Macquarie University

Macquarie University

Instrument Scientist


Closing in 10 days


- Salary Package: from $115,787 to $136,995 (Level B) plus 17% superannuation and annual leave loading - Appointment Type: full-time, 3 years fixed-term - Location: Macquarie University Wallumattagal Campus, North Ryde


The Role

Australian Astronomical Optics - Macquarie (AAO-MQ) is seeking an outstanding early career academic with an excellent track record in system design and development in astronomical instrumentation. The role will be split between research (40%) and instrument science project support (60%). The successful applicant will have a key role in a significant instrument contract recently signed between Macquarie University and the US, as well as working on other innovative instrumentation projects.

The instrument scientist will be involved in the design, development, and delivery of ground-based or space-based optical instruments, including developing scientific and technical requirements, systems modelling, systems engineering, MAIT planning and testing, and instrument installation and commissioning. They will also be expected to take on the technical leadership of one or more projects, working with a project manager and a team of engineers and scientists to ensure successful delivery.

The successful candidate will have access to fully equipped optical laboratories and will be working with a team of highly qualified experts in astronomical instrumentation including optical engineers, mechanical engineers, software engineers, electronics engineers, project managers, and a team of dedicated support staff.

Reporting to the Associate Professor – AAO-MQ, you will:

  • Lead system design and development on the key instrument contract, as well as on a number of additional instrumentation projects

  • Manage the Implementation, Integration, Verification and Validation (IIVV) plan and activities, and prepare associated review documentation.

  • Carry out research into instrumentation for astronomy or space-based observations, and to participate in the academic functions of the university.

  • Assist AAO-MQ in grant applications where needed to successfully obtain funding

  • The position will be 3 years fixed term, with the possibility of changing to a continuing-contingent position after 2 years (i.e. a continuing position, contingent on the AAO's ongoing project funding). The base salary will be from $115,787 to $136,995 AUD per annum (Level B) plus 17% superannuation.

    About You

    You will have completed a PhD in astronomical instrumentation or in a closely related discipline. You will have deep and broad experience as an Instrument Scientist with excellent skills in managing the IIVV plan and leading the design and development of astronomical instrumentation. You will have a passion and enthusiasm for research and innovation and ensuring that quality outcomes are delivered.

    You will be experienced in developing strong cases to obtain successful grant applications and funding in a competitive environment. A strong knowledge in systems engineering practices, as well as experience in optical/infrared astronomical instrumentation and/or adaptive optics systems is essential to the role. You will be an excellent researcher and communicator with a proactive and flexible nature, and you will enjoy working both individually and as part of a larger team.

    About Us

    Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) at Macquarie University is an international leader in the development of optical instruments for astronomy, with a 40+ year heritage of building instruments for observatories across the globe, including major contracts with Subaru, Gemini, ESO VLT, and GMT. We are excited to take a significant role in leading and growing Australia's strength in astronomical instrumentation, partnering with the Australian National University and the University of Sydney under the banner of Astralis Instrumentation Consortium. Our strengths at the AAO include visible and near- infrared spectroscopy, imaging, integral field spectroscopy, fibre optics, fibre positioners, and astrophotonics.

    The AAO-MQ works in a matrix structure with close collaboration across all its functional groups. There is a strong emphasis on communities of practice and a shared culture of learning and innovation. As part of our expansive new vision, AAO-MQ's team of experts will build on the University's existing strengths in astronomy, photonics, laser technology, microfabrication, applied optics and sensing communications, with the aim of increasing industry engagement, identifying opportunities to apply AAO-MQ's expertise to medicine and defence, and expanding its presence in the fields of optics and sensing, in addition to the ongoing mission of world-leading excellence in astronomical instrumentation.

    The AAO has state-of-the-art facilities including large integration halls, clean rooms, fully equipped optical laboratories, R&D labs, mechanical and electronics workshops. We will soon be moving into new purpose-built premises on Macquarie University campus.

    For more information see:


  • www. schools/australian-astronomical-optics-macquarie

  • Macquarie University is located in the leafy northern suburbs of Sydney, with excellent public transport links. The campus features large green open spaces, fantastic campus facilities, such as the Sport and Aquatic Centre and onsite childcare. Benefits of working at Macquarie University include a well-defined career path, generous leave entitlements, and excellent 17% superannuation contributions.

    To Apply

    To be considered for this position, please apply online by submitting your CV and a separate cover letter that clearly demonstrates how you meet the following selection criteria:


  • PhD in astronomical instrumentation or general scientific instrumentation, optics, photonics, physics or similar technical scientific discipline

  • Experience in astronomical instrumentation projects

  • Quality research and publication record in instrumentation, experimental science, or a related discipline.

