Job Listings

Process Controls Engineer (Safford, AZ)

The University of Arizona
Job Location:
Tucson, 85724
Facilities Management

Posting Number: req19892

Department: Large Binocular Telescope Obs

Location: Outside of Tucson

Address: MGIO Base Camp, 1480 W SR366, Safford, AZ 85546 USA

Position Highlights

The Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (LBTO) is among the most powerful optical/infrared telescopes in the world, with two 8.4m-diameter mirrors on a single mount, located on the summit of Mount Graham near Safford, Arizona. The observatory features a sophisticated suite of instruments for optical and infrared imaging and spectroscopy, supported by innovative adaptive optics technologies. The LBT is driving discoveries for cosmic sources ranging from exoplanets around nearby stars, to some of the most distant galaxies in the universe. The observatory is operated by an international consortium of leading research institutions and functions administratively as part of the University of Arizona, with offices in Tucson.

The Observatory seeks a Process Controls Engineer who is responsible for improving, maintaining, documenting and troubleshooting observatory systems, including: PLC systems, cooling, instrumentation, HVAC, telemetry and drive systems involving electric motors, and for performing other duties as assigned. The position reports to the Chief Observatory Engineer and all work will be performed in concert with the Observatory Manager. The position will be based in Safford, AZ, with most of the time spent at the observatory site on Mt Graham (3200m). Some of the work can be done in a remote setting. Generally, work will be scheduled on a four, ten-hour days per week schedule, including some weekend shifts. The position may include supervisory responsibility for 1-2 individuals who provide operational support.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

The University of Arizona has been recognized for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona and relocations services, please click here.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Responsible for designing, modifying, maintaining, troubleshooting, specifying and documenting PLC systems at the observatory.
  • Work will include hardware design and software design, including SCADA systems development, with relevance to the long-term strategy for observatory operations.
  • Work is expected to include systems such as HBS, HVAC, telemetry, drive systems, building enclosure, hydronics, air supply, and instrumentation.
  • Some of the work might require occasional hands-on testing, assembling, configuring, wiring or fabrication.
    Work is conducted independently in most cases.
  • Responsible for troubleshooting and repair tasks related to maintaining the operation of observatory facility, subsystems and instrumentation.
  • Work is likely to include some hands-on troubleshooting or testing where conditions such as safety, temperature, or physical access may impair or limit work.
  • Classical electrical and mechanical engineering design utilizing best engineering practices, including study, documentation, tests, design reviews, vendor or material selection and evaluations.
  • The Process Controls Engineer is expected to be a technical resource for the observatory as a whole, with a role in shaping policies, standards, and processes.
  • Meetings, safety instruction and training, and career enhancement training.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Electrical and mechanical design, including PLC software
  • SCADA design
  • Good communication and documenting skills
  • Ability to troubleshoot, test or conduct other hands-on work in small or other cramped spaces
  • Safety training and safety compliance for the job which mainly includes fall hazards, electrical hazards and emergency response

Physical/Environmental Requirements:

  • Ability to lift up to 75lbs
  • Ability to work in cold conditions if necessary (down to -25C)
  • Ability to work around petroleum or other industrial based oils and ethylene glycol
  • Ability to work in an occasionally noisy industrial environment
  • Driving on mountain roads, sometimes during poor environmental conditions

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent advanced learning attained through professional level experience required.
  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience , or equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • Travel to the Tucson-based observatory headquarters on the campus of the University of Arizona will be required.
  • Deployments for on-site work that may last two to four days, and overnight remote "on-call" assistance, will be required.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in an Engineering discipline preferred.

FLSA: Exempt

Full Time/Part Time: Full Time

Number of Hours Worked per Week: 40

Job FTE: 1.0

Work Calendar: Fiscal

Job Category: Research

Benefits Eligible: Yes - Full Benefits

Rate of Pay: $86,870 - $112,932

Compensation Type: salary at 1.0 full-time equivalency (FTE)



Compensation Guidance

The Rate of Pay Field represents the University of Arizona's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting. The University considers several factors when extending an offer, including but not limited to, the role and associated responsibilities, a candidate's work experience, education/training, key skills, and internal equity.

The Grade Range Minimum, Midpoint, and Maximum Fields listed below represent a full range of career compensation growth over time in this position and grade. Each unit typically sets starting pay between minimum and midpoint upon hire. The university offers compensation growth opportunities within its career architecture. To learn more about compensation, please review our Applicant Compensation Guide and our Total Rewards Calculator.

Grade Range Minimum


Grade Range Midpoint


Grade Range Maximum


Career Stream and Level


Job Family

Research Engineering

Job Function


Type of criminal background check required: Name-based criminal background check (non-security sensitive)

Number of Vacancies: 1

Contact Information for Candidates

LBTO Chief Observatory Engineer, James Riedl,

Open Until Filled: Yes

Documents Needed to Apply: Resume and Cover Letter

Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As a Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

Notice of Availability of the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), each year the University of Arizona releases an Annual Security Report (ASR) for each of the University's campuses. These reports disclose information including Clery crime statistics for the previous three calendar years and policies, procedures, and programs the University uses to keep students and employees safe, including how to report crimes or other emergencies and resources for crime victims. As a campus with residential housing facilities, the Main Campus ASR also includes a combined Annual Fire Safety report with information on fire statistics and fire safety systems, policies, and procedures.
Paper copies of the Reports can be obtained by contacting the University Compliance Office at

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