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Array and Operations Performance Group Manager

Santiago | San Pedro de Atacama

  • Organization: ESO - European Southern Observatory
  • Location: Santiago | San Pedro de Atacama
  • Grade: Mid level - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed

The successful candidate will work in the Array and Operations Performance Group within the JAO Department of Science Operations. The JAO Department of Science Operations (DSO) consists of four groups: the Array Operations Group (AOG), the Program Management Group (PMG), the Array and Operations Performance Group (AOPG), and the Data Management Group (DMG). Overall, DSO is responsible for the project preparation and data collection processes as well as data quality assurance. DSO also leads the planning of improvements to the science operations as well as participates in the Development Program as part of commissioning new capabilities.

The Array and Operations Performance Group is responsible for the definition and optimization of ALMA operations to improve its performance, the design and implementation of long-term observational strategies related to development programs and new capabilities to enhance the observatory capabilities, and provide data science support to DSO. The group currently consists of 5 Operations Astronomers, 6 Systems Astronomers, and the Data Science and Analytics Lead.

The AOPG Manager will work closely with the other DSO Managers, the Observatory Scientist, the ALMA Regional Centers, the JAO Departments of Computing and Engineering, and the ALMA Integrated Science Operations Team.


The AOPG Manager reports directly to the Head of Science Operations. The primary purpose of this position is to provide leadership and management to the Array and Operations Performance Group.

The AOPG Manager has the following responsibilities:

1. Manage the Performance Group to develop and implement Operations Optimization and Automation processes, implement development programs, and prepare New Capabilities.

2. Manage the operations resources dedicated to commissioning activities. The Manager will be the interface between development studies and programs and science operations.

3. Work to provide professional development and visibility to team members and to enable their scientific research time.

4. Coordinate support for Astronomers on Duty shifts from the Group with the PMG Manager.

5. Prepare New Capabilities and improve existing ALMA Observing Modes to enhance efficiency and data quality.

6. Support the Head of Science Operations in defining policies and procedures for ALMA science operations as well as in planning and coordinating science operations activities.

7. Organize and evaluate tests of the software tools needed for optimizing science operations. Design new processes and procedures where needed.

8. Coordinate Array diagnostics and troubleshooting.

9. Coordinate new Cycle software validation and testing.

10. Coordinate the cycle preparation activities with the Proposal Handling Team lead for a call for proposals and deliver to PMG the science projects ready for operations at the cycle start.

11. Coordinate support to the ALMA Proposal Review Process, leading the technical assessments of proposals.

12. Provide support to the ALMA call for proposals including the production of documentation and content of web pages.

13. Provide infrastructure to support science activities of JAO science staff and visitors, and coordinate support to the JAO public outreach team.

14. Manage the support and promotion of data science within DSO.

The successful candidate will be expected and encouraged to conduct astronomical research and/or operations related research in accordance with contractual conditions. Research in areas directed toward the use of ALMA will be strongly encouraged.

Professional Requirements/Qualifications:

Applicants for this position shall fulfill the following requirements:

  • PhD in Astronomy or Physics.
  • At least 5 years of experience after the PhD.
  • Excellent managerial and leadership skills.
  • Ability to lead a high-performing team consisting of operations astronomers.
  • Ability to design and innovate new processes and procedures.
  • Fluency in the English language (oral and written).
  • Proven track record of scientific research.

The following requirements will be considered an asset:

  • Experience in observatory science operations.
  • Experience in millimeter-wavelength observations.

Required Competencies:

  • Strong interpersonal communication skills.
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team.

Due to travel requirements and work at high altitudes, a successful high-altitude medical check is a necessary condition of employment for this position.

Duty Station / Location of Position & working conditions:

The JAO offices in Santiago and the Operations Support Facility (OSF) near San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. The successful applicant may be required to spend a significant amount of time working at the ALMA sites at OSF (2900m elevation) and occasionally at the Array Operations Site (5000m elevation).

Starting Date:

As soon as possible.


Actual contractual terms will be defined by the selected employer (ESO, AUI/NRAO or NAOJ).


ALMA International Staff will be recruited as employees of ESO, AUI/NRAO or NAOJ. Each of these employers offer competitive remuneration packages including a competitive salary as well as comprehensive social benefits, and provide financial support in relocating families. Furthermore, if applicable, an expatriation allowance as well as some other allowances will be added.

Application process & contracts:

ALMA International Staff Members will be engaged to work at the JAO through one of the Executives: ESO, AUI/NRAO, or NAOJ. Candidates should apply through the Recruitment Portal of any ALMA Executive (ESO, AUI/NRAO, NAOJ). Once the selection process is completed, each ALMA Executive will send a contract offer to the successful candidate, who needs to confirm which offer will decide to take.

Each application should be written in English and must include:

  • Motivational cover letter;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • Three reference letters.

Applicants submitting their application to ESO are invited to apply online at "".

Applicants submitting their application to AUI/NRAO are invited to apply online at "".

Applicants submitting their application to NAOJ are invited to send their application and reference letters to "".

Deadline for receipt of applications to be considered is 14 June, 2024.

For further information please consult (, as well as the ESO (, NRAO (, and/or NAOJ ( Home Pages.

ESO, NRAO, and NAOJ are Equal Opportunity Employers. The post is equally open to suitably qualified female and male applicants.

ALMA Values:

An important element in any successful employment relationship is harmony in values between an organization and its people.

The ALMA Values are:


Respect and Diversity



Applicants to any ALMA role are asked to reflect on their affinity with these values and advised they may be asked about them if called for interview.


ALMA has established diversity as an important value of the Organization, is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment, and is actively seeking to promote a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce, irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion.

This vacancy is now closed.
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