Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

Algorithm Developer

3+ months agoLaurel, MD

Are you an engineer, mathematician, or computer scientist skilled in and passionate about algorithm development?

Does creating algorithms that enable autonomous behaviors on a spacecraft sound fun and challenging to you?

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

We are seeking an experienced algorithm developer that sees software as part of the solution to develop and implement algorithms for our spacecraft flight software. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) Space Exploration Sector develops spacecraft for both National Security applications and NASA funded exploration missions. Our group is a collaborative team of software developers, applied mathematicians/physicists and embedded system engineers that develop flight software and simulations for the JHUAPL-developed spacecraft. This position would be responsible for developing algorithms such as computer vision, machine learning, multi-sensor fusion as well as developing the simulations and sensor modeling required to test these algorithms. As with any area that pushes the boundaries of what is feasible, the types of algorithms will continue to evolve, and problem space will continue to provide new challenges!

As an algorithm developer, your responsibilities include:

  • Developing state-of-the-art algorithms for data fusion, image processing, or distributed intelligent systems.
  • Working with both the algorithm and the embedded software teams to realize the algorithms in a variety of embedded environments, with an emphasis on modular reuse and modular architectures; maintain the catalog of institutional reusable flight software libraries; contribute to technology evaluation, technology plans, and future group roadmaps.
  • Working with technical experts at JHUAPL to research, advance, and advocate for emerging software and autonomous behaviors.
  • Working with the spacecraft development team including the Embedded Hardware and/or Guidance, Navigation, and Control Groups to understand the interfaces and requirements necessary to design, implement, and verify the algorithms in a closed-loop simulation environment or hardware/software in the loop environments.
  • If you are so inclined, leadership opportunities are available to guide a team of algorithm and software developers.


You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you have

  • A Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, Electrical or Computer Engineering, Applied Mathematics or Applied Physics.
  • At least 5 years of experience algorithm development (years pursuing graduate degrees may also be combined towards this qualification).
  • Strong problem-solving skills.
  • Experience with any of the following programming languages: C, C++, VHDL, Python or MATLAB.
  • Ability to communicate system-level solutions and technical direction, both to government sponsors and to team members.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, initiative, and independent follow-through.
  • An ability to obtain an Interim Secret level security clearance by your start date and can ultimately obtain a TS/SCI level 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.
  • Can demonstrate that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. To ensure the safety and well-being of the community, APL has established a policy requiring that all staff be vaccinated against COVID-19. All staff members must provide proof of full vaccination or have an approved medical or religious accommodation by their start date.

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

  • A MS or PhD in Mathematics, Engineering, Physics, Computer Science or equivalent.
  • At least 8 years of professional work experience.
  • Experience with detection and estimation theory, stochastic processes, and Markov models.
  • A solid understanding and experience using fundamental data fusion and tracking techniques such as Kalman filtering, batch-processing, multiple-hypothesis data association, multiple dynamic models, etc.
  • Experience fusing across multiple real-world sources whose data may exhibit characteristics such as sub-dimensioned, time-late, biased, and negative data.
  • Demonstrated experience in Git, GitLab, and branching CM systems.
  • Exercised data science/devops pipelines and software containerization (docker)
  • Demonstrated experience leading teams in full software development life cycle.
  • An Active Top Secret/SCI Clearance.

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

Job ID: hopkins-6941_26238