Job Listings

Research Engineering Mechanical Technician IV (Multiple Positions)

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

Posting Number: req7383

Department: Steward Observatory

Location: Main Campus

Address: Tucson, AZ USA

Position Highlights

The department of Steward Observatory seeks to fill up to three positions of a Research Engineering Mechanical Technician IV.

The selected candidates will provide technical skills to enhance assembly and installation procedures used to integrate highly complex optical systems, including polishing and telescope cells (all with pneumatic, hydraulic, electrical, thermal and precision dimensional measuring subsystems), lifting fixtures, and optical fabrication and test instruments needed to produce and support primary optical telescope mirrors as large as 28-feet across and weighing 36,000 pounds.

They will evaluate functional requirements, develop and implement test plans for sub-systems and components of the systems listed above. Will work closely with scientists, engineers and technicians within the Steward Observatory and the College of Optical Sciences to enhance the methods of assembly and testing. In addition, they will mentor and guide technicians within the work group and those assigned to augment the work group.

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

Based on mechanical drawings and design requirements, determines the optimal work station setup and sequence of operations for assembly, integration, ease of production, and disassembly/storage, then conducts those mechanical operations--at locations on and off campus.

  • Determines the best ergonomic position for large assemblies to facilitate safe and efficient integration of parts into the system.
  • Determines where the parts in an assembly may interfere with installation of other parts and plan the sequence of assembly accordingly.
  • Communicates with engineers and supervisor to ensure that procedural changes are incorporated into future revisions of drawings and procedures.

Evaluates highly technical projects assigned to the Integration team and determines the tooling, safety equipment, contracted support and consumable items required then orchestrates the project from planning to completion.

  • Procures supplies, services and parts fabrication for near-term tasks.
  • Organizes the retrieval of required tooling, jigs and hardware from off-site storage, including specialized transportation when needed.
  • Uses the Mirror Lab asset tracking system to assist in maintaining an accurate account of the location of hardware, machinery and metrology equipment in storage at two off-site storage facilities.
  • Prepares complex, fragile and oversized equipment to be moved and stored for future use.

Mentors members and augmentees of the Integration Team and directs their efforts on a daily basis. Leads Integration projects to include

  • Assembly, testing and employment of a vacuum lifting fixture to lift completed 10- and 18-ton mirrors.
  • Installation and system integration of the actuators, hydraulic and pneumatics systems, fans, electrical wiring, thermal monitoring components, electrical boards and chassis, static supports, tangent arms, drain troughs and inflatable seals on a polishing cell.
  • Precision installation of load spreaders and glass wedges (interfaces between the mirror and polishing/telescope cells) on large mirrors.
  • Calibration of actuators for polishing cells or telescope cells.
  • Assembly of precision metrology mechanisms and structures.

Supports the needs of the Polishing Lab by overseeing the assembly, maintenance, disassembly and storage of the major hardware used to generate, grind and polish the 22- to 28-foot diameter mirrors.

  • Assures that the 53-ton capacity air cart used to move the mirrors throughout the lab is fully functional.
  • Assembles and rebuilds polishing laps/orbiting mechanisms as required; adapts the large optical generator for grinding or machining.
  • Precisely assembles/installs the many optical test systems in the 95-foot tall test tower; using a crane and scissorlifts, deploys and redeploys metrology equipment too large and unwieldy for motorized movement.
  • Maintains the lab's high pressure pneumatic system, two scissorlift vehicles and two forklifts.

Supports experimental requirements of engineers and scientists outside the Mirror Lab.

  • Supports telescope integration needs at other Steward Observatory locations to include mountaintop observatories.
  • Supports major mirror moves at Optical Sciences Large Optics Shop.
  • Supports the needs of Steward Engineering & Technical Services (ETS) groups or principal investigators leading special projects nationwide.

Additional duties may be assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

High school diploma or equivalent, or equivalent learning attained through experience required.

Minimum of 7 years of relevant experience required.

Preferred Qualifications

At least 8 years experience

Technical or vocational training in any technical field

Associates degree or certificate in any technical field

FLSA: Non-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: $20.94 - $28.33 DOE

Compensation Type: hourly rate



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: 3

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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