Employment at CPI

Optical Astronomer

Computational Physics, Inc. seeks a recent Ph.D. scientist for a position in optical astronomy to support our customers at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

About the Position

The successful candidate conduct research using online photometry archives such as Gaia, ZTF, and WISE to understand the multi-wavelength morphological characteristics of active galactic nuclei and quasars, especially blazars. There will be a focus on the time domain and variability. He/she will also pursue photometric monitoring campaigns using both USNO and non-USNO telescopes. There will be opportunities for publication.

About the USNO

The USNO is responsible for the production and dissemination of precise time, astrometry, and earth orientation parameters for the Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community for use in navigation. As the DoD Celestial Reference Frame manager, USNO collects, manages, validates and disseminates celestial data, and is the authoritative source for all celestial data for the DoD. To support this mission, USNO deploys and operates astronomical telescopes at multiple locations around the world. Its analytic products support Navy, DoD and other U.S. Government needs, such as those of NASA, NOAA and other agencies, as well as the needs of non-U.S. Government users world-wide. The USNO plays an important role in the world scientific community for research on double stars, AGNs, celestial reference frames and geodesy.

About CPI

At CPI we study the physical properties of the Earth and its atmosphere as well as our neighboring planets and the sun. We perform both basic and applied research, including translating our findings into hardware and software products. CPI has served U. S. Government agencies, universities, international science organizations and satellite prime contractors, as well as commercial customers, since 1984. As an employee-owned company, we pride ourselves on our long history and stability, our ability to solve complex scientific and technical challenges, our commitment to quality and integrity and to our customers, and our positive, employee-oriented corporate culture. CPI has been an important contractor at the USNO since 2008.

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in astronomy, physics, engineering, or related field with experience in radio interferometry, data reduction, and analysis
  • Proficiency in Python, including demonstrated skill with object-oriented programming.
  • Experience applying statistical methods to data, such as non-parametric tests, maximum likelihood estimators, or Bayesian methods.
  • Experience with photometric data reduction and calibration.
  • A publication record appropriate for a recent Ph.D.
  • Experience using archival space-based photometry.
  • U.S. citizenship is required for this position.

Aditional Desirable qualifications

  • Experience with synthetic photometry and spectral energy distribution fitting/decomposition.
  • Experience with spectral data analysis and fitting.
  • Experience with the engineering or characterization of CCD or CMOS/sCMOS detectors.
  • Experience using SQL, ADQL, or TAP queries to mine databases.
  • Research background in active galactic nuclei.

Location, Telework, Benefits

The position is located at the USNO in Washington, D.C. A small amount of travel may be required. Telework may be authorized. CPI offers an excellent package of benefits, including health insurance, retirement benefits, annual leave, sick leave, Federal holidays, tuition assistance and others. Our health insurance, annual leave and retirement benefits exceed the industry standard.

How to Apply

Please send your resume in confidence to employment@cpi.com. In the subject line, please write "optical astronomy." A cover letter is optional. The position is open now.

CPI is an Employee-owned Company and an Equal Opportunity Employer