Radio Telescope Computer Engineer


On October 6, 2021, the Government of Canada announced the launch of a mandatory vaccination policy across the federal public service.

The Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination for the National Research Council requires you to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and that you attest to your vaccination status prior to the date of your appointment unless accommodated based on a medical contraindication, religion, or another prohibited ground of discrimination as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act.  You can find more specific information on the collection and use of your personal information when you submit your attestation.

The National Research Council (NRC) is the Government of Canada’s premier research and technology organization (RTO).

Working with clients and partners, we provide innovation support, strategic research, scientific and technical services.

Our Inclusive Work Environment

Your work environment and tools will enable you to collaborate with your colleagues across Canada and the globe. We are committed to ensuring that each staff member promptly receives the accommodation they need to do their job and we understand the importance of work/life balance.

NRC employees enjoy a wide range of benefits that include comprehensive medical and dental, pension and insurance plans as well as annual vacation time and other leave. The NRC also offers learning and development opportunities. For more information, please visit our website.

Your Challenge

Help bring research to life and drive your career forward with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canada’s largest research and technology organization.

We are looking for a mid-career Radio Telescope Computer Engineer to support our Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre (HAA). The Telescope Computer Engineer would be someone who shares our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Respect and Creativity.

The Radio Telescope Computer Engineer will support the goals of NRC and the HAA by maintaining, upgrading, and developing new computer hardware and software systems to support telescope operation.  They will design, maintain and set-up computer equipment, networks and software tools required for functioning of the existing telescopes and the development of new telescopes.  The successful candidate will work in a dynamic team environment with engineers, researchers, technicians and technologists in world-class facilities, often on international projects that require collaboration with international partners. Activities also include the development of proposals for new initiatives and providing service to NRC clients and collaborators.  

Some of the most predominant activities of this position, in support of program area objectives, will include:

  • Lead/contribute to design and development of software required to operate existing and new instruments and telescopes. This activity may include system design, installation, integration and testing of computers, network equipment (e.g. switches, routers), operating systems, databases, and custom and commercial software;
  • Lead/contribute to upgrades and maintenance of the existing Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory telescopes and laboratories. Telescopes typically consist of computers, networking equipment, electronic hardware, operating systems, real-time software, databases, user interfaces, test tools, etc. This activity will include diagnostics, troubleshooting, and problem solving. Installation, setup and testing of computers, network equipment (e.g. switches, routers), operating systems, software tools and packages, databases, software repositories and other equipment will be required;
  • Lead/ contribute to installation, integration and testing of the systems developed locally or in collaboration with international partners;
  • Produce project documentation, reports and/or publications on lab, instrumentation, software setups, results of tests, and research projects. Produce maintenance and user manuals as appropriate;
  • Maintain knowledge and expertise in subject areas that support the research and technology development program priorities;

Provide expertise and act as a technical resource within the HAA multi-disciplinary team, relevant Canadian stakeholder communities and international partners and collaborators.

If you want a French version of this job posting, please go to Ingénieur informaticien ou ingénieure informaticienne, Radiotélescopes (


Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering, Software Engineering or other relevant field. Applicants holding a Master’s Degree or higher in these fields may be given preference.


  • Significant relevant and practical experience in software engineering;
  • Significant experience in design and development of real-time multi-threaded software;
  • Significant experience in the use of collaborative revision control software (Git) and DevOps practices;
  • Experience with the complete software development process including solicitation of requirements, design, development, testing and integration; 
  • Experience working with the following and:
  • C++ programming language
  • LINUX/UNIX system management via command-line tools
  • At least one of the following: Shell, Perl or Python.
  • Experience with installation and setup of computers and networking equipment.
  • Experience with the following would be an asset:
  • Design and development of software used for monitoring and control of real-time systems that include electronic equipment (microprocessors, FPGAs, ASICs, GPUs, etc.), actuators and/or other motion control equipment;
  • Experience with design and deployment of containerized application software (Docker, Podman, Kubernetes, etc.);
  • Design and development of software systems that include and use relational and/or object storage databases. 

Condition of Employment

Reliability Status

All employees of the National Research Council are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and attest to their vaccination status unless accommodated based on a medical contraindication, religion, or another prohibited ground of discrimination as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Language requirements


Technical Competencies

  • Knowledge and understanding of the principles, approaches and techniques used in software design and development, including both procedural and object oriented software design and development;  
  • Ability to program in C/C++ and Python;
  • Knowledge and understanding of techniques used in Real-Time Operating Systems and embedded real-time software;
  • Ability to manage and operate within LINUX/UNIX systems using command-line tools; 
  • Good understanding of the networking protocols (Ethernet, IP, TCP/UDP and relevant suite of protocols) and techniques used in network management and security;
  • Ability to develop networked applications using sockets;
  • Knowledge and understanding of basic principles and organizational approaches used in implementation of data bases;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Knowledge of GPIB programming would be an asset; and
  • Working knowledge of SQL or key-value (non-relational) databases would be an asset. 

Closing Date: 31 January 2022 – 23:59 Eastern Time

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