Job Listings

R&D Mechanical Engineer III

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

Posting Number: req6228

Department: Steward Observatory

Location: Main Campus

Address: Tucson, AZ USA

Position Highlights

The department of Steward Observatory seeks to fill a full-time position of an R & D Mechanical Engineer (Mechanical Engineer),

The mechanical engineer will support research in-ground and space-based telescopes and will work closely with electrical, software, and optical engineers. This work includes analysis, concept generation, designing, trade studies, budgetary and detail cost estimations, fabricating, testing, and implementing mechanical hardware and devices to accomplish the goals of the Principal Investigator and his program. Specifically, the Mechanical Engineer will use CAD, FEM, and thermal analysis software to model and analyze the structural and thermal environment of spacecraft for small satellite missions and ground-based telescopes.

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; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

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Duties & Responsibilities

  • Acts as the project team's mechanical engineer providing input to other project team members, namely, optical, electrical, software, systems and control, and integration and testing.
  • Provide guidance to and coordination with other engineers, the mechanical design drafting group, technicians, and other skilled trades.
  • Identifies complex operating and design problems and implements solutions.
  • Designs major mechanical components of projects. Considers cost, schedule, and performance tradeoffs in design, such as selection of COTS, materials, and suppliers.
  • Provides support on mechanical system, components and hardware design using CAD and FEM software.
  • Oversees fabrication and implementation of mechanical hardware and verifies performance and functionality through testing.
  • Be able to take the project's hardware from the design phase through production and delivery.
  • Tracks labor and material resources, requisition of materials, supplies and equipment.
  • Supports and generates technical reports and presents at formal design reviews.
  • Additional duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Proficiency in 3D modeling and CAD software such as SolidWorks and/or Inventor.
  • Knowledge in 2D drawings to be able to communicate with shops to build complex parts.
  • Proficiency with FEA and structural analysis programs such as ANSYS or equivalent.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing with work colleagues and customers.
  • Demonstrated ability to carry 50 lbs, climb structures, and work at heights at high altitude and in cold conditions.
  • Demonstrated as an effective communicator, both orally and in writing, including the preparation of comprehensive technical reports.
  • Demonstrated strong desire to tackle technically challenging problems.
  • Demonstrated self-motivated and can perform with minimum supervision, capable of working from off campus locations

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering or equivalent discipline, AND at least 3 years of work experience.
  • Experience with Word, Excel, PowerPoint or equivalent software.
  • Ability to drive according to the University Fleet Safety Policy.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with optical-mechanical designs and ability to design mounts that hold optics in complex environments.
  • Experience with space and ground telescope design.
  • Proficient in SolidWorks, ANSYS, and Space Claim.
  • Proficient in Thermal Desktop thermal analysis software

FLSA: Exempt

Full Time/Part Time: Full Time

Number of Hours Worked per Week: 40

Job FTE: 1.00

Work Calendar: Fiscal

Job Category: Research

Benefits Eligible: Yes - Full Benefits

Rate of Pay: $71,344 - $100,374 DOE

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



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

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 an Hispanic-serving institution and a Native American/Alaska Native-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.

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