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Adler Planetarium
Chicago, IL, United States (hybrid)
30 days ago
Adler Planetarium
Chicago, Illinois, United States (hybrid)
30 days ago


The Position:

The Adler Planetarium is seeking a Lead Instrumentation Designer to join our dynamic team located on Chicago's Museum Campus. The Lead Instrumentation Designer is part of the Adler’s Teen Programs and Far Horizons team. Far Horizons engages staff, volunteers, and teen program participants in the adventure of STEM. Whether it’s developing new instrumentation to assess the quality of the night sky or designing and building electronic components for our high-altitude balloon program, the Lead Instrumentation Designer leads the design and development of electronic packages for scientific experimentation. They provide staff, volunteers, and students supervision, guidance, and leadership on technology, techniques, processes, training, and standards for all projects. This individual also implements and supports engineering-focused educational programs. The schedule for this position is 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM, Tuesday - Saturday. This is a hybrid position typically working two days from home and three days onsite at the Adler Planetarium.

This individual will also be responsible for:

  • Designing and overseeing the development of electrical, mechanical, and software solutions for experimentation, high-altitude ballooning systems, and scientific research

  • Coordinating with Teen Programs and Far Horizons staff, to develop and implement engineering-focused cohort-based programs and acting as the engineering content expert to support and contribute to the development of other teen experiences at the Adler

  • Supervising and mentoring adult volunteers and undergraduate interns

  • Documenting and developing infrastructure for an effective engineering design process, supporting sound engineering practices and producing technical writing for project-oriented work including research publications

FT The Compensation & Benefits:


Base Pay Range: $49K - $60K

Work-Life Balance

  • 35-hour workweek

  • 3 sick days as of date of hire (can accrue up to 6.5 days per year)

  • 7 Adler paid holidays

  • Personal Holidays (Prorated for new hires starting after January 1st)

  • Eligible to accrue up to 15 vacation days per year to start

  • Flexible work arrangements

Competitive Health Coverage

  • Medical, Dental, & Vision insurance

  • Healthcare, Dependent Care & Commuter flexible spending accounts

  • Adler Paid Short-Term Disability insurance

Retirement Savings Plan

  • 403B plan with Adler match

  • Adler match is 100% vested immediately

  • Eligible to enroll as of the date of hire  

Network of Support through our expanded EAP program

  • Monthly webinars, workshops, and self-care content

  • Life and Career Coaching

  • Specialized Coaching Programs

  • Therapy with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Discounted Onsite Parking Passes

Free Entrance to Chicago area museums and cultural institutions


The Person:

We’re looking for an experienced and passionate engineer with an inventive, can-do attitude. You’re always prepared with a plan, but recognize that sometimes you have to throw that plan out the window and figure out an alternative solution. Collaboration is your middle name - you’re excited to work in a team-focused environment with staff, volunteers, and teens. You thrive on challenges; when the going gets rough you roll up your sleeves and give it your all. While you may not have experience working with teens, you’re an excellent communicator and can break down and explain complex STEM concepts. The schedule for this position is 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM, Tuesday - Saturday. This is a hybrid position typically working two days from home and three days onsite at the Adler Planetarium.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in a technical field (engineering, physics, programming, etc.)or five years of relevant work experience

  • Three years of work experience in engineering 

  • Experience in communicating technical work to a lay audience

  • Experience with electrical design (ex. schematics, PCB fabrication, and CAD)

  • Programming skills in C++, Python, or comparable languages

  • Proficiency with microcontroller programming and hardware design (ex. Arduino, Raspberry Pi)

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Five years of work experience in the fields of aerospace, electrical, or systems engineering. 

  • Experience and affinity in mentoring students (6th - 12th grade and undergraduates)

  • Experience in embedded systems hardware/software design

  • Experience translating requirements into system hardware/software architecture

  • Technical writing and project management experience

  • Experience with remote sensing

The Team:

The Teen Programs and Far Horizons team at the Adler Planetarium is a group of passionate and wacky educators, engineers, and researchers. Our mission is to provide Chicago students with a safe and fun space to learn, experiment, and gain exposure to new possibilities through authentic hands-on STEM opportunities. We’re always up for an adventure - from the bottom of Lake Michigan to orbiting the Earth and just about everywhere in between. And we do it all with a passion for engaging the next generation of explorers on the journey.

Job Information

  • Job ID: 67533919
  • Workplace Type: Hybrid
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Company Name For Job: Adler Planetarium
  • Position Title: Lead Instrumentation Designer
  • Job Function: Circuits and Systems,
    Computer Programming/Systems,
    Electronics Engineer,
    Instrumentation and Measurement
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Job Duration: Indefinite
  • Required Travel: 0-10%
Non-Profit / Charity
Chicago , IL , US

The Adler Planetarium connects people to the universe and each other. Whether it is introducing a guest to the Ring Nebula, a neighborhood school to a community partner, a research team to a network of citizen scientists, or one staff member to another, the Adler’s focus on meaningful connections dates back nearly a century. Today, the museum hosts more than half a million visitors each year and reaches millions more through youth STEM programs, neighborhood skywatching events, online citizen science, and other outreach p...

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