Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world’s brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.
Job Summary

IPAC at Caltech has openings for Applications Developers to participate in NASA missions such as Roman Space Telescope, NASA/ESA collaborations such as Euclid, and science data archive activities such as the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive and the NASA Exoplanet Archive. Caltech is more than a world-renowned science and engineering research and education institution, it is a community – a community of curious and passionate individuals who collaborate to understand and solve complex scientific and societal challenges. Caltech is an award-winning workplace and one of the best places to work in the greater Los Angeles area. Exceptional employees are critical to Caltech’s success. IPAC, part of the Physics, Math, and Astronomy Division at Caltech (, provides science operations, user support, data and archive services, and scientific vision to maximize discovery with observatories both in space and on the ground. IRSA ( is the steward of scientific data sets, ancillary data products, and documentation delivered by NASA’s Infrared and Sub-millimeter missions. The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope is a NASA observatory designed to explore dark energy, exoplanets and many other topics in infrared astro nomy. IPAC will provide data pipelines and community support via the Roman Science Support Center. Euclid is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission to study the geometry and nature of the dark Universe. NASA established the Euclid NASA Science Center at I PAC to support US-based investigations using Euclid data. IPAC is also the home for the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI: which is the science center for the NASA Exoplanet Program and operates the NASA Exoplanet Archive, Keck Observatory Archive, and the radial velocity instrument NEID pipeline and archive, among other services and activities. For these and other activities, IPAC provides algorithm development, calibration, data processing, archiving, and/or distribution.
Job Duties

As an IPAC Applications Developer, you will work with the engineering and scientific team members on tasks which may include:

  • Developing astrophysics data processing algorithms, prototype and production-quality software for science operations
  • Developing tools to help scientists combine, extract and exploit information from archived datasets
  • Maintaining up-to-date databases and archive content
  • Your work may involve processing astrophysics space mission data, simulating science data for processing validation, large scale databases, graphical web user interfaces, and/or interactive data analysis tools
  • You will also work with scientists and other developers to help interpret and implement project requirements, and document the work that you’ve accomplished

Basic Qualifications

If you have the following in your background, then we want to hear about your interest in joining our team:

  • Bachelor’s or equivalent degree in a technical subject such as Astronomy, Physics, Math, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Sciences, or a related field
  • 3 years of experience as a software developer in a Unix/Linux environment using C/ C , Python, and/or Java
  • Familiarity with software configuration management principles and tools, source code version control (e.g. git/github) and issue/bug tracking systems (e.g. Jira)

Preferred Qualifications

Beyond these basic qualifications, there are a set of skills and experiences which will add to your ability to contribute to the roles and responsibilities of an IPAC Applications Developer. The following might give you a headstart here, but even if these do not describe you or your experience, we would still like to hear from you:

  • Master’s or equivalent degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Sciences or related field
  • Experience working with scientific data sets and use cases
  • Experience developing software for astronomical data analysis
  • Experience with server virtualization and cloud services such as AWS, GCP, Azure
  • Experience with software containerization and deployment technologies, such as Docker and Kubernetes
  • Database applications (SQL), large scale data processing
  • Interactive analysis environments such as Jupyter

Required Documents

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • List of three professional references

People choose to work at IPAC for many reasons, and the casual, employee-centric culture often leads to fulfilling, long-term careers and lasting relationships. IPAC staff have access to the Institute’s benefits programs, facilities, including the athletic center, libraries, on-site daycare, professional development and enrichment classes, and Athenaeum club membership.

Depending on start date, an initial remote working arrangement may be considered for up to six months.

We are an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

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