  • Experience in the research, development and commissioning of complex instrumentation.

  • Knowledge of and/or training in systems engineering practises for technical projects.

  • Proven ability to win new funding in a competitive environment

  • Demonstrated proficiency in communicating technical information, including written reports and oral presentations.

  • Desirable:

  • Experience in adaptive optics and MAIT (manufacturing, assembly, integration, and testing).
  • Role Enquiries: Simon Ellis, Associate Lecturer at [email protected]

    General Recruitment Enquiries : Rebecca Phillips, HR Consultant at [email protected]

    If you're already part of the Macquarie Group (MQ University, U@MQ, MQ Health, MGSM), you'll need to apply through your employee Workday account. To apply for this job: Login to Workday and go to the Careers App > Find Jobs.

    Applications Close:

    08/03/2024 11:59 PM

    Diversity and Inclusion

    Innovation and ingenuity thrive at Macquarie University when diversity, equity and inclusion take centre stage. At the University, we embrace a culture where diversity of background, experience and perspective are fundamental to our success.

    We do not discriminate on gender identity, age, culture, disability, sexuality, Indigeneity, family and caring responsibilities or religion. See our journey towards leadership in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education.

    Flexible Work

    At Macquarie, we believe by providing flexibility in when, where and how work is done, we can support our staff to manage their personal commitments, while optimising their work performance and contributions to the University. See how we lead in flexible work to enable an outcome focused and inclusive workplace. To learn more about our culture and hiring process, explore our Candidate Resource Hub.

    Job details


    Instrument Scientist


    Macquarie University




    February 09, 2024

    Application deadline

    March 08, 2024

    Job type



    Agricultural Science,Engineering,Physics,Space Science

    About the employer

    Established in 1964, Macquarie University is a public university located in the suburbs of Macquarie Park in Sydney, Australia. The establishment of the university marked a bold step towards transforming the otherwise traditional education system that was prevalent in Australia. The institution offers several facilities and services to students and is ranked among the leading universities globally.
    The university has a total student enrolment of 40,209 students of which 27,795 students belong to full-time programs and 12,414 belong to part-time programs. The university saw a total of 8,641 international admissions and 31,568 domestic student enrollments for the last academic year (2019-20).

    A vibrant hub for students, researchers, and teachers, all work towards pursuing a common goal of a brighter future. Macquarie University has been ranked among the top 1% of universities in the world by QS World University Rankings, 2020. Considered one of the top universities in Australia, the university has been on the ninth position for Australia for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings, 2020), producing graduates that are among the most sought after professionals in the world.

    Spanning across 126 acres of land, the university provides an extensive range of courses for students to choose from. The Faculty of Business, The Faculty of Education, The Faculty of Engineering, The Faculty of Law, The Faculty of Science, The Faculty of Medicine and Health, The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The Faculty of Information Technologies, The Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, The Faculty of Media, Communications and Performing Arts, The Faculty of Psychology and Cognitive Science and The Faculty of Security, Intelligence and Criminology offer various courses and research degrees for both undergraduate as well as graduate studies.

    The university has several accommodation options for its students to choose from. Students can select their hall of residence according to their preferences and would not face any inconvenience during their stay in the city. Amenities at Macquarie University campus include a Bookshop, Counselling Services, Cafes, Medical Clinic, Pharmacy, and a Private Hospital along with other facilities. The university is situated at a prime location and has the availability of most resources, students would require around its premises.

    The University also offers excellent sports facilities to students which are considered to be one of the greatest in the country. The Sports and Aquatic Centre located at the university has swimming pools, health clubs, basketball and squash courts, and even a martial arts area for students to indulge in.

    To promote global higher education, Macquarie University awards scholarships to the tune of $6 million. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit, diversity, leadership capabilities, financial hardship, and/or key achievements such as sports and voluntary experience. The university has one of the most substantial scholarship programs in Australia, providing several opportunities each year to international students to undertake studies at the university.

    Ranked among the safest cities in the world, Sydney is an ideal study destination for students from all across the world. The university takes the safety of its students very seriously and has security personnel posted within the campus walls.

    Some of the notable alumni of Macquarie University are Chris Lilley - Australian comedian, Rob Oakeshott - Member of the Australian House of Representatives, Tania Mihailuk - Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, Adam Hills - Australian comedian, Murray Cook - Australian musician, Greg Page - Australian singer, Lauren Jackson - Australian basketball player and Anthony Field - Australian musician among many others.

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