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Peje

Engineering Job in Astronomy?

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Hi All,

Over the last while I've been considering a slight change in career direction. Currently I work for a global IP camera manufacturer, in the last decade I've gone from a Mechanical Engineering role, to Project Management and now I am an Engineering Manager & Engineering lead for all camera development. I really do enjoy the job I do & work with a great group of people. I have been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to expand my role in new and interesting areas. I am passionate about my job and my desire for a change is not a reflection on the job I have today.


What has really sparked this off is the realisation that if I can get so much enjoyment from a job that is loosely related to one of my hobbies (photography), how much more satisfaction could I get from something that is actually making a contribution to Astronomy, something that has fascinated me for many years.


The Engineering side of astronomy is something I have no real information on. For example, is it driven by private companies who are contracted by larger Astronomy organisations or do either of these make contributions by themselves?


My plan was that, rather than start talking to recruitment agencies who would inundate me with non-astro jobs and promises of large salaries, I would reach out directly to astronomy related companies who might be interested in someone with my skillset.


The purpose of this topic was to see if anyone had any thoughts on the sort of companies / organisations that I should contact, or even just general feedback on my thought process.

Thanks in advance,
Pete

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Can't help with actual full time jobs, but there seems to be a gap in the market for some-one to service and repair Astro equipment, particularly mounts, and also doing belt Mods, not every-one is capable of doing it themselves.

There used to be a guy called Graham that did it but had to give it up for health reasons. 

You might like to consider this as a side line.

Carole 

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2 minutes ago, carastro said:

Can't help with actual full time jobs, but there seems to be a gap in the market for some-one to service and repair Astro equipment, particularly mounts, and also doing belt Mods, not every-one is capable of doing it themselves.

There used to be a guy called Graham that did it but had to give it up for health reasons. 

You might like to consider this as a side line.

Carole 

Thanks Carole, it is definitely a good suggestion but not quite the sort of thing I'm after. 

I totally accept this is a weird request for information, it's probably something I'll have to run down myself.

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Hello Pete

I definitely understand your motivation - I'm a mechanical design engineer currently working in offshore energy after spending the bulk the bulk of my career date in military and civil aerospace with a bit of space thrown in). Personally, it would be amazing to be involved in the development of large research and 'giant' optical telescopes.

Have you considered contacting the Science and Technology Facilities Council's UK Astronomy Technology Centre? They might be able to help put you in contact with some of the companies that they contract work out to across the UK and Europe.

Good luck with your future career direction and please keep us informed - I will probably be changing course myself soon as my wife and I plan to move to Plymouth from Bristol in the very near future!

All the best,

Rob

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Just thinking that you need to get in touch with one of the labs that make stuff for going into space.  Whether there would be anything in your area of course is another matter. 

Or speak to one of the astro retailers and find out where stuff is made.  Though have a feeling much is made abroad.

There is a space laboratory down in Surrey,   But I just googled your location and see it is in Northern Ireland.  

Carole 

 

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I’d second looking at STFC, they’re responsible for funding the UK’s involvement in all the large telescope projects. They are now part of UKRI and you can find details of all externally advertised jobs on this site. https://www.topcareer.jobs/

You might also want to look on some of the large telescope project web sites as they may advertise roles directly on there. 

A lot of funding is done via universities and some facilities are managed directly by them. For example Jodrell Bank is run by the university of Manchester. So you could try their recruitment sites as well. 

Finally it might be worth writing to the heads of the major telescope projects and detailing your skills and experience and conveying your passion for astronomy. They may just decide to make a role for you. 

Good luck. 

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