Astrodynamics and Control Systems Engineer


The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), a national leader in scientific research and development, located midway between Baltimore and Washington, DC is seeking an Astrodynamics and Control Systems Engineer to design, analyze, model, and implement mission designs and attitude control systems for current and future interplanetary and near-Earth missions.

Job Summary:

Design, analysis, implementation, testing, and post launch support for mission design and/or attitude control systems for current and future APL Earth orbiting, lunar, interplanetary, heliocentric and libration point missions. Participate in advanced technology projects in areas such as advanced or novel interplanetary spacecraft trajectory design, low thrust propulsion control or mission design, formation control, proximity operations and docking, and autonomous satellite navigation, attitude control systems design; publish results. Participate in proposal development for NASA missions such as Discovery, MidEx, SmEx, or National Security Space concepts


  • Mission design and analysis on current programs (30%)
  • Control systems design and analysis on current programs (30%)
  • Advanced concepts and proposals (30%)
  • Independent research (10%)

Note: This job summary and listing of duties is for the purpose of describing the position and its essential functions at time of hire and may change over time. In particular, the allocations between the mission design and control systems tasks will vary with time depending on needs.

Required Qualifications:

MS or equiv. in physical science, eng., or related field with at least 5 years experience. Strong analytical skills in satellite orbit theory, mission design, and control systems. General knowledge of space systems. Versatility & ability to tackle diverse problems from inception though completion w/ minimal supervision. Strong interpersonal & communications skills. Must be creative, self-motivated, & solutions-oriented. Potential and maturity to eventually lead mission design effort for major projects & proposals. Ability & desire to develop, implement, & publish innovative concepts.

Desired Qualifications:

PhD. in physical science, engineering or closely related field. Modeling and simulation skills. Experience in orbit analysis/mission design software tools such as the Systems ToolKit (STK) or FreeFlyer. Experience with attitude control systems design using Simulink or SystemModeler. Publication & presentation record commensurate with work experience.

Special Working Conditions: None

Benefits: APL offers a comprehensive benefits package including a liberal vacation plan, a matching retirement program, significant educational assistance, a scholarship tuition program for staff with dependents, and competitive salaries commensurate with skills and experience. For more information about our organization, please visit our web site at

Equal Employment Opportunity: Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments Acts of 1972, as well as other applicable laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

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