Optical Communications Chief Engineer

Requisition ID: 47732

All Locations: El Segundo, CA (California)

A trusted partner. A national resource. A leader in national security space. We are THE Aerospace Corporation. A team that takes pride in our readiness to solve some of the most complex technical challenges in existence. With challenges spanning government to commercial, you'll have the unique opportunity to work on projects that are literally evolving our nation's space and launch capabilities. We all share a common passion and aspiration - to serve a mission much bigger than ourselves. When you join our team, you'll be part of a rare collection of thought leaders and game-changing innovators. Are you ready to launch your career?


The Aerospace Corporation is seeking an Optical Communications Chief Engineer to join our advanced communications cadre of engineers and scientists. Our technical team works corporate wide across all engineering divisions within the Engineering & Technology Group (ETG) matrix. This position is based within the Communication Technologies & Engineering Division (CTED), ETG, reporting to the General Manager. The role has an enterprise platform to work across all customer-facing program offices and ETG. The Optical comm Chief Engineer will lead activities under the corporate strategic initiative in advanced comm technologies, with a focus on optical. When you join our team, you'll be part of a dedicated group of Optical Communication systems engineers and hardware specialists who are at the fulcrum point of influencing the future of National Security Space optical communications. Our unique position as consultant to our customers allows you to have an immediate and significant impact in driving national technical directions and decisions. This role presents an excellent opportunity for those forward-thinking individuals to apply their expertise, knowledge, drive and excitement towards the existing and future National Security Space (NSS) endeavors.

Key Functions

  • Leads the Optical Communications Corporate Strategic Initiative (CSI) and collaborates with members of Comm Technologies & Engineering Division (CTED, Physical Sciences Laboratory (PSL), Vehicle Systems Division (VSD), Electronics Systems Division (ESD), and Program Offices working optical communications.
  • Leads staff in the development of enterprise level optical communication solutions in support of the CSI, future Optical comm Center, and program office needs.
  • Establishes Optical comm Corporate Strategic Initiative (CSI) goals and objectives. Conducts activities consistent with corporate policies/practices, goals, and objectives.
  • Leads the activities, working with the GM and leadership team, to establish the new Optical Comm Center.
  • Leads development of the optical comm CSI/Center future products and services of the Division.
  • Leads the Optical comm Center strategy development and needs assessment regarding structure, staff and resource needs. Participates in budget planning and allocation of resources.
  • Reports Optical comm CSI/Center activities, progress and achievements through written and oral reports to management, subordinates, and customers.
  • Seeks and identifies opportunities for additional, expanded new business and assists higher management in the evaluation and pursuit of new opportunities.
  • Leads the collaborations with Office of Chief Technologist-funded optical comm projects that have potential for licensing to industry, and/or potential for prototyping or government reference architectures.
  • Cooperates and communicates frequently with customer to coordinate and report work progress, issues, and results. Conducts work performance within customer standards and regulations. Participates selectively in day-to-day technical task planning and issue resolution.
  • Utilizing CSI/Center, directs technical staff performing engineering design, analysis or other research and development activities in optical comm. Directs achievement of engineering assignments within project schedule and cost guidelines.
  • Plans, organizes, and manages Optical Comm CSI/Center research/development, conducting investigations, evaluations, experimentation, and related program support. Provides overall direction to Optical Comm CSI/Center technical programs and ensures capabilities are effectively applied to needs of customers programs.
  • Ensures high quality Optical comm work products and strives for customer satisfaction.
  • Mentor Aerospace Members of Technical Staff who wish to pursue technical career paths.


  • An advanced degree (MS or PhD) in engineering, science, or related technical discipline from an accredited university
  • Engineering experience and in-depth technical knowledge and accomplishments in optical communications
  • Out-of-the-box thinker who can establish practical experiments/paths forward to solve complex problems
  • Demonstrated exceptionally high level of innovation, creativeness, and initiative
  • Demonstrated ability to succinctly describe complex technical issues for senior leadership
  • 12 or more years of progressively responsible professional engineering/scientific experience
  • Substantial experience in a managerial and/or technical leadership role with proven ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with all levels of contractors, customers, and corporate staff
  • Current and active or ability to obtain Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) (US Citizenship Required)

  • Demonstrated experience building prototypes or testbeds
  • Experience with both government and commercial space programs and optical comm market landscape
  • Familiarity with optical communication physical layer standards
  • Demonstrated experience managing laboratory facilities
  • Experience in and proven successful relationships working with diverse customer sets

Transcript Requirement


Additional Requisition Details

Clearance Requirement: TS/SSBI

Access: SCI

Polygraph: None

Relocation Available: Yes

Employment Type: Regular

Work Schedule: Full Time

Company Statement

The Aerospace Corporation has provided independent technical and scientific research, development, and advisory services to national security space programs since 1960. We operate a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for the United States Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office, and support all national security space programs. We also apply more than 50 years of experience with space systems to provide critical solutions to technologically complex systems in such areas as communications, shipping, law enforcement, and cyber, among others.

From our inception, our highly skilled technical staff has focused on ensuring the success of every mission and developing the most effective and economic space-related hardware and software in the world. Our greatest asset is the technical expertise of our people. Our state-of-the-art laboratory facilities are staffed by some of the leading scientists in the world.

All Aerospace employees working in organizations with technical responsibilities are required to apply for and maintain at least a Secret clearance. U.S. citizenship is required for those positions.

Equal Opportunity Commitment

The Aerospace Corporation is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. We believe that a diverse workforce creates an environment in which unique ideas are developed and differing perspectives are valued, producing superior customer solutions. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, color, religion,genetic information, marital status, ancestry, national origin, protected veteran status, physical disability, medical condition, mental disability, or disability status and any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. If you're an individual with a disability or a disabled veteran who needs assistance using our online job search and application tools or need reasonable accommodation to complete the job application process, please contact us by phone at 310.336.5432 or by email atieo.mailbox@aero.org. You can also reviewThe Equal Employment Opportunity is the Lawposter andthe supplement, as well as thePay Transparency Policy Statement.

Nearest Major Market: Los Angeles
Job Segment: Optics Engineering, Electronics Engineer, Engineer, Security Clearance, Aerospace, Engineering, Government, Aviation

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