Instrument Engineering Department Head

Job Summary
The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) encourages applications for the Department Head position of the Instrument Engineering Department.

The LASP Instrument Engineering Department is responsible for instrument, optical, and detector design, test and calibration. In addition, this role is responsible for building, operating, and maintaining the LASP test facilities, including thermal vacuum chambers, ambient vacuum chambers, and numerous specialized test facilities.

The Instrument Engineering Department Head is responsible for providing leadership, supporting strategic engineering objectives, and managing shared test facilities. This includes prioritizing program needs for staffing, participating in proposal efforts, and overseeing internal Instrument Engineering budgets. The Department Head will ensure that Instrument Engineering works closely with other departments in LASP to further the success of spaceflight instruments.

The Department supports integration, calibration, and test of an extensive portfolio of spaceflight instruments with an emphasis on optical and detector component characterization as well as overall system-level radiometric performance and optical design. Recent optical LASP instruments include spectrometers, imagers, imaging spectrometers, and absolute radiometers. LASP instruments have operated ranging from the X-ray out to far IR. This department also works with dust mass spectrometers and charged particle detectors.

Who We Are
The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) began in 1948, a decade before NASA. We are the world’s only research institute to have sent instruments to all eight planets and Pluto.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be
Lead and Run the LASP Instrument Engineering Department

  • Provide leadership and support for proactive and ambitious team members
  • Plan and execute the team workload distribution across multiple programs
  • Provide personnel management for department members through coaching, mentoring, and developing group supervisors
  • Develop a strategic vision and plan for Instrument Engineering
  • Establish Instrument Engineering Department standards, processes, and priorities

Manage and Plan Instrument Engineering Department staffing

  • Participate in LASP Engineering labor loading for Instrument Engineering Department and coordinate department staffing support.
  • Responsible for prioritizing efforts to meet dynamic workload and schedule shifts
  • Perform program-specific workload assessments
  • Coordinate and conduct annual reviews for Instrument Engineering Department personnel
  • Nominate Instrument Engineering personnel for promotion to the Engineering Director
  • Assign group members to projects
  • Create and approve job descriptions
  • Approve requisitions for new positions, set salaries, and approve offer letters
  • Assign Instrument Engineering Department support for Engineering Division and LASP strategic initiatives and committees
  • Organize office space for Instrument Engineering members.

Manage the shared Instrument Engineering Department test facilities (thermal vacuum chambers, environmental test chambers, heliostat, LASP laser facility)

  • Scheduling for both internal and external users
  • Set and maintain rates for internal and external use
  • Lead outreach and screening for external facility users
  • Coordinate facility maintenance
  • Provide vision and gather guidance from the Instrument Engineering members on shared facility upgrades, changes to streamline use, increase capability, and increase facility safety

Provide support, from TVAC shift support to data analysis, to other department members as needed
Participate in proposal development, support, and writing
Coordinate with Program Managers on all proposals and new business support efforts
Perform Instrument Engineering Department administrative functions

  • Develop, handle, and maintain the Instrument Engineering Department’s internal
  • Approve Instrument Engineering Department internal charges

Support Division Director in initiatives

  • Operate as the department interface to other LASP Divisions
  • Support Engineering Director in Division-to-Division interfaces and initiatives
  • Provide recommendations to the Engineering Director for Engineering Division and lab initiatives

What We Can Offer

We can offer a competitive salary, commensurate with experience.
The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment.

Be Groundbreaking. Be Ambitious. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • BS and 10 years of experience in physics, engineering physics or related field
  • Two years of management experience in a related field
  • Optical and system-level test experience
    Due to ITAR restrictions, only US citizens and permanent residents may apply

What You Will Need

  • A dynamic, hands-on leader capable of instilling passion for building cutting-edge space-flight instruments
  • Proven ability to work under pressure, maintaining excellent organizational and social skills, and delivering high-quality work consistently against tight deadlines
  • Ability to assess and prioritize multiple tasks, projects, and demands
  • Effective communication skills both written and verbal with stress on articulating and writing effectively
  • Ability to shift between focused and meticulous attention on small details to the overarching vision of a project
  • Ability to work on assignments that require data evaluation, recommendation development, and decision making
  • Possess strong influencing skills, and be comfortable driving timely decisions among multiple partners
  • An understanding of federal government contracting processes, knowledge, and experience with large space systems contract work
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office tools including Project, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

What We Would Like You to Have

  • Advanced degree in physics, engineering physics, or related field
  • Vacuum facility, optical laboratory facilities, and space systems development
    experience is desired
  • Experienced in assessing technical, financial, schedule, or other associated risks
  • Experience with space flight instrumentation
  • Experience with technical programming (MATLAB, IDL, Python, etc.)

Special Application Instructions
To apply, please submit the following materials:
1. A current resume/CV
2. A cover letter that specifically addresses how your background and experience align with the requirements, qualifications and responsibilities of the position

Please apply by January 12, 2020 for consideration.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration,
applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Please apply at:

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources
Posting Contact Email:
The University of Colorado is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer