (Level 3)
• Research Technician/Technologist – Communication (Level 2)
• Research Technician/Technologist – Initiative (Level 3)
• Research Technician/Technologist – Teamwork (Level 2)
• NRC-Wide – Valuing people (Level 1)
• Technology extension – Conceptual and analytical ability (Level 3)
For this position, the NRC will evaluate candidates using the following competency profiles: Research Technician/Technologist; Technology Extension; NRC-Wide
View all competency profiles
Relocation assistance will be determined in accordance with the NRC’s directives.
From $73,744 to $94,839 per annum.
NRC employees enjoy a wide-range of competitive benefits including comprehensive health and dental plans, pension and insurance plans, vacation and other leave entitlements.
• A pre-qualified list may be established for similar positions for a one year period.
• Preference will be given to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada. Please include citizenship information in your application.
• The incumbent must adhere to safe workplace practices at all times.
• We thank all those who apply, however only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.
Please direct your questions, with the requisition number (15534) to:
Closing Date: 31 January 2022 – 23:59 Eastern Time