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The universe awaits

Real Time Software Engineer

Software & Controls
  • Full-Time
  • Engineering
Pasadena, CA
Temporary remote work due to COVID-19
Position code


The Giant Magellan Telescope is the most powerful ground-based telescope ever engineered. It was designed to push the boundaries of human knowledge and discover the unknown. With unmatched image quality, seven of the world’s largest mirrors will launch our view into the universe to uncover the cosmic mysteries of dark matter, investigate the origins of chemical elements, and search for signs of life on distant exoplanets for the first time.

The 30-meter class telescope is under construction at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert, one of the best locations on Earth to view the heavens. From this unrivaled vantage into the southern sky, the Giant Magellan Telescope will produce the sharpest and most detailed images ever taken of our universe.

When complete in the late 2020s, the Giant Magellan Telescope will be the largest public-private funded science project in history. The endeavor was founded by an international consortium of leading universities and research institutions representing five countries, and is managed by the GMTO Corporation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Pasadena, California. Our culture is impactful, inclusive, and fearlessly innovative. We solve the most difficult engineering challenges and scientific questions with talented individuals who share a passion for revolutionizing humanity’s knowledge of the universe.

We invite you to join our team and leave your mark on astronomy’s future and beyond.

The Universe Awaits.


Software and Controls


Software and Controls Manager


Reporting to GMT’s Software and Controls Manager, the Real Time Software Engineer will be part of the Software and Controls (SWC) team and will be responsible to design, implement and test real-time control applications and tools which are part of the GMT control system. This position will work closely with the software architects and other software developers in order to provide a high-quality and a high-value control software to the end users of the GMT control system.

In order to be able to recommend and implement innovative solutions the Real time Software Engineer is expected to keep up-to-date with current trends and tools in real time control applications and tools.


  • Review and create requirements documentation for real time control systems
  • Designing and implement control applications for the telescope subsystems
  • Design and implement simulators for control systems
  • Design and implement model based development tools
  • Follow coding standards, builds unit tests, integration tests and deployment scripts
  • Work collaboratively with the architecture and development teams
  • Install and setup required software and hardware
  • Provide reports on progress and problems
  • Write technical reports, manuals and support documentation
  • Prepare and deliver presentations at project reviews and conferences
  • Support developers and community on support forums, mailing lists, wikis, etc.


  • MS degree in computer science, software engineering or a related discipline
  • 3 years previous experience developing real time control applications
  • C/C++ programming in a real time environment
  • Experience with real time control systems and control theory
  • Experience with motion control and/or image processing applications
  • Experience with industrial fieldbuses and network programming
  • Experience with Linux kernel
  • Ability to debug complex systems
  • Familiarity with hardware device management and UNIX device drivers
  • UML and RT extensions
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment
  • Ability to work with cross-functional work teams and users
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
  • Willingness and ability to travel to foreign and domestic vendor, partner, and observatory locations as the need arises


  • EtherCAT, CANOpen
  • RT-Preempt and other RT Linux extensions
  • Python development
  • Experience with Model Based Software Engineering based on DSLs
  • Experience with SysML
  • Experience in agile projects
  • Open source community experience is a plus
  • Previous experience in telescopes or related sciences is a plus


  • Medical insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • 401(k)


GMTO has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy effective March 14, 2022, requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees (with GMTO-approved exemptions for religious or medical reasons only). At present, an individual is deemed “fully vaccinated” for Covid-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series, or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine. GMTO management may revise the definition of Fully Vaccinated in this Policy based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force or other relevant Government or Health agencies. Any changes will be communicated to all employees before its effective date.

As a condition of employment, employees must submit official COVID-19 vaccine documentation.


$115,000- $160,000

The salary for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to, internal equity, experience, education, and training.


To apply send your resume and a cover letter to

If your skills and experience are a match for the position or if we need additional information, we will contact you. If we do not see a suitable match between your qualifications and the position, we will keep your information on file in the event future positions become available that are more suitable to your qualifications.

We are an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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