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Mission Design Engineer
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland
Date Posted October 20, 2020
Employment Type Full-time
Application Deadline Open until filled

Are you passionate about astrodynamics, optimization, and modern computing?


Would you love to apply your technical knowledge and creativity to make innovative contributions to some of the nation’s most challenging and rewarding space missions?


Are you searching for a collaborative, fulfilling work environment?


If so, we're looking for someone like you to join our team at APL.


Our spacecraft reach the extremes of the solar system, from Parker Solar Probe at the Sun, New Horizons at Pluto and beyond, and everything in between.  Whether it is developing the next Jovian moon tour, calculating an optimal low-thrust trajectory, optimizing the configurations of formation flight, or applying modern scientific computing to optical navigation, there is a wellspring of intellectually rewarding challenges for the right candidate. 


We are seeking a self-motivated engineer who will lead and participate in the mission design process, from conception to flight.  You will have the opportunity to support both pre-launch mission development and post-launch optimization and planning.  Contributing directly to our continuously evolving code-base and individually pursuing IR&D funding, you will work with our team to ensure that APL is on the cutting edge of trajectory design.  We are passionate about our work, striving to cultivate an environment of partnership and collaboration, and committed to making critical contributions to critical challenges.



As a Mission Design Engineer...
  • Your primary responsibility will be trajectory design of Earth, Lunar, and interplanetary space missions for both civilian and DoD applications.

  • You will evaluate and design mission concepts by drawing from a strong understanding of first principles and from modern or high-performance computing methods.

  • You will provide intellectual leadership to emerging mission concepts and methods of analysis.

  • You will hold a vital role on projects while working across teams composed of experts in other engineering disciplines, scientists, and program managers.

  • You will be expected to contribute to cutting edge trajectory design methodologies through independent research and development.

  • You will be expected to leverage and garner relationships across industry and academia to tackle our most critical challenges.

  • You will be required to stay abreast of recent advances in academia and industry and apply these concepts to problems of interest.


You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you...

  • Possess a PhD in Aerospace Engineering, Computer Science or related field.
  • Have previous experience or significant coursework in the astrodynamics, optimization, dynamical systems, mathematics, and computer science.
  • Possess or are willing to acquire knowledge of GPS and ground-based orbit estimation techniques.
  • Are skilled in analytical and numerical computing, such as C++, Fortran, MATLAB, Python, and/or Java. 
  • Are willing and able to obtain a TS/SCI security clearance. If selected, you will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.



You'll go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you...


  • Have at least 5 years of experience in spacecraft mission design, navigation, or another rigorous technical field.
  • Have experience with cloud computing, estimation theory, evolutionary algorithms, convex/stochastic optimization or have taught related courses. 
  • Have experience participating in agile software development projects involving many stake holders.
  • Have experience in common astrodynamics software environments such as Monte, STK, Copernicus, FreeFlyer, or GMAT.
  • Possess an active Top Secret clearance (or above).



Why work at APL?


The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation’s most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. While we are dedicated to solving complex challenges and pioneering new technologies, what makes us truly outstanding is our culture. We offer a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere where you can bring your authentic self to work, continue to grow, and build strong connections with inspiring teammates.


At APL, we celebrate our differences and encourage creativity and bold, new ideas. Our employees enjoy generous benefits, including a robust education assistance program, unparalleled retirement contributions, and a healthy work/life balance. APL’s campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at www.jhuapl.edu/careers.




Additional Information
  • Primary Mission Area: Not Applicable
  • Requisition ID: 23220
  • Security Clearance Required on Start Date: Clearance not required
  • Final Security Clearance Required: TS/SCI
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