Lagrange laboratory is recruiting an engineer in Instrumental development.

Job offer : fixed term contract (H2020_AdG 2020: Project 101019953 ISSP)

Level : Master

Salary : Depending on experience, research engineer level

Type of position : Science of engineering and scientific instrumentation; expert in development of instrument

Situation : Université Côte d’Azur – Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur - Laboratoire LAGRANGE – Bâtiment Fizeau du Campus Valrose (Nice)

Description of Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur

The Côte d'Azur Observatory, Lagrange Laboratory, ERC ISSP Project (Interferometric Survey of Stellar Parameters, PI D. Mourard) is recruiting a research engineer in instrumentation for 2 years from September 1, 2021, in within the framework of the CHARA/SPICA instrument project. This project consists of the installation of a new 6-telescope visible interferometric instrument on the CHARA array at Mount Wilson (CA, USA) as well as the installation of a 6-telescope infrared fringe tracker. The ISSP project is based on a large survey of stellar parameters of around 1,000 stars in three years, starting in mid-2022. The integration of the instruments is underway in Nice and at Mount Wilson and the commissioning is scheduled for the winter of 2021-2022.

Description of the position

The engineer will have the responsibility, along with the project team, of optimizing the operations of the instrument so as to achieve full performance and a level of automation compatible with the ambition of the large observational survey. This will involve working, in conjunction with the project's IT specialists, on the calibrations of the various opto-mechanical modules (longitudinal dispersion compensators, atmospheric refraction compensators, internal delay lines, birefringence correction, etc.) and optimization of their performance and operations to maximize observation time and reduce the intervals between two stars. A special effort will be made on the link between the fiber injection modules and the adaptive optics systems of CHARA in order to maximize the efficiency of the instrument. This work will also be in close relation with the instrument data reduction pipeline in order to control instrument or calibration biases.

Main activities

  • Study the scientific needs, propose the techniques and methods of measurement, characterization or adapted observations.
  • Analyze metrological constraints and design or develop the experimentation and measurement chain.
  • Manage the realization of measurements, interpret and validate them.
  • Train and inform on the principles and implementation of experimental devices and ensure operational safety.
  • Present, disseminate and promote the achievements.
  • Advisor in his field of expertise


Experience in astronomical instrumentation is required, ideally in the field of high angular resolution. Necessary skills in physical measurements, data analysis are required. Fluency in English is required.


The position assumes regular mobility in the United States at Mount Wilson in California for the various phases of sky tests and instrumentation optimization. Many observations will take place remotely from the Plateau de Calern site of the Côte d´Azur Observatory.


Denis Mourard -,

Philippe Bério -