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CIRES/CSL Mechanical Engineer/Mechanical Design Engineer

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado





Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Posting Close Date:


Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU Boulder) encourages applications for an Associate Scientist in engineering within NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Laboratory (CSL) in Boulder, Colorado. The successful candidate will work in the Aerosol Properties and Processes (APP) program alongside a number of federal and university employees engaged in research investigating aerosol particles and their impacts on air quality and climate. Our group consists of scientists and engineers at all stages of their careers working together to develop, characterize, and deploy world-class instrumentation in the air and on the ground to make aerosol measurements that are critical for understanding climate and air quality.

The main activities of this position are 1) produce mechanical designs of components of scientific equipment; 2) perform design and structural analysis of mounting structures for approval for operation on research aircraft; 3) assist in the fabrication and assembly of scientific instruments; 4) assist in the installation and testing of instruments on research aircraft and in other field environments; and 5) assist in maintaining a well-functioning laboratory, including specifying parts and supplies that should be ordered for APP.

CSL has a highly collaborative work culture, and we are looking for a candidate who actively subscribes to this philosophy. Successful candidates will demonstrate competency and sensitivity in working with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

At CIRES, more than 950 environmental science professionals work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES has partnered with NOAA since 1967, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, solid Earth sciences, and more. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

The mission of the NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory (CSL) is to advance scientific understanding of the chemical and physical processes that affect Earth’s atmospheric composition. CSL’s vision is a nation that has the needed scientific understanding and information about atmospheric composition to make optimal decisions for the well-being of current and future generations.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • 40% Produce mechanical designs of components for custom airborne scientific equipment to measure aerosol composition and microphysical and optical properties.
  • 5% Communicate effectively with machinists to have parts manufactured to conform to the designs.
  • 20% Perform design and structural analysis of instrument mounting structures and inlets that meet approval by NASA, NOAA, and or NSF for operation on research aircraft.
  • 15% Assist NOAA and CIRES scientists in the fabrication, assembly, and testing of scientific instruments.
  • 5% Assist in the installation, testing, and troubleshooting of instruments on research aircraft.
  • 5% Assist in maintaining a well-functioning laboratory by specifying needs and organizing stocks of supplies and tools and by documenting mechanical designs and analyses.
  • 10% Travel for a few weeks at a time, typically about once per year, for instrument integration on aircraft and associated field projects.

What You Should Know

  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder but will be physically situated in NOAA's David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305.
  • If you are selected for this position you will be required to pass a federal laboratory background clearance for site access.
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen or green card holder, you will be required to have an escort while working at NOAA and elsewhere.

What We Can Offer

  • CIRES offers a generous compensation package. The annual hiring salary range for this position is $60,724 to $98,000.
  • Salary is commensurate with education and years of experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • Relocation expenses are available for this position following CIRES and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.
  • CIRES and the University of Colorado Boulder offer a robust training curriculum, opportunities for professional development and a Mentorship Program.
  • Boulder is a vibrant community with access to mountain parks, dog parks, miles of trails, rivers, lakes, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, theaters, museums, and sports venues. Boulder was recently ranked as the top place to live in the U.S. News.
  • As an employee at CU Boulder, you receive a pass allowing free access to the regional public transit system, which is an outstanding network of buses and light rail systems that provide service within Boulder and connect to Denver, the Denver airport, and surrounding communities.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be adventurous. Be positive. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • B.S. in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, engineering physics, or a related engineering field.

What You Will Need

We will give consideration to candidates who demonstrate in their application materials the following required skills:

  • Experience in computer-aided design, solid modeling, and basic structural analysis.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment with a diverse group of scientists and support an inclusive and respectful work culture
  • Ability to work independently as needed in laboratory and field environments
  • Ability to manage multiple projects

What We Would Like You to Have

You should have some of the following skills. Please note that applicants do not need to have all of these skills and experience to be considered for this position. If you meet the minimum qualifications and required skills above and have passion for the work along with experience in a related field, you are encouraged to apply. We provide on-the-job training for additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position.

  • Mechanical skills relating to complex instrument design, fabrication, and/or modification.
  • Experience in programming for data acquisition.
  • Experience with basic electronics, including power wiring and data acquisition hardware.
  • Knowledge of aerosol physics, fluid mechanics, flow modeling, or optical design.
  • Enthusiasm for technical subject matter, as shown by formal or informal (e.g. hobby) activities such as machining, woodworking, robotics, or computer configuration.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. A resume or CV.
  2. A cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications relative to the education and required skills listed above, your professional goals, and your specific interest in this position.
  3. A list of 3 references (one document): the names, professional titles, and contact information of those who are familiar with your qualifications and work history. If you are identified as a finalist for this role, we will ask your professional references to complete a SkillSurvey on your behalf. SkillSurvey is an automated online reference check solution.

The position will close on July 31, 2024. Applications will be screened as they are received.

If you are selected as the finalist for the position, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor. If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version as an optional attachment.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

In compliance with the Colorado Job Application Fairness Act, in any materials you submit, you may redact or remove age-identifying information such as age, date of birth, or dates of school attendance or graduation. You will not be penalized for redacting or removing this information.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Michael Lawler

Posting Contact Email: