Observing Technician at the Mont-Mégantic Observatory

L'Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic. (Crédit: R. Boucher)
L'Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic. (Crédit: R. Boucher)

Do you dream of being part of a team of astronomers trying to unlock the secrets of the cosmos? We are looking for an Observing Technician to collect astronomical observations and maintain our telescope and instruments!


Observing Technician

Faculty of Arts and Science – Department of Physics – Mont-Mégantic Observatory


The Mont-Mégantic Observatory is jointly operated by the Université de Montréal and the Université Laval. Equipped with the largest telescope in eastern North America (1.6 m), this research center is particularly well equipped for imaging, spectroscopy, and polarimetry in a wide range of wavelengths, from the visible to the infrared. The OMM is the only university astronomical observatory in Canada.

Why this job is for you
  • You have a genuine passion for astronomy and dream of pursuing a career in physics.
  • Your excellent organizational skills and attention to detail set you apart.
  • You are creative and are always on the lookout for new ideas.
  • You are committed to customer satisfaction and have strong interpersonal skills.
  • You want to put your skills to work in an organization that is helping to shape the world of tomorrow.
Your responsabilities
  • Prepare and adjust the telescope and instrumentation according to the needs of the Support Astronomer or observer.
  • Prepare instruments, perform instrument assembly, disassembly, and calibration, balance the telescope and perform any other tasks required prior to use.
  • Assume responsibility for the observatory control room and assist research staff with on-site and remote observations.
  • Operate the telescope and control the instruments. Ensure safe operation, proper functioning and maintenance of the instruments, telescope, optics, and dome.
  • Participate in the collection of raw data. Participate in the maintenance of the telescope and the building (dome) and ensure the safety of the work area.
  • Participate in the aluminizing process of the telescope mirrors. Handle solvents, acids, and greases. Perform micro-soldering work.
  • See to the supply and maintain the inventory of consumables (chemicals, gases, mechanical and electronic components, etc.).
  • Advise management on the selection and purchase of mechanical and electronic equipment.
  • Maintain records and documentation of the Observatory’s technical equipment.
  • Handle, transport, classify, inventory, and maintain instruments, tools, devices and equipment under his/her responsibility.
  • Perform a variety of administrative tasks such as evaluating the costs of technical implementation of projects and purchasing materials.
  • May be required to perform related or lesser duties and responsibilities.
  • Education: College degree in Electromechanics or equivalent (such as a B.Sc. in Physics);
  • Experience: Two years of relevant experience;
  • Basic knowledge of astronomy observation and mechanics;
  • Knowledge of LabView, C++, and Python programming languages;
  • Knowledge of Windows, Linux and Unix;
  • Possess a class 5 driver’s license;
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds regularly, navigate confined spaces and climb up and down ladders;
  • Fluency in French and English (written and spoken).
  • An hourly rate between $25.06 and $32.68 depending on your experience;
  • Diversified and interesting career opportunities as well as continuing education;
  • Access to health clinics and a host of services offered to the UdeM community;
  • Reduced work hours during the summer months and a host of other benefits to facilitate work/life balance.
More information about this position
  • Part of the Syndicat des employés et des employées de la recherche de l’Université de Montréal – SERUM-PSA;
  • Regular full-time position, for 35 hours per week;
  • Category: Class 9;
  • Immediate supervisor or person in charge of research: Prof. René Doyon;
  • Schedule: The schedule is spread over a period of 2 weeks — one week of 7 nights for observations and maintenance of the telescope and instruments (atypical schedule from sunset to sunrise), followed by a week of 7 nights off;
  • The night observations are performed at the Mont-Mégantic Observatory, in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada;
  • During the work week, you will have a room and access to the kitchen if needed;
  • Deadline to apply: May 12, 2023.

To apply
Please go to the UdeM Carrières website and search for position “522902” to find the posting. You can then create an account and follow the instructions to apply. Do not hesitate to contact Nathalie Ouellette, nathalie.ouellette.2@umontreal.ca, if you have any questions.