The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes ING invites applications for the post of Head of Operations, a top-level management post responsible for ensuring that the telescopes, instruments and systems are working, on a daily basis, for use by astronomers.
The ING operates the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope (WHT) and the 2.5-m Isaac Newton Telescope on behalf of the UK Research and Innovation Science and Technology Facilities Council, the Dutch Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, and the Spanish Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias. The facilities, which are equipped with world-class imaging and spectroscopic instruments, are located at the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos (ORM) situated at an altitude of 2400m on the Spanish island of La Palma. Exciting developments for both ING telescopes are currently underway: the WEAVE multi-fibre spectrograph will be deployed at the WHT in 2020, while the HARPS-3 stabilised high-resolution spectrograph for the INT will be deployed in 2022 after robotisation of the INT in 2021.
Reporting to the Director and contributing to the general direction and strategic development of the ING as a member of ING's management team, the post is ideally suited to an experienced mechanical engineer who is looking for opportunities to grow in a challenging, operational environment.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES Responsibility
The primary responsibility is the handover, to the Astronomy Group, of two functional telescopes every day of the year.
The principal duties associated with this post include, but are not limited to:
- Leading ING operations, planning daily routine and repair work, instrument changes as well as preventive maintenance activities;
- Leading the Operations Team of seven technicians, ensuring they have the skills, knowledge and resources required to carry out their tasks;
- Managing operational financial budgets;
- Ensuring coordination of operational activities with other engineering groups, with the astronomy group and with ING administration.
- Ensuring that operational documentation is accurately produced and maintained;
- Keeping up to date with developments in relevant health and safety regulations; and
- Assisting the Director in the top-level management and the strategic development of the ING.
Additionally, the post-holder will lead their team's contribution to the final integration and deployment of WEAVE, and in any remaining adaptations of the WHT infrastructure to the WEAVE operation.
SHORT-LISTING CRITERIA Experience
- Minimum: five years' experience in a mechanical engineering post.
- Desirable: five years' managerial experience in an operational environment; experience in astronomical observatory operations; skills in telescope mechanics (design, analysis).
- Minimum: degree in mechanical engineering or equivalent discipline.Desirable: Masters' degree in an equivalent discipline.
Applicants must also:
- be able to communicate effectively in English and Spanish;
- be fit to work at 2400 m altitude;
- be able to occasionally travel and work away from base and overseas.
Valued knowledge, skills and personal qualities
For this post the following competencies are expected at a high level of expertise so that the post-holder is able to perform without supervision, adapting standard procedures to changing circumstances often in complex situations:
- Strong leadership abilities; proven ability to extract the best from the team and to promote the career development of team members.
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. A teamwork spirit.
- A proven ability to think strategically. Skills in areas of planning and organisation, in a multi-disciplinary environment with strict operational requirements.
- Strong analytical and decision-making skills; drive, proactivity and initiative for problem solving; flexibility and adaptability to the varying conditions at the observatory.
- An ability to produce quality technical documentation; fluency in the use and learning of today's information technology tools for work and for communication; proven record of knowledge about health and safety principles and regulations.
CONTRACTUAL INFORMATION Following a six-month probationary period, this will be a permanent, full-time position. The appointment will be at grade G with a starting gross salary of €55,948.44 Euros per annum which is subject to Spanish income tax and social security deductions. After the first year, the salary will increase to €58,893.04 Euros per annum. An appointment at grade F will be considered depending on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. Corresponding salary figures are 48,649.78 Euros per annum in the first year and 51,212.14 Euros per annum thereafter.
Medical cover will be available to the appointee, partner and accompanying children under the Spanish National Health Service. ING will assist those coming from abroad in registering with the Social Security and Health Services. A relocation package and financial support for Spanish lessons are available.
Applicants from outside the EU need to be in possession of a residence permit and work permit both of which must be valid for Spain.
The successful candidate will have to present a medical certificate stating that they are fit to work at an altitude of 2400m.
Send a completed application form, available from our website.The form must be completed in English.
Applicants must also provide:
- A brief statement of the work undertaken within the last five years and
- Three professional references
- Mechanical Engineering